Exploding Coffee » Student Study Statistics


The student run part of the Engineering Physics Department at Chalmers University of Technology has several smaller groups dedicated to different tasks.

One of these is VBL (Veckobladeriet, translating [very] roughly to "weekly leaflet makers") that are in charge of gathering and archiving lectures, problems, exams, solutions, and the like.

Several years ago my SO was part of this and one of the things she did was get some logging on the site. Nothing much was done with this until much later, towards spring of 2013, when the existence of this data was rediscovered and handed to me to do something fun with.

Now, a few years after that, the site has been reworked and the traffic no longer flows through the old logging system. (See below).


The following statistics used to be automatically fetched and updated daily, and are produced by a set of python modules I wrote to output the graphics shown below.

[Note: These images are in SVG format. This should really not be an issue any more, but if they look strange/low resolution/etc you probably need to update your browser.]

Visitors are counted in the form of unique addresses, with traffic from spiders of Google and MSN ignored. This traffic data should be pretty reliable and correspond to actual visitors using the VBL resources.

Visitors per Hour

This chart shows the number of visitors per hour across 24 hours. The values here are the average for 2013, though while the updates where daily the values were of the most recent months.

The colors were arbitrarily chosen to indicate time of day, and the maximum value is written out at the hour it occurs.

Note that the sections in the chart are created with area proportional to the number of visitors, so that the visual interpretation is actually correct.

Visitors per Day

This is the main graph created and shows the number of unique (nominally) visitors per day, by year.

The counts are shown with a green bar on normal weekdays and blue on weekends. As expected, there's definitely less studying on weekends.

During exam periods the colors are switched to orange and purple. You can clearly see trends of increased studying leading up to exams and then a sharp drop afterwards.

Red markings below the baseline show a lack of visitors, which is generally caused by site downtime or logging failure rather than lack of actual traffic.

Months are marked with a tick and the number, and you can clearly see the summer months of june and july.

Additionally, the top value of each exam period is marked and the count written out. Exact numbers are generally left out but for the curious the scale is two visitors per vertical pixel.

Going by these numbers 2013 was clearly the peak, and I will claim some credit for the rise in visits as these graphs were published in the section newspaper somewhere around May of 2013.

Sadly though it was not long after that (around mid 2014) that the site started being slowly migrated to a new version without the logging.


As a final chart I was curious about the sources of traffic, since the logging happened to save the referer header. These are shown here.

The "ftek" sites are the institution's student sites and take up about two thirds of the traffic. Google comes in second with most of the remaining third and bing comes in a distant fourth after facebook.