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Quantitative and qualitative metrics can assist community leaders in determining the community's effectiveness is in reaching their target audience and providing value to their members. Communities are encouraged to use metrics to not only track their activity levels but also identify actions that will help build and improve the community.

Quantitative metrics provide a numerical measurement that can be used to gauge activity levels (e.g. number of page views, visits, contributions, attachment downloads, and helpful votes) and growth and to assess trends within the community. In addition to the metrics mentioned above, the following metrics are also captured for communities:

  • Lifetime activity
  • Total count of knowledge objects viewed and downloaded
  • Item creation activity
  • Most and least active users
  • Most viewed items
  • Most popular items
Although these measures may be relatively easy to capture, they only provide part of the metric equation. The more important question is, "Do the communities add value?" We can infer a relationship between level of activity and value, but it is not a precise correlation. Much of the value of a community is tied to factors that are difficult to measure but have a positive influence on job performance. These factors may include better access to knowledge, increased awareness of and adherence to policy, and increased adoption of best practices.