Django app facilitating tracking of arbitrary simple metrics.

## Project description

A basic Django app facilitating tracking of certain elementary metrics and statistics - generally just metrics which can be measured in terms of counts and cumulative counts.

This app could be useful for keeping track of registrations, page impressions, sessions, and so on. By default, it allows for tracking of registrations. Adding more metrics is a relatively straightforward task, as explained further on.

## Quick Installation

1. Save a copy of the django-analytics app in your Python path.

3. Create a mod_analytics.py file for each of your apps that require some sort of tracking. See the Creating a mod_analytics Script section below.

4. Run the following from the command line in order to install the various metrics and automatically make them active:

> python manage.py metrics --install
1. Run the following from the command line to update the daily, weekly and monthly statistics for each of the active metrics:

> python manage.py metrics --calculate=ALL

By default, django-analytics comes with a registrations metric which counts the number of users in the system based on their date_joined timestamp.

## Creating a mod_analytics Script

If, for example, you have an app called comments with the following models.py file:

from django.db import models
from django.contrib.auth.models import User

class Comment(models.Model):
comment = models.CharField(max_length=300)

and you would like to track the total number of comments, you could create a mod_analytics.py script (in the same directory as your app’s models) looking like the following:

from analytics.basemetric import BaseMetric
from models import Comment

def calculate(self, start_datetime, end_datetime):
return Comment.objects.filter(timestamp__gte=start_datetime,
timestamp__lt=end_datetime).count()

def get_earliest_timestamp(self):
try:
return Comment.objects.all().order_by('timestamp')[0].timestamp
except IndexError:
return None

## Geckoboard Integration and CSV Dumps

In order to allow for Geckoboard integration to allow for visualisation of your statistics, as well as simple CSV dumping of statistics, in your project’s urls.py, add the following line:

urlpatterns = patterns('',
# ...

(r'^analytics/', include('analytics.urls')),

# ...
)

Note that this project makes use of django-geckoboard (http://pypi.python.org/pypi/django-geckoboard), so all of the default django-geckoboard settings apply.

Geckboard Charts

analytics/geckoboard/numbers

A numbers widget. Supported GET variable parameters: uid, daysback, cumulative, frequency. daysback default: 7.

analytics/geckoboard/rag

A RAG widget. Supported GET variable parameters: uids, daysback, cumulative, frequency.

analytics/geckoboard/pie

A pie chart widget. Supported GET variable parameters: uids, daysback, cumulative, frequency.

analytics/geckoboard/line

A line chart widget. Note that this can only plot a single metric per chart. Supported GET variable parameters: uid, daysback, cumulative, frequency. daysback default: 7.

analytics/geckoboard/geckometer

A geck-o-meter widget. Supported GET variable parameters: uid, frequency, cumulative, min, max.

analytics/geckoboard/funnel

A funnel chart widget. Supported GET variable parameters: uids, frequency, cumulative, type, percentage, sort.

Geckoboard GET Variable Parameters

 uid The UID of the metric to display, if a single metric is to be displayed. uids The UIDs of the metrics to display, if multiple metrics are to be displayed. daysback The numbers Geckoboard widget shows a single count, and the percentage change from a previous count. This view returns the most recent count or cumulative count, as well as the count or cumulative count from days_back days ago. cumulative A boolean value (either t or f) indicating whether the period count is to be returned, or the cumulative count. Default: t. frequency The frequency of the statistics to be returned. Can be d, w or m for daily, weekly or monthly, respectively. Default: d. min The minimum value of a particular metric - usually for pie charts. Default: 0. max The maximum value of a particular metric - usually for pie charts. Default: 100. type Chart type - only applicable to the funnel chart. See the Geckoboard API for more details. Default: standard. percentage Whether or not to show a percentage - only applicable to the funnel chart. See the Geckoboard API for more details. Default: show. sort A boolean value (either t or f) indicating whether or not to sort the statistics - only applicable to the funnel chart. See the Geckoboard API for more details. Default: f.

CSV Dump

analytics/csv/<uid>

A simple view requiring the UID of the metric as its parameter, returning a CSV dump of all of the statistics for the given metric. By default, this returns the daily statistics for the metric.

CSV Dump GET Variable Parameters

 frequency The frequency of the statistics to be returned. Can be d, w or m for daily, weekly or monthly, respectively. Default: d. For example, analytics/csv/registrations?frequency=w will return all of the weekly registrations over all time as a CSV dump.

## Metrics Explained

The django-analytics module creates Metric objects for each type of metric that needs to be tracked, such as registrations, page impressions, etc. Each metric needs to have a globally unique identifier (UID) so that it can be referenced from the command line by name, and a title to provide a little more of a description of what that metric is.

Each metric has a number of Statistic objects associated with it, each Statistic only being a simple combination of date/time, a count for that date/time, a cumulative count, and frequency.

The frequency can currently only be daily, weekly or monthly, and by default, each metric’s statistics are calculated for all of those frequencies (so a single metric can have multiple frequencies’ statistics).

In general, the cumulative count is automatically calculated for you, and is simply the previous day’s/week’s/month’s cumulative count, added to the current day’s/week’s/month’s count.

## Command Line Reference

The following options are available from the command line for the metrics management command:

-l, --list

Lists all of the available metrics, along with some basic information about each.

-i, --install

Scans the project for available metrics and creates or updates them where necessary.

-a, --activate

Activates the metric with the specified UID, e.g. --activate=registrations. If you want to activate all metrics, simply specify --activate=ALL on the command line. Only active metrics will be included in a --calculate=ALL execution.

-d, --deactivate

Deactivates the metric with the specified UID. Again, you can specify --deactivate=ALL to deactivate all metrics.

-c, --calculate

Calculates the specified metric, e.g. --calculate=registrations. Can specify --calculate=ALL to calculate all active metrics.

-f, --frequency

If the --calculate command is specified, this will allow one to force a particular frequency’s statistics to be calculated. Possible values are: d (daily), w (weekly), m (monthly) and a (all). Default is all.

--reset

Deletes all of the Statistic objects associated with the specified metric. Can specify --reset=ALL to delete all statistics for all metrics, regardless of whether they are active or not.

--drop-metric

Deletes the actual Metric with the specified UID. Use --drop-metric=ALL to drop all metrics (and their statistics) from the database.

## Inner Workings

When running the manage.py metrics --install command, the following happens:

1. The script searches through all the installed apps for your project and attempts to first find a mod_analytics module which it can import.

2. It then searches through all of the classes in each mod_analytics module it encounters, and then attempts to find classes derived from the analytics.basemetric.BaseMetric class (an abstract class).

3. For each valid class found which derives from the BaseMetric class, the script makes sure it has two functions: calculate, and get_earliest_timestamp. It also makes sure the class has two properties: uid and title.

4. If the class has these two functions, the script creates a Metric instance whose unique identifier and title are set to the uid and title values of the discovered class.

The calculate function takes two parameters: start_datetime and end_datetime, and must simply return a count of the relevant metric between those two given dates. You can perform any calculations you need in this function to get to this final count value.

To understand the reasoning here, the analytics app has three broad calculation time periods which it attempts to calculate: daily, weekly and monthly. For a daily calculation, for example, the start_datetime parameter supplied will resemble something like datetime(2011, 5, 1) and the end_datetime parameter will resemble something like datetime(2011, 5, 2). The calculate function must then return a count of the relevant metric for the time period starting at 2011/05/01 00:00 and ending at 2011/05/02 00:00. NOTE: You should always return counts starting at exactly the given start_datetime value (i.e. greater-than-equal-to), but just before the end_datetime value (i.e. less-than).

The get_earliest_timestamp function must simply return a datetime.datetime object indicating the earliest data’s associated date/time, so that the analytics calculation routine knows the date at which to start calculating. If there are no entries yet, this function must return None.

## Abstract Metrics

If you want to create abstract metrics, simply create a separate Python file somewhere which will contain your “abstract” metrics. For example, create an abstract_metrics.py file which looks as follows:

from analytics import BaseMetric
from django.contrib.auth.models import User

class UserBaseMetric(BaseMetric):
def calculate(self, start_datetime, end_datetime):
return User.objects.filter(date_joined__gte=start_datetime,
date_joined__lt=end_datetime).count()

def get_earliest_timestamp(self):
try:
return User.objects.all().order_by('date_joined')[0].date_joined
except IndexError:
return None

Then, in your mod_analytics.py file, just import your abstract_metrics module. Note: Do not import the UserBaseMetric, just import the abstract_metrics module, as follows:

from analytics import BaseMetric
import myapp.abstract_metrics

class UserMetric(abstract_metrics.UserBaseMetric):
uid   = "users"
title = "Users"

## Todo

The following features are planned for future versions of django-analytics:

1. Custom visualisation integrated into Django admin back-end.

2. Hourly statistics.

3. More complex statistics, such as frequency plots/histograms.

Version

Description

0.0.1

First version

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