The analytics on most platforms typically falls into one of three categories.
1) Data that is interesting. This is usually best for researches. It highlights fascinating trends and information about the audience.
2) Data that is great for members. It shows members information about their own rankings, achievements, and general standing/influence within the community.
3) Data that is irrelevant. Here lots of data is shown that might be fascinating, but lacks any real practical use.
Community managers want and need actionable data. This is data that allows the community manager to improve the community. This likely includes:
1) Trends. Is growth, activity, and the sense of community increasing? Can we link this to
activities we have undertaken within the community? Can we identify the retention rate and where members are presently dropping out? Why can’t we have red alerts for problems that require immediate attention (e.g. a plummeting
post per active member ratio?)
2) Popular members and topics. Who are the most popular members and popular topics? Can we create more content about the most popular topics? Can we invite the top members to be more involved in the topics in which they have contributed the most?
3) Segmentation. Can we segment, track, and contact members by demographics, time spend in the community, and quality/quantity of contributions made in the community? Can we identify members that typically cause the most problems and send a warning message en-masse?
4) Understanding the impact of interventions. If the community manager does something new, if there are big events, if the website is changed, track the impact of this intervention and it’s long-term impact upon the community. Which interventions succeeded and which failed?
Some are exploring this with great efficacy; others are presenting the same tedious stats we have had for years.