Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Who is visiting my blog today?

Elementary school mathematics includes an introduction to statistics. In our Excel Math curriculum, we help elementary school kids collect, analyze and present statistical data.

Statistics: collecting, organizing, and interpreting numerical data; a mathematical-based science rather than a branch of mathematics.

Many statistical projects involve collecting data about a sample group, then analyzing and manipulating the data in order to make projections or forecasts about a whole population. Other projects look at data in different ways in order to best understand what's happening.

Today I will be provide some data about my blog visitors, using different types of display formats that we might use with our students.  From looking at several sets of data I learn that I've had around 35,000 unique visitors from 170 countries.

NOTE: You can check the counters along the left margin of the blog window to see what they indicate as you are reading this.

 Visitors (blue) and Page Views (green) by month
These bars show the visitors (and page views) we've received in the past 17 months. This is not a sample or projection; it's a count of your computers which have talked to the computers hosting this blog. You can see the number of visitors is increasing over time, with dips during school breaks (and my vacations and/or boring blog postings).
 New visitors by day over the past month

A more detailed look at a month's data shows that the visitor count dips on the weekends.

 Distribution of visitors by time zone

This chart shows a time zone map, with bars at the bottom indicating the percentage of visitors that come from each time zone. We have 10% visitors from UTC 0 (the UK), 10% from +1 (Europe) and 55% total from -5 to -8 (North America). Other data, not shown here, tells me that less than 1% of my visitors come from South America.

 Distribution of visitors by distance in miles
With this chart we can see how far you travel to visit the blog. Notice there are very few visitors coming from say 3500-4500 miles to see us. Let's see why that is.

Here's a circle with a 4000 mile radius laid on top of a global map. We can see there aren't that many people living 3500-4500 miles from San Diego. Only a few in the Andes, Brazilian Rain Forests, and perhaps a few Alaskans.

Here's a pie chart showing the distribution of our recent visitors. Now that we have discovered where our visitors come from, do we know anything else?

We can see 60% of our visitors use MS Explorer, 32% use Firefox, and 8% use Safari. The operating system data reveals that about 25% use Macs, and 60% use Windows PCs.

If I look even closer, I can see that yesterday we had several visitors using their Blackberries. This morning I looked at the blog with my iPhone just to see if I could see myself. And I could.

Ok, enough statistics for today.