Part of Open edX

edX Analytics Dashboard BuildStatus CoverageStatus

Dashboard to display course analytics to course teams


Warning: You must have NPM version 5.5.1. Using another version might result in a different package-lock.json file. Committing those changes might break our deployments which use NPM 5.5.1 and expect no changes after running npm install. nodeenv or n are tools that you can use to work on different Node.js and NPM versions than your system installed versions.

We have a TODO to set-up the development environment with a Docker container so that you will not have to manage Node and NPM versions yourself.

Getting Started

  1. Get the code (e.g. clone the repository).

  2. Install the Python/Node requirements:

    $ make develop
  3. Setup your database:

    $ make migrate
  4. Run the webpack-dev-server:

    $ npm start

If you plan on running the Django development server on a different port or host, make sure to set the DJANGO_DEV_SERVER environmental variable. For example:

    $ DJANGO_DEV_SERVER='http://localhost:9000' npm start
  1. In a separate terminal run the Django development server:

    $ ./ runserver

By default the Django Default Toolbar is disabled. To enable it set the environmental variable ENABLE_DJANGO_TOOLBAR.

Alternatively, you can launch the server using:

    $ ENABLE_DJANGO_TOOLBAR=1 ./ runserver

Visit http://localhost:9000 in your browser and then login through the LMS to access Insights (see Authentication & Authorization below for more details).

Site-Wide Announcements

Site-wide announcements are facilitated by pinax-announcements. Use the admin site to manage announcements and dismissals.

Feature Gating

Need a fallback to disable a feature? Create a Waffle switch:

    $ ./ waffle_switch name-of-my-switch on --create

See the Waffle documentation for details on utilizing features in code and templates.

The following switches are available:

Switch Purpose
show_engagement_forum_activity Show the forum activity on the course engagement page
enable_course_api Retrieve course details from the course API
enable_ccx_courses Display CCX Courses in the course listing page.
enable_engagement_videos_pages Enable engagement video pages.
enable_video_preview Enable video preview.
display_course_name_in_nav Display course name in navigation bar.
enable_performance_learning_outcome Enable performance section with learning outcome breakdown (functionality based on tagging questions in Studio)
enable_learner_download Display Download CSV button on Learner List page.
enable_problem_response_download Enable downloadable CSV of problem responses
enable_course_filters Enable filters (e.g. pacing type) on courses page.
enable_course_passing Enable passing column on courses page.

Waffle flags are used to disable/enable functionality on request (e.g. turning on beta functionality for superusers). Create a flag:

    $ ./ waffle_flag name-of-my-flag --everyone --create

The following flags are available:

Flag Purpose
display_learner_analytics Display Learner Analytics links

Authentication & Authorization

By default, this application relies on an external OAuth2 provider (contained within the LMS) for authentication and authorization. If you are a developer, and do not want to setup edx-platform, you can get around this requirement by doing the following:

  1. Set ENABLE_AUTO_AUTH to True in your settings file. (This is the default value in settings/
  2. Set ENABLE_COURSE_PERMISSIONS to False in your settings file.
  3. Visit http://localhost:9000/test/auto_auth/ to create and login as a new user.

Note: When using OAuth2, the dashboard and provider must be accessed via different host names (e.g. and in order to avoid issues with session cookies being overwritten. (This was true with the use of the removed Open ID Connect, but is untested since.)

Note 2: Seeing signature expired errors upon login? Make sure the clocks of your dashboard and OAuth servers are synced with a centralized time server. If you are using a VM, the VM's clock may skew when the host is suspended. Restarting the NTP service usually resolves this issue.

Internationalization (i18n)

In order to work with translations you must have you must have gettext installed. gettext should be available via your preferred package manager (e.g. yum, apt-get, brew, or ports).


When adding or updating code, you should ensure all necessary strings are marked for translation. We have provided a command that will generate dummy translations to help with this. This will create an "Esperanto" translation that is actually over-accented English.

    $ make generate_fake_translations

Restart your server after running the command above and update your browser's language preference to Esperanto (eo). Navigate to a page and verify that you see fake translations. If you see plain English instead, your code is not being properly translated.

Updating Translations

Once development is complete, translation source files (.po) must be generated. The command below will generate the necessary source files and verify that an updated is needed:

    $ make validate_translations

If not automated, the generated files located in analytics_dashboard/conf/locale/en/LC_MESSAGES should be uploaded to the analytics-dashboard and analytics-dashboard-js resources at Transifex where translators will begin the translation process. This task can be completed using the Transifex Client:

    $ tx push -s

Once translations are completed, run the commands below to download and compile the translations:

    $ make pull_translations

Note that only the following files (for each language) should be committed to this repository:

Asset Pipeline

Static files are managed via webpack.

To run the webpack-dev-server, which will watch for changes to static files (.js, .css, .sass, .underscore, etc. files) and incrementally recompile webpack bundles and try to hot-reload them in your browser, run this in a terminal:

$ npm start

Alternatively, you can compile production webpack bundles by running (runs webpack using the prod config and then exits):

$ make static

Before committing new JavaScript, make sure it conforms to our style guide by running eslint, and fixing any errors.

$ npm run lint -s

You can also try automatically fixing the errors and applying an additional level of standardized formatting with prettier by running prettier-eslint.

$ npm run format

Note: this will only format a subset of the JavaScript, we haven't converted the formatting of all of our files yet. Edit the directory list in package.json.

Theming and Branding

We presently have support for basic branding of the logo displayed in the header and on error pages. This is facilitated by including an additional SCSS file specifying the path and dimensions of the logo. The default Open edX theme located at static/sass/themes/open-edx.scss is a good starting point for those interested in changing the logo. Once your customizations are complete, update the value of the yaml configuration setting INSIGHTS_THEME_SCSS with the path to your new SCSS file. If running Webpack manually, you will have to set the environmental variable THEME_SCSS to your file before running Webpack.

Developers may also choose to further customize the site by changing the variables loaded by SCSS. This is most easily accomplished via the steps below. This will allow for easily changing basic colors and spacing.

    1. Copy `static/sass/_config-variables.scss` to a new file (e.g. static/sass/_config-variables-awesome-theme).
    2. Modify your variable values, but not the names, to correspond with your theme.
    3. Update `static/sass/style-application.scss` to load your file immediately after loading `config-variables`.

We welcome contributions from those interested in further expanding theming support!


The code in this repository is licensed under version 3 of the AGPL unless otherwise noted.

Please see LICENSE.txt for details.

How to Contribute

Contributions are very welcome, but for legal reasons, you must submit a signed individual contributor's agreement before we can accept your contribution. See our CONTRIBUTING file for more information -- it also contains guidelines for how to maintain high code quality, which will make your contribution more likely to be accepted.

JavaScript Code Quality

JavaScript developers should adhere to the edX JavaScript standards. These standards are enforced using JSHint and jscs.


Unit Tests & Code Quality

The complete unit test and quality suite can be run with:

    $ make validate

The Python portion of this project uses nose to find and run tests. pep8 and pylint are used to verify code quality. All three can be run with the command below:

    $ make validate_python

JavaScript tests and linting can be run with the following command:

    $ make validate_js

Continuous Integration (CI) Reports

The commands above will generate coverage reports the build directory. Python reports are located in build/coverage. JavaScript reports are in build/coverage-js. Both should have a Cobertura coverage.xml file and an html directory with a human-readable HTML site.

Acceptance Tests

The acceptance tests are designed to test the application as whole (contrasted with unit tests that test individual components). These tests load the application in a browser and verify that data and elements appear as expected.

The Bash script will start the Django server and run the tests against the server. After the tests are run the server will be shutdown. Simply run the command below:

    $ ./

If you already have a server running, there is also a make task you can run instead of the script above.

    $ make accept

The tests make a few assumptions about URLs and authentication. These can be overridden by setting environment variables when executing either of the commands above.

Variable Purpose Default Value
DASHBOARD_SERVER_URL URL where the dashboard is served
API_SERVER_URL URL where the analytics API is served
API_AUTH_TOKEN Analytics API authentication token edx
DASHBOARD_FEEDBACK_EMAIL Feedback email in the footer
TEST_USERNAME Username used to login to the app edx
TEST_PASSWORD Password used to login to the app edx
PLATFORM_NAME Platform/organization name edX
APPLICATION_NAME Name of this application Insights
SUPPORT_EMAIL Email where error pages should link
ENABLE_COURSE_API Indicates if the course API is enabled on the server being tested. Also, determines if course performance tests should be run. False
GRADING_POLICY_API_URL URL where the grading policy API is served (None)
COURSE_API_URL URL where the course API is served (None)
COURSE_API_KEY API key used to access the course API (None)
ENABLE_OAUTH_TESTS Test the OAUTH sign-in process true
ENABLE_AUTO_AUTH Sign-in using auto-auth. (no LMS involved) false
ENABLE_COURSE_LIST_FILTERS Tests on filtering the course list false
ENABLE_COURSE_LIST_PASSING Tests on the passing learners column in the course list false

Override example:

    $ DASHBOARD_SERVER_URL="" API_SERVER_URL="" API_AUTH_TOKEN="example" make accept

Course Validation

In addition to the standard acceptance tests, there is also a script to validate all course pages and report their HTTP status codes. Use the command below to execute this script.

    $ make course_validation

Reporting Security Issues

Please do not report security issues in public. Please email

Mailing List and IRC Channel

You can discuss this code on the edx-code Google Group or in the edx-code IRC channel on Freenode.