As ULearn11 is just round the corner, I thought it might be a useful exercise to examine some metrics from the CORE Events system.
Although these metrics are based on a few assumptions, I believe they are fairly reflective snapshot of the education IT sector. The three assumptions I've made are:
- Traffic coming to http://event.core-ed.org is from delegates that are registered for ULearn and Learning@School conferences, and these visitors are inherently from the education sector.
- Most visitors will be browsing the site on a school supplied device, and most likely using their school network.
- You must be logged in to browse http://event.core-ed.org, so we can safely assume that all traffic is from genuine conference delegates
We use the Google Analytics platform to gather visitor metrics, and the following snapshot is based on these visitor statistics.
- Visits from September 13th 2011 to October 13th 2011
- 5,200 visitors browsing 42,000 pages on the site
- Each visitor browsed an average of 8 pages per visit, and they spend an avergae of 10 minutes on the site
So, lets move on to the more interesting stuff.
Browser statistics follow the general industry trends, and there are no major surprises over your choices of browser. Interestingly, Safari debuts at the number 3 browser, so, unless many of you use Safari on a Microsoft platform, it shows how prevalent Apple computers are becoming.
- 29.22% of you use Firefox
- 28.64% of you use Internet Explorer
- 21.57% of you use Safari
- 20.09% of you use Chrome
- Less than 0.50% of you use Opera, Camino, or Rockmelt
The majority browsers show some interesting statistics.
Of the visitors using Firefox
- 25% are using Firefox 3
- 6% are using Firefox 4
- 5% are using Firefox 5
- 25% are using Firefox 6
- 20% are using Firefox 7
- and 5% are using the beta of Firefox 8
75% of Firefox users are not using the latest version of their browser, and 31% are using an outdated version. If you are a Firefox user, check and update your browser now.
Visitors using IE as their browser:
- 0.54% are using IE 6
- 8% are using IE 7
- 73% are using IE 8
- 19% are using IE 9
The good news here is that only 8 of you are still using IE 6 (if this is you, do not pass go, or collect $200 until you have updated your browser immediately).
Unfortunately, you need to be on Windows 7 to be using Microsoft’s flagship browser, IE 9, so those of you on XP or Vista will need an OS upgrade to take advantage of a truly modern browser.
Without exception, all Safari users were using the latest major version of Safari. Either the Apple updating process is smoother, or you like to be running the latest and greatest.
Mark: Good work A+
Chrome has a mandatory updating process that is mostly invisible to the user. Almost all visitors were using the latest Chrome point release, with only a couple of stragglers.
The eternal, age-old debate of which does what and how much better. Again no major surprises here, although the Apple share is a little higher than normal, and, surprisingly, 4 of you are using Chrome OS.
- 55.94% are using a Microsoft Windows platform
- 41.53% are using a Apple Mac platform
- 1.5% are using an iPad, and 0.6% an iPhone
- 58% of you are using Windows 7
- 38% of you are using Windows XP
- 4% are using Vista
Sadly 1/3 of Microsoft visitors are using an operating system that was introduced in 2001, and if it wasn't for the introduction of netbooks, would have been dropped several years ago. If you are using XP you needed to upgrade yesterday.
- 84% are using 10.6 Snow Leopard
- 8% are using 10.7 Lion
- 8% are using 10.5 Leopard
Quite surprisingly, most of you have bucked the global trend, and haven't upgraded to the latest Apple OS, 10.7 Lion. There are still 4 of you using a PPC Mac.
Browser OS / Combination
Who is using which browser on which operating system?
- 28.64% use Internet Explorer / Windows
- 19.26% use Safari / Macintosh
- 14.65% use Firefox / Windows
- 14.45% use Firefox / Macintosh
- 12.27% use Chrome / Windows
- 7.56% use Chrome / Macintosh
- 2% use IOS (iPad and iPhone), and 9 people use Chrome on linux
So, to answer the age-old question, it appears that Internet Explorer and Windows are the dominant platforms in the education sector.
The amount of information from Google Analytics is truly staggering, and after sifting through the data I found a few interesting points.
- 3 visitors were from Nigeria, presumably looking for relatives of your recently deceased uncle?
- 75% of you returned to the site more than once
- less than 1% of you have English New Zealand set as your browser locale, 85% are using English United States
- 92% of you on desktop / laptops are using a screen resolution of greater than 1024 x 768 pixels
- 0.4% of you are reporting that you are at the Ministry of Education
- Telecom is the clear favorite ISP
- 2% of you are using mobile devices
The metrics show that the education sector is in a pretty good shape IT-wise. Apple has a greater share than the global norm, but it certainly appears that this is an education sector thing.
I will repeat the exercise before ULearn 2012, and compare the results. I hope we will see more of the legacy devices and platforms drop off the radar.
Key takeaways from this exercise are:
- Windows users should upgrade to Windows 7 immediately, which may include new hardware to allow this.
- Macintosh users should upgrade to Lion immediately. Most of your machines are Lion capable.
- Not many education sector people use mobile or tablet devices to browse the internet. Based on the number of delegates I saw at ULearn 2010 with iPads, iPhones and Android devices I'm surprised.
Nigel Hulls has had a wide-ranging web development career spanning all sectors—freelance, corporate, and government. Working as a freelancer has exposed him to many facets of the project development life-cycle, and given him the perspective to view a project from many angles.
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- Education sector state of play: what Analytics reveals - October 18, 2011