The Wikimedia Foundation's public pageview data has long been our main source for understanding which topics readers are coming to learn about on Wikimedia projects. Editors have used this information as motivation for their work on articles, and researchers have derived numerous insights from it, including about how the needs of readers and the activity of editors may sometimes diverge.
However, pageviews are a somewhat crude metric that doesn't tell us much about what happens after readers have opened an article. Little has been known about this so far, but in recent years, newer data from various sources has shed a little more light on this question. For example, this has confirmed that it is naive to assume that all or most Wikipedia readers read an article from top to bottom - rather, the lead section gets much more attention (a fact that has already informed the work of Wiki Project Med and others). I will present an overview over such results, also including some new results derived as a byproduct from data of A/B tests that the Wikimedia Foundation's Audiences department ran as part of their work on software features. E.g. it appears that Wikipedia's ubiquitous "external links" sections receive very little attention from readers on mobile devices (which by now make up the majority of Wikipedia's traffic).
This presentation is conceived with the main goal of offering editors on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects new insights on how the content that they are investing their work in is actually being used. I hope this will both help support pragmatic improvements that increase the impact of volunteer work, and general conversations about gaps between what we focus our attention on as editors, and what knowledge is most used by readers and most likely to affect their lives. I also hope that more people will become interested in this fascinating new data and raise questions that can inform further study.