03 April 2006

Gathering Stats

Do you sometimes sigh when a speaker starts off by gathering a few bits of information about the audience. "What release of Software X are you using?" This can be tedious when you are at a conference and you go from room to room, being repeatedly asked the same question. Instead, do you think, "Hey, the speaker is going to re-focus the talk, to address our needs, for a change!", when you all put your hands up to acknowledge experience in a specific area, and so might be spared the tedium of having the same old stuff explained again.

While we, as speakers, can't always rewrite a talk in midstream, we can avoid mentioning bits of irrelevant material. In the same way, if there are features no-one uses or needs in a product, maybe we should be focussing our development energies elsewhere. So stats can be useful.
You know this. They can help people make decisions and they can be used to great advantage. Obviously they can be skewed, they can be harmful and used for the wrong reasons, and they can be used to misrepresent the true picture etc. etc. Let's not go there.

Well, we're after a few stats on our SQL Developer Forum. As you know it's pretty early days for SQL Developer and we're trying to establish the demographics of our audience. We want to use them for your advantage! So, if you use SQL Developer and you visit the forum, please take a look a the Forum Polls. We're hoping to update them every few weeks. What we'll be doing is running quick polls to pick up a few bits of useful detail.

Now our stats our a little skewed at the moment. With are only a few folk clicking at the polls, compared to the 1000's of downloads and visitors to the forum, the results aren't all that accurate. Once you've signed on to the forum, it's just a click. Help us ensure we get an accurate picture.