Friday, July 09, 2010

New and improved: stats page for each question

With the release of our new stats page a few weeks ago, we introduced the concept of an "Inkling expert" - someone that had traded in the right direction on several questions in any given topic. Building on this concept and a few others we've been talking about internally, we've released a new stats page for individual questions.

In thinking about how to enhance what was previously just a leaderboard, we thought about the additional signals we'd like to give people to provide further context of what's going on in the market. We already deliver a probabilistic forecast, rationale about why people are trading the way they are, and long form additional context in the form of discussion threads. But we felt it would be useful if the "decider" who has to do something with this information, had more insights at their disposal to enhance what's delivered with each question.

With that goal in mind, with this first iteration of new stats there are three main pieces of information we're conveying. First is an improved earnings leaderboard for the individual question. You can see how much money people who have ever expressed an opinion have made or lost. This means rewarding people for their participation in individual questions is now a click away.

Second, and perhaps most useful, is a breakdown of how strongly people feel about their opinions. We show that strength of opinion by amount of money spent and also by percentage of portfolio spent. Clicking on the magnifying glass next to each person's name lets you view their individual trades.

What's interesting about this view is you can clearly see who the outliers are. And if there are no outliers and the trading is spread across a lot of people, that's a pretty strong signal alongside the probability of that being the correct answer or not. Similarly, you can see if the answer has been dominated by one or two traders in which case you know the results may be skewed.

In this same view we allow you to filter by the experts in that question category. For example, if we're looking at the results of "How many banks will fail in the U.S. in 2010?" you can select a view only showing the people who have proven to be experts in Finance. Again, the name of the game here is looking for signals about the trading activity and enabling easy follow-up work to query the experts or at least report on their activity separately.

Finally we're providing conversion data for use of the trading widget. If you put our trading widget somewhere on your internal portal (or on the Internet somewhere,) you can now track where it was used, how many people have used it, and if they converted to full users.

Stats for all questions can be seen by administrators. Stats for their respective questions can be seen by individual question makers.

Feedback on those we've showed this to already has been really positive which is encouraging. If you have other ideas for what we should be including for these kinds of stats, let us know.

A couple other things:

For administrators: when you send announcements, the full announcement will now appear in the email alert vs. just a snippet. Also, we've added the quick trade option to everyone's dashboards so you can trade directly from there.

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