3

Almost all questions (>95%) have one or more answers. Nevertheless, I assume far less than 50% are marked as solved.

How could this rate be improved?

It would be nice to see what was the best answer for the person asking (Actually it would be great to see, what worked out - or if a helping answer is still missing).

3

That's a very good question, Tobias! As we're talking about StackOverFlow, I though "heck, there should be a way to see statistics from our sites"... So a googled a bit (searching for StackExchange Statistics throws you lots of results from https://stats.stackexchange.com/, so not a good search criteria, hehe)... I found this page: https://data.stackexchange.com/

You run SQL over the StackExchange page. Just awesome!

So... digging a bit:

  • Queries with at least one answer: 2420
select count(*)
from posts
where 
AnswerCount > 0
  • Queries with an accepted answer: 1262
select count(*)
from posts
where 
AnswerCount > 0 and
AcceptedAnswerId <> 0

So, your assumption was VERY accurate. Nevertheless, I decided to play a bit with the info we could obtain here. As an Excel lover, I tried to draft some graphs to see where we can focus our efforts.

The graph below is an analysis over the total of unanswered questions x user reputation:

select p.id, ownerdisplayname, u.reputation, title, tags, viewcount, p.creationdate, answercount, count(*)
from posts p, users u
where 
AnswerCount > 0 and
AcceptedAnswerId is null and
p.owneruserid = u.id
group by p.id, ownerdisplayname, u.reputation, title, tags, viewcount, p.creationdate, answercount

Total questions unanswered

There are two clear peaks: at the near-zero reputation and near-hundred reputation.

So, now back to your original question, 'how to improve the rate of questions marked as solved', I'd say that the best we could do, as community, is to help new joiners to the community explaining the importance of marking questions as 'answered', since most of the unanswered questions (almost 80%!) are from new joiners (reputation below 50 and below 200).

Unanswered Questions Grouped

  • Great work on the statistics :) What about some kind of automatic notification after a month or so a question remains "open" and no additional answers were posted? The notification could ask if the question was solved and kindly remind to "mark it done" or to reformulate if not. – Tob May 4 '15 at 5:40
  • 1
    The supporting comment should incloude a link to the tour page: pm.stackexchange.com/tour – Tob May 10 '15 at 17:37
  • +1 Top quality analysis – Marv Mills May 12 '15 at 11:43
1

In addition to Tiagos great answer, I finally think the best way is to post something similar to the following comment on someone's first post: Definition of Done or How to really finish tasks? :

Hello and welcome to Project Management Stack Exchange, a Q&A site. Thanks for writing such a great first post. If you want to learn more about how our community works, take the tour.

  • 1
    As an aside, you can make a quick link to the tour page by using the following formatting [tour]. Putting the word "tour" in brackets in comments automatically makes it a link. Example: Take the tour. – jmort253 May 18 '15 at 4:43

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