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Dialogue reporting - an overview

Rowena Farr -

Using a Dialogue is a great way to do things like policy crowdsourcing, ideas generation, and participatory budgeting. One of the great things about a dialogue process is that it combines the free flow of debate and ideas with a structure that enables outcomes to be reached. To get to concrete outcomes, it’s often essential to be able to use data to summarise the challenge.

Dialogue makes it easy to get hold of your data at any time during the challenge or after it has closed. Here’s a quick overview of the information that Dialogue provides.

1. Top-line stats

When running a Dialogue, you often need to get hold of quick, up-to-date statistics about the challenge being run. This may be for a status report, press release, or just for your own curiosity. The exports from Dialogue are accessible to site admins at any time, and provide the following top-line statistics:

  • Number of registered users
  • Number of users who have submitted ideas
  • Number of ideas
  • Number of comments
  • Average number of comments per idea
  • Number of ratings
  • Average number of ratings per idea
  • Number of tags
  • Average number of tags per idea

2. Complete data exports

All the information collected by Dialogue is available for download at any time. You’re most likely to need this information after the challenge closes, for creating a final report, but it’s also useful for putting together an interim report, a mailing list, or for performing more complex analysis than the top-line stats provide.

The following data sets are available for download in xlsx format:

  • Full user profiles (username, email address, mailing list opt-in status, custom demographic information)
  • All ideas (title, description, username of submitter, date, average rating, number of ratings, number of comments, list of tags, moderation state) sorted by creation date
  • All ideas (as above, sorted by average rating)
  • All ideas (as above sorted by number of comments)
  • All comments (idea that comment is associated with, challenge that it was posted to, username of submitter, date that comment was posted, comment)
  • All tags (tag name, number of uses)

xlsx files can be opened in spreadsheet packages such as Microsoft® Excel®

3. Web Analytics

Dialogue is compatible with Google Analytics (and other online web monitoring stats if required). This provides invaluable information about your site’s visitors, including:

  • Number of visitors to the homepage and to individual ideas
  • Breakdown of visitors by geographic territory
  • Breakdown of visitors by operating system, web browser and capabilities
  • How visitors arrived at your site (search engine, link from another site etc)

This article will help you with setting up Google Analytics if you don’t already have an account.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a hyper-local challenge that attracts tens of users and results in a dozen great ideas, or a highly-publicised national debate that gives you 50,000 ideas and a quarter of a million ratings to analyse. We’ve helped clients with both of these, and a great many in between.