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Background: PersonasMetabase vs Wikidata


Metabase is a platform developed by Wikimedia Sverige and built on Wikibase, the software powering Wikidata. Metabase aims to compile structured information about the vast material developed by the Wikimedia affiliates across the world. E.g. the different projects, partnerships, documents and media material that have been created and developed over the years. We envision that there will be a Metabase support team, which can assist the personas below with both data extractions and data entry as needed.

This structured information will make it possible to search for the material in an unprecedented way to improve analysis and sharing of knowledge between different actors in the global Wikimedia movement. Further insights can be gained by utilizing federated queries to combine the data from Metabase with Wikidata. This will save time and effort and help to avoid duplication of work and also provide inspiration for similar projects and activities in your country.

To better be able to understand the different use cases for Metabase – what data has most value and what support will be needed – a number of personas have been developed. They are based on real people, but are generalized to be more broadly representative of staff in the Wikimedia movement. The focus here is on how the person can use the platform and consume the information, not how they can contribute with structured information on Metabase.

The document is intended to both help the Metabase team to prioritize what material to include and what type of support and documentation that should be provided.

Personas for Metabase


Anna-Maria, 36, is the organizational assistant and fundraising expert at a European Wikimedia chapter. Anna-Maria has a background with fundraising and has worked most of her life in civil society organizations. She is aiming to deepen her understanding on how to run an office successfully as well as to innovate on how the Wikimedia movement earns its money.

Anna-Maria has not used or contributed to Wikidata, and is not familiar with SPARQL, so she will communicate her needs directly to the support team. Her requests will be done at regular intervals during the year, e.g. in connection with the end-of-the-year reporting. Support structures should ensure that extra capacity is available at these times.

Goals for usage
  • Finding relevant best practice documents for financial and office management.
    • Questions/requests they might want to ask Metabase:
      • What affiliates have worked with fiscal sponsorships and published something about it? Provide a list with affiliate names, links to related documents and the responsible staff member.
  • Identifying case studies and reports outlining different types of fundraising efforts done in the Wikimedia movement.
    • Questions/requests they might want to ask Metabase:
      • What has been written about online fundraising? Are there any reports or case studies connected to fundraising/outreach in this way?


Jamila, 39, is a project manager in a Wikimedia chapter in North Africa. She has a strong background in civil society and online learning materials and loves to meet people. She develops different types of learning material for staff and volunteers – she thinks it is important to ensure that the material includes concrete examples of what has been tried and tested before. She also tries to avoid reinventing the wheel by reusing different types of learning resources that have already been developed. She is frustrated that it is so hard to find information about what of the material that is actually up to date and what material is available in different languages that are of relevance for the learning products she is developing. She is also keen on making sure that other civil society organizations are aware of and can reuse relevant material.

Jamila has limited experience working with Wikidata and the different external tools. As she supports the entire organization with development of training material the requests will cover all types of material. Most often the support that she needs is not time constrained, but there is likely to be a constant feed of new requests. It is important that she learns how to adjust the existing SPARQL query examples herself.

Goals for usage
  • Finding examples of initiatives that can exemplify the points made in the learning materials she is developing as well as video and other media to illustrate it. Keywords and themes are ways she hopes to identify them.
    • Questions/requests they might want to ask Metabase:
      • What YouTube videos or blog posts in English or Swedish are covering Phabricator usage? The resources must be created after a certain date, when a major update changes the front end.
  • Finding educational resources produced by others that can be easily adapted to her chapter's needs or straight-on re-used and save her work.
    • Questions/requests they might want to ask Metabase:
      • What tutorials or slide decks on uploading GLAM content on Wikimedia Commons have been published by other chapters?
  • Finding reports from her own and other chapters' educational projects from which she can learn about common pitfalls and challenges that she can keep in mind when preparing her own educational resources.
    • Questions/requests they might want to ask Metabase:
      • What final reports from projects focused on education have been published, and where? It's important to be able to narrow down the selection to those covering specific Wikimedia platforms, like Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, etc.
  • When in discussion with other civil society organizations she wants to quickly be able to identify relevant material that could inspire them and help them become more efficient.
    • Questions/requests they might want to ask Metabase:
      • What GDPR instructions or policies have been created by Wikimedia organizations since 2021?


Mogens, 49, is the Executive Director for a Wikimedia chapter in Northern Europe. As an international politics geek with an academic background in humanitarian aid and international relations he is especially interested in ensuring that the work done by the chapter can easily be reused by both volunteers and other affiliates globally. The Wikimedia affiliate he is working at has been around for over 15 years and has had staff for 10 years. Over the years the organization has executed on many dozens of projects and has produced hundreds of documents connected to the projects (reports, training material, blog posts etc.). Mogens handles both reporting and analysis as part of his day-to-day job as well as developing new projects and concepts. For the later tasks he is often looking for specific information to supplement a new initiative. Furthermore he develops many of the new guidelines and policies, in close partnership with the chapter's board.

He has edited Wikidata for many years, but is not a heavy user nor skilled with the many external tools that exist. His knowledge of SPARQL is limited to the use, but not creation, of queries. He does not have the time needed to deepen his knowledge in the near term and would need ongoing assistance to compile the information when needed. He often needs support with semi-short deadlines just 1-2 weeks away.

Goals for usage
  • Identifying projects and other initiatives that could be adjusted for the national context of the affiliate he leads.
    • Questions/requests they might want to ask Metabase:
      • Give me a list of all projects and events that have been organized, by any affiliate, focusing on drone photography.
  • Identifying partner organizations in other countries that have worked with Wikimedia affiliates and could potentially join new international projects he is working on.
    • Questions/requests they might want to ask Metabase:
      • Give me a list of all partnerships with IGOs globally. The list should include the name of IGO, when the partnership took place, where it took place, with what Wikimedia organization, what the focus was, any connected documents or other materials, any contact person.
  • Analyzing specific information for developing both quarterly plans as well as multi-year plans for his affiliate, such as reports and evaluations by similar affiliates.
    • Questions/requests they might want to ask Metabase:
      • Give me a list of all yearly plans for 2023, by affiliates with a staff of 5-15 people that were founded more than 5 years ago.
  • Identifying policy documents and guidelines from other affiliates that can be used as inspiration when developing similar documents for his own organization.
    • Questions/requests they might want to ask Metabase:
      • Which affiliates have both a travel policy and an environmental policy. Give me a list of all the documents. Which one was officially approved by the board first?


Tatyana, 27, is a project manager in a Wikimedia chapter in Eastern Europe. Tatyana has a background with political work and is an avid reader. At the chapter she works with both political lobbying and through the Helpdesk initiative she coordinates hands-on support for affiliates and volunteers that are interested in forming content partnerships.

Tatyana has contributed information to Wikidata for years and can also create simple SPARQL queries. In her position she receives requests of all types and must coordinate with many stakeholders to identify material. Her time to add the data herself is limited, but she should be able to meet with the Metabase support team regularly to share priorities of what material is often asked for, so that the team can make targeted efforts to support the requests by collating the data. The material that is relevant to be added based on the specific Helpdesk request has been identified by the Helpdesk working group(s). The Metabase support team would work with Tatyana to add structured data about material that is covering a topic that someone has searched for and sent a question to the Helpdesk about.

Goals for usage
  • Identifying both key arguments used by other affiliates in their contacts with politicians and to identify supporting research to convince politicians about our point of view.
    • Questions/requests they might want to ask Metabase:
      • Give me all documents on the topics with the two keywords AI and Lobbying as well as all events on these topics that have video recordings or notes.
  • Providing relevant and up-to-date material connected to the different questions to the Helpdesk.
    • Questions/requests they might want to ask Metabase:
      • I want a list with all partnerships done the last 3 years with modern art museums, including information on whom to contact about these partnerships. (The hope is to understand the different approaches to work with an institution with a lot of tricky copyright issues.)
  • Identifying what key material is most often requested through the Helpdesk but not updated and/or available in relevant languages to answer the request.
    • Questions/requests they might want to ask Metabase:
      • Give me a list of all documents in English, French or German that have been created in the last 3 years regarding content partnership or events with modern art museums.


Lucia, 43, is a project manager in a Wikimedia chapter in South America. She works with GLAM partnerships and outreach, coordinating content upload projects, as well as organizing training sessions and edit-a-thons for both GLAMs and volunteers. In her daily work, she has contact with a large number of current, past and potential partners. An important aspect of her work is maintaining good relationships with past partners and encouraging them to continue their contributions to the Wikimedia platforms, as well as identifying new potential partners and possibilities to expand the chapter's network.

Lucia has basic Wikidata skills and is able to modify existing SPARQL queries to her needs. She will mostly need to use Metabase once or twice a year in order to get an overview of the recent activities and identify thematic areas and partners to work with in the upcoming year.

Goals for usage
  • Compiling data regarding the chapter's partnerships.
    • Questions/requests they might want to ask Metabase:
      • Which GLAMs has the chapter worked with in the last year? How many events have been organized together, like edit-a-thons, seminars or workshops? What locations did the events take place in, and are there locations where the chapter clearly organized the majority of the events?
  • Identifying past partnerships that have a potential for revival.
    • Questions/requests they might want to ask Metabase:
      • Give me a list of previous GLAM partners of the chapter where there has been no activity in the last three years. Provide the thematic keywords for each project, as well the name of the chapter employee who was responsible for it.


Tim, 53, is in charge of financial matters and is to a large extent working on organizational development at a North American Wikimedia chapter. Tim loves math, structures, programming and excel sheets and has a PhD in theoretical physics. They have vast experience in structuring data and to analyze it. A key part of their job is to compile and share information with different staff members about financial matters, including how spending and costs in a project compare to other initiatives and what costs to expect. They also work on developing how-to-guides and best practices for the association.

Tim has all the practical knowledge of how to extract the information from Metabase, but often lacks time and has very specific requests with short deadlines. The requests are similar in scope and often recurring, so detailed documentation on the SPARQL queries is worth some time investment. Preparatory support to set up the queries and documentation would be valuable.

Goals for usage
  • Compiling data regarding different metrics for reports and evaluations.
    • Questions/requests they might want to ask Metabase:
      • Which events organized by our affiliate have metrics added? Which ones are missing information which should be compiled and added? What was the total for each metric reported in a given year? How does it compare to other years.
  • Identifying documents developed by other affiliates that could be repurposed to be used by his affiliate, e.g. about how different tools are being used.
    • Questions/requests they might want to ask Metabase:
      • Give me a list of all documents covering the CRM systems used by Wikimedia organizations around the world.