Chancellor Eroll B. Davis Jr told the Georgia Board of Regents, “We grew essentially by a large university.” The USG gained 10,077 students (my alma mater has ~11,000) in a year. They calculate these fall term to fall term.
In the same fall term to fall term time period, in the same same university system, GeorgiaVIEW gained about 59,000 students (assumes 1/10th of 65,000 active user growth are instructors/designers). Its only 9x the system growth rate. It actually reflects a slowing in the growth rate for GeorgiaVIEW. Partly this is because we are fast approaching the number of potential users. Market penetration becomes more difficult when people are using it.
Fortunately, users will become more intelligent in their use over time. So, even though the number of users may plateau, because each user will use the system more, the amount of use will continue to increase.
Unfortunately, another DBA and I consider the number of users a more or less uninformative statistic. It looks good in news papers as its something the general public probably understands. Other numbers mean more for us:
- Hits – The count of items downloaded from the web servers. We often use hits as a measure of user activity. Unfortunately, we are only collecting this at the daily or monthly values.
- Who Is Online (Total / Active) – SQL pulls from the WIO table a count of all the rows (Total) and those whose time in the table is recent (Active). Both have issues… For example, users failing to logout and inflate the total. Active has weird spikes which suggests to me these tables are reaped every 1/2 hour or so.
- Storage – Amount of information stored by the users. For example, our storage growth is 2.23 times the previous year (slowing down from 2.25). The number of new users has largely slowed, but the amount of storage staying fairly consistent means to me the users are doing more with the system.
Amy’s presentation at BbWorld 2007 on capacity planning is a much more authoritative approach than this blog post.