Web analytics used here at the eclectic blog

Thought you might be interested in the the web analytics used on this blog; in total there are five pieces of technology collecting data and then used for performing web analysis here. They are:

  1. SiteCatalyst / Omniture – http://www.omniture.com/ – Sun standard, embedded in blogs.sun.com (and monitors all Sun websites), produces the page hits total
  2. SiteMeter – http://www.sitemeter.com/ – you can access my results yourself by simply clicking on the SiteMeter logo on this page and here’s the link: http://www.sitemeter.com/stats.asp?site=s38horkan
  3. StatCounter http://www.statcounter.com/
  4. Google Analytics http://www.google.com/analytics/
  5. ClustrMaps – http://www2.clustrmaps.com/ – simple location counter displayed as a informative graphic here’s the link to my hit counter: http://www2.clustrmaps.com/counter/maps.php?url=http://blogs.sun.com/eclectic/

Why use more than one? Frankly web analytics is more than a shaky area, none of them ever seem to catch all hits just as I’d like, nor measure them in a similar fashion, so I use differing web analytic software to ‘triangulate’ the best view possible (for instance one will count some spiders traffic as hits, whilst another won’t, frankly I want to know the difference between humans and the web crawlers, etc.). Furthermore some have functionality which the others don’t and some produce quick to see ‘snapshots’ whilst others produce detailed ‘drill-downs’.

For instance Sun’s web analytics is the same as the corporate one, so it’s enterprise grade and highly flexible, sadly this means it’s extremely large scale and quite hard to manipulate because the amount of configuration you have to do is just horrendous (but it can give you the most detail).

So SiteCatalyst / Omniture is too much hassle to produce quick updates and ClustrMaps is really eye candy for users, therefore I only really use SiteMeter for quick updates without logging in, and StatCounter and Google Analytics for more detailed, but quickly available, reports on what constitutes readers favourite articles and pages.

For 2 to 5 above you’ll need to sign up for online accounts and add the tracking code yourself, this isn’t too hard, it just takes a little time.

For 1 it’s already there on all the Sun websites and blogs, however you need to request access to the corporate Omniture / SiteCatalyst web analytics system to get access if you are a Sun blogger, then you have to learn how to use it, then you need to use something else as well (see problems I describe above, because you might prefer a quick info ‘fix’).

Most of all this is about personal preference, and what works for you; for about two years after starting blogging I was a data demon, wanting to understand and interpret the stats, and now, well I’m a little more relaxed.