[pRFPv2] Request for Proposal for dedicated ENS Research, Development & Analytics Hover Group

Status: TempCheck


Overview:

Requesting ENS DAO for an RFP to establish a dedicated Research, Analytics & Development (RDA) Hover Group (HG)

Hover Group:

A Hover Group (HG) is a distributed (sub)working group that resides within a working group (WG) for all administrative purposes, in addition to the responsibility of coordinating on common goals outlined within the framework of the hover group.

Structure:

Maximum of 4 dedicated members, one per WG, aligned with the goals of RDA HG and the native WG.

Appointment:

  • One elected Steward by the DAO
  • Up to three more members elected by the Stewards of all WGs by an internal vote

Scope of Work:

The full scope of work under this hover group is as follows:

  • Analytics
    RDA is responsible for the gathering of intel and analytics of all things pertinent to ENS and ENS DAO under one roof. This includes ENS Tools, ENS Leaderboard, ENS Sales Bot, ENS Dashboard, ENS Dune Dashboard etc. RDA should also actively seek to pull raw data from third-party providers such as ShowKarma pertaining to user, delegate and contributor engagement. Besides the already existing data hooks mentioned above, RDA must also actively seek to pull, archive & analyse data pertaining to off-chain and on-chain votes, ENS token dispersion, Discourse data, Discord data and Twitter analytics. The aim of this exercise is to equip the DAO with all the necessary data and information required in its several decision-making processes.

  • Research
    RDA is responsible for briefing all working groups with data-driven approaches to streamline ENS DAO. One example of a duty of RDA toward ENS DAO is to formulate a dynamic and machine-generated model for capturing reputation and health of DAO delegates, stewards and contributors. Currently, most reputation models are static, manual, rudimentary and gameable. An ideal reputation should not be gameable or static. In this context, RDA should look into already existing approaches such as classic Hedonic modelling & regression and Hedonic-AI regression to rid us of manual and gameable models; this is possible but needs dedicated work to formulate training datasets (for Hedonic-AI) and quantifiable data for fitting (classic Hedonic). This work requires devising detailed semi-annual surveys to capture the state of ENS (at the very least) in consultation with the ENS DAO community and contributors. The result of this undertaking should be to provide the DAO with actionable intel during elections (e.g. reputation & health of candidates) and other relevant decision-making processes. RDA is also responsible for actively assessing threats to ENS and propose ideas to make the DAO resistant to risk and volatility; an example of this is to devise practical ways of reducing dead vote count, off-boarding process for delegates & contributors, and suggesting improvements to governance model.

  • Development
    RDA is responsible for keeping an active tab on the overall DAO ecosphere beyond the realms of ENS. This requires making sure that ENS is present at global Ethereum conferences and proactively looking out for ways to improve itself. It was a bit underwhelming to see no ENS presence at ETHAmsterdam while it clearly being one of the most famous and respected DAO. RDA is responsible for ensuring ENS’s sponsorship in Hackathons, ENS’s presence on panels, workshops and speaker lists. ENS should lead the way in how-to-DAO. RDA should also seek to foster DAO2DAO relations where the principle of public goods is a common theme; there are many DAOs with the same aligning ideology as ENS, where ENS has the possibility to engrain itself in other crucial ecosystems thereby increasing its public good footprint.

Selection Criteria:

  • Demonstrated ability to parse all forms and sorts of data, and be able to suck every drop of information out of it, aka be an expert in Data Analytics
  • Be able to push the envelope of ENS DAO and enlarge its public good footprint
  • Be able to contribute toward the common goals of HG as well as native goals of at least one WG
  • Every line of code must be open-source

Budget:

  • Operational: Up to USDC 50,000/year per WG
  • Other: Travel to conferences, sponsorship of Hackathons and other activities within the scope of this proposal

Timescale:

  • 6-9 months to ramp on to full throttle

TempCheck

Should ENS form a dedicated Research, Development & Analytics Hover Group as outlined above?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters


Please suggest changes or additions to this RFP in the comments! This pRFP is work in progress!

PS. Please remember to state your objections below in comments so the pRFP can be improved!

After some consideration I’m changing my vote from yes to no. I like the idea of having one group do analytics for the entire DAO as opposed to several groups which would make it more difficult to do cross-analysis, but it could reside in the Meta-Governance WG rather than be a hover group.

2 Likes

While Research and Analytics could indeed reside in Meta-Governance, I am afraid Development is a broader and different field that might not fit into the same box. Thank you for your input though; it is worth considering to split Research & Analytics from Development perhaps?

Is there a reason why analytics, research and development can’t be split into three different groups?

1 Like

They surely can! Worth considering. I will think on this as I get more input from others. I have taken note of it :slightly_smiling_face:

4 Likes

Can you provide more clarity on your thoughts here?

I don’t understand whether you are requesting a single subgroup or a new working group? If you are requesting a subgroup, there would never be a single subgroup that would deal with everything covered above.

It might make more sense to break these ideas up into separate subgroup requests for the relevant WG stewards to consider.

2 Likes

I agree.

@inplco, why did you collect those three items into one proposal? what’s the connection between them?

1 Like

@alisha.eth @neiman

I am proposing creating one subWG within each WG that dedicates itself to Research, Development and Analytics. I called it Hover (sub)Group(s) since this group hovers over all others with its common theme but resides within WGs technically. I tried to bring it under one umbrella since most of the work under Research & Analytics will likely have

  • lots of overlap,
  • a common theme, and
  • require similar skillset,

even if they originate from different WGs. To maximise cross-talk among WGs, I wanted to give the Hover Group some form of unified framework to work with. This is not true for Development though, which can exist independently within each WG.

I intend to form all Hover (sub)Group|(s) at the same time since your proposed process of consulting with the stewards is a gigantic waste of time; this is simply because less than half of 20 stewards in total actually have a clue of what’s going on in the DAO and in their own WGs. One is more likely to find a random informed member here on Discourse who knows a lot more than an elected steward who is lost. This is especially true for Meta-Governance where most of Research & Analytics will reside. I am afraid this proposal will not see the light of the day if I started going around following stewards; I could yet be arsed into doing the following but again I might hit a roadblock in form of a steward who doesn’t have material time and can only accommodate one hour per week at a fixed time. I will urge you to discard web2 ways of overt bureaucracy in favour of efficiency. This is especially relevant since I want the DAO to have actionable intel during the Q3/4 elections to be held in 6 weeks instead of waiting for good stewards to get elected. We need to cut down on sending people who mean to work on errands to suit those who do not.

Research and Analytics are two sides of the same coin and they will likely go hand in hand (as it already becomes clear while reading the two sections on ‘Research’ and ‘Analytics’). Development can surely exist independently though, so it makes sense to at least separate that.

1 Like

The question is what are you proposing? If it’s a specific research project, then yes, you’re research is data-driven. But if it’s a general “research” subgroup, then there’s plenty of protocol/crypto research that has nothing to do with data.

The same goes the other way around. You plan to use analytics for research so it’s related to you, but there are plenty of other usages of analytics that has nothing to do with research.

2 Likes

Ah I see. I only mean data analytics related research in context of ENS DAO and DAO Governance, so far. Protocol level or crypto research is so far not foreseen in this proposal but I do not doubt that it is also worth considering in the longer run.

To the extent that you are requesting the formation of subgroups, this is not an RFP and does not require a DAO-wide vote. Subgroups are formed by stewards of WGs. A request should be made to the stewards of each WG where you would like to form a subgroup or subgroups - see rule 4.5.4 of the WG Rules from EP4.

To form a subgroup, you can create individual subgroup requests in the relevant WG categories of the forum or otherwise request the formation of the subgroups on a WG call with the stewards. It’s not as cumbersome as you are suggesting.

I still don’t understand what you are proposing. Is there a way you can visualize how you see these subgroups interacting?

It seems that you would like to prioritize a DAO analytics subgroup, so the DAO has information in time for the next steward elections. If you value expediency, the fastest and most expedient approach is to make a request to the MetaGov stewards to form a subgroup. If you did this, I suspect you could have that subgroup up and running very quickly.

3 Likes

I agree that forming an analytics and research sub-group in the Meta-Governance workgroup would be an appropriate place for it. Development might need to reside in a different workgroup, depending on what exactly you had in mind for it, but that might be a good thing, allowing data acquisition and analysis to focus on only that :slight_smile:

1 Like

@alisha.eth @Cthulu.eth

I am now inclined to agree that fastest way to get something meaningful out in less than 6 weeks is through an expedited request for Research & Analytics subWG in Meta-Gov. I will draft a proposal for that in the Meta-Gov WG.

Yes, absolutely. I was in fact thinking of making a graphic. Be back with it later.

Thank you all for your inputs and for engaging!

1 Like

Do you know the approval process for a Subgroup in the Meta-Gov WG? I couldn’t find it written anywhere.

No. I am going to wing it and hope it sticks :innocent:

2 Likes

It would be great to have an understanding of who would be part of this group, full time/part time contributors and their credentials/background? I echo a few of the comments in this thread regarding any specific milestones/outcomes and their delivery of this group

2 Likes

My thoughts on this question when drafting this were as follows:

The HG will have 4 members, one for each WG (as shown in the schematic). First, the DAO will elect a Steward from public nominations who must meet the following criteria:

  • Proven mastery of Data Analytics by virtue of a degree in Natural Sciences, Computer Sciences, Mathematics, or proven work experience in Data Analytics
  • Provide a roadmap for the RDA Hover Group for a period of 1 year at least in their nomination
  • Be able to commit equivalent of at least half-time work (make it full time?)
  • Be ready to engage with the wider web3 and DAO community on matters of intelligence and development in general and during conferences
  • Be able to function autonomously and lead the ENS DAO Research, Analytics and Development (Hover) Group
  • Be a good programmer/coder with strong knowledge of Data Analytics toolsets (Python, R, MatLab, C; more the merrier)

This criteria is pretty much aligned with what one would expect from the Director of R&D of any $1B+ organisation. Compensation will have to be agreed upon by the DAO according to the chosen time commitment.

Data Analytics requires a longer runway since the deliverables do not come continuously but in discrete packages. I therefore recommend that this HG elect the Steward no more than once per year, i.e. 1 year term. The Steward will reside in the Meta-Governance by default since most of the work related to this HG is expected in Meta-Governance, although this doesn’t have to be written in stone.

The elected Steward will then open nominations for 3 more contributors. The Stewards of all WGs (20 + 1) will then vote internally to appoint the said 3 contributors; this should be internal since stewards know best who three will complement their work the best. There is significant flexibility in these roles and this should be taken advantage of since these roles should cover three remaining WGs and fit in their home WGs to some extent. It’ll be nice to have a Social Scientist in the ranks who resides in the Community WG. Ecosystem WG could have a resident protocol researcher and developer. Public Goods WG could have an Impact Researcher helping ENS with DAO2DAO relations. It’ll be reasonable to expect them to commit to equivalent of half-time “employment” at least.

This is all very subjective of course, which is why I didn’t put it in the proposal at the start.

1 Like

This could be a naive perspective, but I’m not sure if this type of position requires multiple half-time+ contributors, or if it’s more like a heavy up-front lift followed by lower effort maintenance over time.

For example, I imagine location-based data of .eth users could be valuable in event coordination, community building, steward election, etc. I’m happy to contribute relevant data from the ETH Leaderboard database, which was/would be a heavy lift to set up, but then the data would flow regularly without much maintenance.

For some brainstorming on how this data might be useful, here’s some location data I pulled this morning based on the location field of .eth Twitter accounts:

  • 4,700+ .eth Twitter accounts in California
  • 2,700+ .eth Twitter accounts in New York
  • 1,100+ .eth Twitter accounts in Texas
  • 750+ .eth Twitter accounts in Ontario
  • 400+ .eth Twitter accounts in Paris
  • 300+ .eth Twitter accounts in Vancouver
  • 200+ .eth Twitter accounts in Quebec
2 Likes

It’ll be heavy lifting up-front followed by low maintenance as far as the Ecosystem Analytics is concerned.
In Meta-Gov and Protocol research, I expect it to maintain tempo since that is the innovative front of ENS.

4 Likes

Thank you for the extra information here - I am assuming the requirements you listed fit your personal profile? What of the other three contributors profile wise? And I do agree with some of the comments here re better detail on full time/part time for the scope of work? Compensation would also be interesting to benchmark and understand what the qualifications may be in terms of better Ecosystem Analytics? What is the plan on tooling here - develop from scratch? There are already tools being developed by Gitcoin DAO regarding steward and workstream health so I feel some better research of current tooling vs blanket “it’s all inferior” might be more productive? Collaborating with others is in line with this DAOs values, its principles and its mission.

I would also love to see more milestone/deliverable info on short/de/long term to better assess the timeliness, staffing and future budgeting for this group.

Also not sure how this fits into the scope? How are you going to ensure presence at conferences? Surely that’s a community and ecosystem WG discussion/collab. A better conversation with these working groups - even though there is a distinct resentment towards stewards flowing throughout this whole thread - would be far more productive in my opinion. Too broad a scope can lead to mediocre outcomes as we all know being spread too thin does not yield acceptable results.

Looking forward to continuing a productive conversation to the benefit of the DAO and all its members.

1 Like