macOS: What statistics do you collect?

As of Version 2020.5 I am happy to report that the below is no longer relevant, as the data is merely displayed and not shared.

For users of older versions, I keep this page for just a little longer:

Open Access Helper collects three statistical data points, as outlined in the Statistics tab of the Open Access Helper app. The data points are displayed for you, so you know how much the app has assisted you:

  1. How many Open Access Documents were identified
  2. How many “Highlight & Search” queries were conducted
  3. How often did you use the Proxy feature

The data is represented as a basic number, which is incremented, when one of these three features is being used.

Does this data get shared with anyone?

In Versions prior to 2020.5 and only if you have checked the “It is ok share some anonymous usage statistics with the app author“, this data is sent once a month to my server, where it is stored along with a unique identifier. The data will look like this:


As you can see, the data tells me absolutely nothing about you, but it helps me understand, which of the key features of the app are used. To give you an example, I see a number of Open Access Searches (via Highlight & Search), but I don’t know, which of the services you actually use. As a developer I would absolutely want to know, but I decided that this was more information than I needed.

The UID you are seeing is a random GUID, which the app generates. It stays the same for my app, but if another app developer used the same function to obtain this GUID, s/he would get a different number. Having a GUID can help me understand usage over time, but that’s about it.

But why?

These three data points help me understand what features to focus on. Imagine nobody ever used the Proxy Function – maybe I should remove it from the app? It is that type of information I gain, but I it was designed purposefully with as little detail as possible.

macOS: What statistics do you collect?
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