Damned Lies and Contribution Metrics

The power of numbers is unquestionable. I never fully understood though, what it is. Possibly the urge of everyone to explain the world rationally. Or the need for reference to make any decision an “informed one”. Whatever it is, it drives people. Mozilla wouldn’t be an exception.

The ask was simple enough:

How many active contributors do we have in Mozilla?

No one knew last year, that a year in today we would only have scratched the surface of this question. But in the process of doing so we laid a solid foundation to move us forward.

Yesterday Adam Lofting announced the unified Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation contributors dashboard which you can check out visiting areweamillionyet.org This has been a collaborative effort between both teams and an incredible journey so far exploring and articulating notions of contribution metrics across the Mozilla Project.Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 1.06.33 PMProject Baloo (intro post here) is underway to supply all the data that will fuel the unified dashboard, starting with Bugzilla, and Github data, thanks to Sheeri and Anurag from BI team. Next in line are Reps, SuMo and MDN. All data will be gathered in a central database, in a common schema, updated almost instantly by the systems that activities are happening. You can track the progress here.

Adam’s post has all the technical details about the current implementation (so I will not go into details here) but I would like to expand a bit around the importance of deduplication and cross-examination of metrics between different teams of Mozilla.

Being a Community Builder inside Mozilla you want metrics for your contribution area. You can see people come and go, but you have no idea whether those people are moving to other teams or leaving Mozilla completely. With cross examination of contribution metrics we will be able to see trends and movements of people across different projects and teams for the first time.

Using deduplication of identities (based on emails) we will get a much more accurate count of people, that will improve even more once we integrate with Mozillians.org and Workday so we can deduplicate people using multiple emails. Anecdotally (and based on the initial real data we have) we know for sure that the actual count of active contributors will be considerably lower that the sum of active contributors on all teams.

Deduplication(1)Expect more updates to come as we roll new integrations in and new data-sets become available.