How Dune helps OP Labs to power ecosystem growth and transparency
OP Labs’ mission is to scale the world computer through innovation and open source design. As a core contributor to the Optimism protocol, they faced two important challenges: defining a North Star metric to guide the Optimism ecosystem's growth and evaluating their grant program's effectiveness. In both instances, they turned to Dune for solutions.
Defining a North Star Metric
The Foundation team at Optimism Collective first hypothesized that the key to their ecosystem’s growth was not simply the number of wallets or transactions, but rather the expansion of active builders. However, tracking this metric proved challenging. Traditional methods, such as counting distinct contract creators, were fraught with noise and inconsistency. As Michael Silberling, a Data Analyst at OP Labs and a well-known data analyst in web3, put it - “Every raw metric is as bad as it is misleading”. The challenge was to find a rigorous way to measure the desired metric – active developers, i.e. humans deploying apps that people use on Optimism – in a way that was resistant to noise and spam.
Dune's platform enabled them to quickly conduct iterative exploratory analysis, providing the tools necessary to filter out the noise and focus on the real, active developers that met their criteria. This was possible from the start, as the data was readily available for analysis on Dune via our near-real-time, expansive data. Dune has 35,000 decoded data tables across 13 different chains and they are growing every hour with an automated decoding process and help from the community. Without Dune, the team would have had to set up their own customized Ethereum ETL pipeline, find a node to connect to, and let things run; a process that would have taken a significant amount of time.
“Without Dune, we need to build another Dune internally.” – Michael Silberling
Dune's robust platform allowed OP Labs to identify and filter out things like self-destruct contracts, repeated deployments of the same contracts, and small contracts deployed around big announcements like airdops. Thus, OP Labs was able to establish a clear, reliable metric for tracking active builders, a critical factor in the growth of the Optimism ecosystem. This metric now informs both daily operations and larger strategic decisions within the organization. With the “schedule dashboard refresh” feature, the data team is able to keep the important data always fresh and up to date.
P.S. You can see the developer metrics dashboad here on Dune.
Distributing Grants More Effectively via Building Measurement Pipeline with Dune’s API
The second challenge was evaluating the effectiveness of the grants initiated by Optimism to incentivize activity and growth within the ecosystem. While the team knew the grant amount and could track when tokens were claimed by a recipient, they lacked visibility into what happened once the tokens left the recipient's address.
First, the data team at OP Labs used Dune to build 'Spells', custom data abstraction layers that allowed them to track and analyze the movement and impact of the granted tokens. Then, they wrote simple Dune API utility functions to systematically pull needed data into their measurement process. By combining Dune's data with information from DefiLlama and a public Notion page for grant metadata, the team was able to track the success metrics per OP.
This data-driven approach provided a clearer picture of the impact of the grants, including incremental transactions and ETH fees associated with each OP distributed. The insights derived from this analysis are shared publicly with the Optimism community on a monthly basis, fostering transparency and engagement. These updates can be found on the Optimism governance forum.
Dune has enabled OP Labs to track and evaluate the effectiveness of their Optimism grants, providing valuable insights that drive strategic decision-making and community engagement.
Dune has proven to be an invaluable asset for OP Labs, effectively replacing the need for full-time data engineers, which has streamlined operations and optimized resource allocation. More importantly, Dune's platform enabled the data team to generate critical insights that shape the strategy and direction of Optimism, fostering a collaborative environment with other functional teams within the Optimism Collective.
Learn more about how to leverage our data solutions to propel your organization forward. For a custom solution designed for your unique business needs, contact us. Use Dune’s data to inform your strategic decisions and grow your ecosystem.