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Open Web Analytics: A Case for Sharing Website Use Data
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Open Web Analytics: A Case for Sharing Website Use Data


My 2011 National LITA Presentation. I fried my laptop right before the presentation and just revived this file from that poor machine.

My 2011 National LITA Presentation. I fried my laptop right before the presentation and just revived this file from that poor machine.

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  • Lots of people creating web content, but not getting the most simplest form of feedback….
  • Content creators – not a novel idea here -- Jeanie M. Welch, "Who Says We're Not Busy? Library Web Page Usage as a Measure of Public Service Activity," Reference Services Review 33, no. 4 (2005): 377-378.
  • 1. Educate your users; 2. explain what the data means; 3. prepare to offer more


  • 1. Open Analytics! A Case for Sharing Website Use DataTabatha Farney |University of Colorado | e:
  • 2. DefinitionsThe Basics Web Analytics“the measurement, collection, analysis andreporting of Internet data for the purposes ofunderstanding and optimizing Web usage”--(Web Analytics Association, 2008) Open Analytics“the process of sharing web analytics data withothers” – (me, 2011)
  • 3. What do Web AnalyticsDo for You?• User Behavior – How do they find your site?How do they navigate through your website?• User Engagement – How long are they on yoursite? How many pages do they view in a session?• High/Low Use Content – What are yourmost/less hit webpages?• User Technology – Are you compatible withyour users? And so much more…
  • 4. ????Who has Access to your library’s Web Analytics Data?
  • 5. Typically… Web Managers or team can access the data.…which is ok if you are a one- person army that manages the all the libraries web presences.
  • 6. However… Many libraries have multiple web presences with multiple content creators.…some of whom have no experience with web design and most likely are not familiar with web analytics.
  • 7. Case Study #1 LibGuides!• very popular tool in academic libraries• anyone with a librarian account can create online guides for a variety of uses• No HTML or Web design experience required!
  • 8. Case Study #2 Content Management Systems• Systems designed to manage websites (eg Drupal, SiteCore, etc.)• CMS users can create content or entire webpages• Depending on the system, no HTML or Web design experience necessary
  • 9. ????Who should have access to web analytics data?
  • 10. My List Content Creators Administrators Website Advisory Committees Regular reportsNeed the feedback about usage. Go Any person or groupto create better beyond that “annual involved with thecontent. Show them report.” decision makinghow their users behind the library’sinteract with the website.content.
  • 11. Sharing Web AnalyticsTips to Succeed• Give them “custom reports”• Define the data• Give them the data they need, not the entire website• Regularly share the data
  • 12. Content Creator Example Don’t be afraid to putReport Type: Page(s) Level that data in perspective by comparing it theSuggested Data Included: website averages. – Visitors – total overall, total unique, new and returning users – Links clicked – what links are being used? – Time on page – how long are users on the page? – Traffic sources – where did the user come from? – Bounce rate – who’s automatically leaving that page? – Entrances/Exits – are users are starting or leaving?
  • 13. Administrators ExampleReport Type: Website LevelSuggested Data Included: – Visitors – total overall, total unique, new and returning users – Most/Lease Popular WebpagesIf you have identified goals for your website, see if you can measure those goals with web analytics.
  • 14. Website Advisory Committees ExampleReport Type: Website Level & Page(s) LevelSuggested Data Included: – Visitors – total overall, total unique, new and returning users – Most/Lease Popular Webpages – Bounce rate – website and webpage level – Top Entrance/Exit pages – Traffic sources – User technologies
  • 15. Sharing the DataData Already Available Some systems, such as LibGuides, has built-in statistics tools accessible to account holders
  • 16. ????What’s Your Web Analytics Tool?
  • 17. Why Google Analytics? Widely recognizable web analytics tool Advanced functionality for a “free” system Has easy access to the Google Analytics Versions Data Export API Although currently in beta, this presentation uses Version 5 to demonstrate data sharing options.
  • 18. Sharing the Data Data from Web Analytics Tools The Options:1. Just give them access to your web analytics tool.2. Export the data manually.3. Automate the data export through a program.
  • 19. Share Access to your Web Analytics ToolSetup: Add all individuals to as Usersto a Google Analytics Profile.
  • 20. Share Access to yourWeb Analytics Tool (con’t) Pros Cons• After the initial setup, no • Easy to get lost or work on your part confused in Google Analytics*• Can customize the data to their own needs (no • Too much work to learn a middle interpreter) new system (potential user perception)• Create custom reports for them to directly access • User email must be a registered Google Account * If this is an issue, just share a link to a custom report.
  • 21. Manually ExportingWeb Analytics DataSetup: Retrieve a report in Google Analytics and thenexport it via CSV or TSV each time you need it.
  • 22. Manually ExportingWeb Analytics Data (con’t) Pros Cons• Don’t have to worry about • No direct PDF export (no creating accounts “pretty graphs”)• Can create custom reports • Cannot export multi- to give users exactly the tabbed custom reports in data they need one export• Users don’t have to learn • Time consuming for the a new system person managing the analytics data
  • 23. Automatic Exporting Excellent AnalyticsWhat is it?• Google Analytics MS Excel Plug-In• Free, just need a GA account• Based on Google API
  • 24. Automatic ExportingExcellent Analytics (con’t)Setup: Have to download and install the plug-in on themachine you will be accessing it from.System Requirements- Windows XP and up (sorry Mac users!)- Excel 2007 or 2010- Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 (included in MS Office Suite)- Google Analytics Account
  • 25. Automatic ExportingExcellent Analytics (con’t) How it Works… Basically, like a GA Custom Report.
  • 26. Automatic ExportingExcellent Analytics (con’t) Pros Cons• Run and save multiple • No automatic update of custom queries in one query results document • Must understand what• Build graphs in MS Excel each metric includes to share with others • Time spent on running• Don’t have to learn the queries and sharing the Google Analytics interface data• No programming required • Compatibility issues
  • 27. Automatic ExportingGoogle Analytics Export API• Google launched in 2009• Create applications that request data from a Google Analytics account• Supports applications in JavaScript, Java, .Net, or Python – so programming is required• Authentication is also required ClientLogin, AuthSub, OAuth
  • 28. Automatic ExportingGoogle Analytics Export API (con’t)Setup: LotsSteps Involved1. Select the client library & authentication method2. Implemented the authentication code and clientlibrary3. Program the getDataFeed Method (data queries)4. Share the data!
  • 29. Automatic Exporting Google Analytics Export API (con’t)How it Works…After authenticating, usersare taken to customizedGoogle Analytics reports.
  • 30. Automatic ExportingGoogle Analytics Export API (con’t)
  • 31. Automatic ExportingGoogle Analytics Export API (con’t) Pros Cons• Setup once and the data • Web server and access to updates itself scripts required• Can be designed to allow • Must be comfortable with users to interact with data advanced programming• Flexible and customizable • Depending on setup, a user accounts must be• Gives you more control created in Google over data access • Since its web based, cross browser testing necessary
  • 32. ConclusionsBefore You Start:• Empower and educate your users about web analytics• Create some starting documentation• Plan & Test• Keep it manageable for you
  • 33. References & SourcesExcellent Analytics. Analytics Developer Docs. Analytics Data Export Authorization. Dashboards with the Google Analytics Data-Export API. EcommerceDeveloper. Example:Google Analytics Data Export API with Google Chart Visualizations. jenbits.
  • 34. Q&A