Some early FaultCat thoughts

Thanks so much to everyone who gave their opinions on FaultCat over the past couple of months (and everyone involved in this process, all the way back to Open Data Day last year!) :slight_smile:

Together we’ve turned text-based problem statements into categorised faults for around 75% of all computers we’ve recorded.

We’re still collating and cogitating, but we wanted to share some early indications. We are in the process of tidying these up, doing a bit of charting, and putting them in to a blog post soon.

If you’ve got any questions or thoughts, add them to the thread! Thanks to all the feedback so far. In addition to looking at relative numbers of faults, we’ll also be reflecting on the faults we have in the list (and what it means to be a fault!)

(p.s. we’re also working on a new little task for this year’s open data day, keep your eyes peeled for news on that)

Top faults

Specifically for laptops, these are the top four types of fault, together making up 50% of all the faults for laptops.

  • Performance - 18%
  • Battery/power - 13%
  • Integrated screen - 10%
  • Internal storage - 9%

Success rates at fixing

The repair success rate across all laptop faults is 54%.

The success rates for the top faults are:

  • Performance - 73%
  • Power/battery - 36%
  • Integrated screens - 33%
  • Storage - 74%

Some thoughts

Performance-related problems have a high fix rate - probably as the root cause is often a software issue, or the laptop simply needs an upgrade of standard parts (storage drive or memory - fairly standard on older laptops, at least…), or maybe an OS refresh.

It’s interesting to compare battery, screens and storage. They often require spare parts (not always though - the root cause could be a software issue rather than hardware).

But comparing them - replacement storage is cheap, standardised, and usually fairly easy to access, relatively speaking, for older laptops. Hence a good success rate on storage issues. As these also become less standard and harder to access in newer laptops (soldered in place, etc), we will likely see these success rates go down.

Batteries and screens are not standard parts. They are less easy to find the right part, and the cost can be high. Batteries are easier to get to (on older laptops at least). Screens are usually hard to access.

So better availability/pricing of parts, and ease of access/disassembly (along with the repair manuals to go along with that), would certainly help in these cases - nearly 1 in 4 of the laptops we see.

What are your thoughts?