Conventional metrics of open source projects lack the power to predict their impact. The bad news is, there is no significant correlation between open source activity metrics and project impact. The good news? There are paths forward.
Let’s start with some questions: How do you measure the impact of your open source project? What value does your project provide to other projects? How is your project important within an open source ecosystem? Can you predict your project’s impact using open source metrics that you can follow day to day?
If these questions resonate, chances are you care about measuring the impact of your open source project. On Opensource.com, we have already learned about measuring the project’s health, the community manager’s performance, the tools available for measuring, and the right metrics to use—and we understand that not all metrics are to be trusted.
While all these factors are critical in building a comprehensive picture of open source project health, there is more to the story. Indeed, many metrics fail to provide the information we need in a timely fashion. We want to use predictive metrics on a daily basis—metrics that are correlated with, and that act as predictors of, the outcomes and impact metrics that we care about.
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