Web analyticspres -am-long


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Introductory presentation on web analytics for CMG events

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Web analyticspres -am-long

  1. 1. An Introduction to Web Analyticsfor Performance Analysts and Capacity Planners Anna Long Founder and Principal Analyst Web AnalyticaSM 1
  2. 2. Agenda• Introducing Web Analytics• How Marketers Use Web Analytics• How You Can Use Web Analytics for Performance Management and Capacity Planning 2 1-2
  3. 3. Defining Web Analytics “Web Analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of Internet data for the purposes of understanding and optimizing Web usage.” -- Web Analytics Association Standards Committee, 2008 3
  4. 4. Today’s Web Analytics Technologies1. Web server logging (Microsoft Internet Information Services, Apache Web Server)2. Page tagging (Adobe SiteCatalyst, Google Analytics) 4
  5. 5. 1. Web Server Logging – How Does it Work?• Web servers such as Apache or Microsoft IIS record activity as they receive and fulfill requests.• Web servers provide general-purpose logging at a very detailed level.• To prepare the data for analysis, the web team must clean and organize log records – a big job! 5
  6. 6. Web Server Logging – A Log Record Example IP Address Timestamp - - [26/Feb/2001:15:34:52 -0600] "GET / HTTP/1.0" 200 8437 Status and Bytes "http://xyz.com/crawler?category=dimensional +modeling" "Mozilla/4.5 [en] (Win98; I)"Request Referring Page Example log record from Sweiger2002 6
  7. 7. Web Server Logging – Processing ComplexitiesWeb server log records are difficult to mapaccurately to user activity:• One page request generates multiple log records.• The server writes activity to the log as it transmits each webpage component.• The server interleaves records for different page component requests as it completes each one.• Hosting webpage components on multiple servers requires combining the logs from all servers.• Web 2.0 technologies such as AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) add further complexity. 7
  8. 8. Web Server Logging – Making Sense of It AllSeveral characteristics of web server logginglimit its usefulness for analyzing website useractivity: • The granularity of recorded activity is frequently non-optimal -- either too fine or too coarse. • IP addresses do not always map to unique visitors. • Server logs lack visibility into client-side activity and caching. 8
  9. 9. 2. Webpage Tagging – How Does It Work?User clicks a link to The web analyticsrequest a webpage server stores data for subsequent analysisWeb server deliversrequested webpage JavaScript tagwith imbedded execution createstagging code cookies and sends(usually a logging info to a webJavaScript snippet) analytics server 9
  10. 10. Webpage Tagging – A JavaScript Tag Example<script type="text/javascript"> Account Number var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push([_setAccount, UA-12345-1]); _gaq.push([_trackPageview]); (function() { var ga = document.createElement(script); ga.type =text/javascript; ga.async = true; ga.src = (https: == document.location.protocol ?https://ssl : http://www) + .google-analytics.com/ga.js; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(script)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();</script> Example JavaScript Tag from Google2010e 10
  11. 11. Webpage Tagging – Implementation ComplexitiesSeveral characteristics of web page taggingcomplicate its successful application foranalyzing website user activity:• Complex website architectures can be difficult to tag for accurate data collection.• Proper maintenance of high-volume tagging for a major online property is another big job! 11
  12. 12. Webpage Tagging – Making Sense of It AllUser activity can be difficult to mapaccurately with web page tagging records:• Tag execution can cause webpages to hang.• Users can disable cookies or JavaScript execution.• Users can delete cookies. 12
  13. 13. How Marketers Use Web Analytics Leading marketing organizations have been very successful using web analytics for: • Developing visitor profiles • Managing online marketing campaigns • Improving conversion 13
  14. 14. Developing Visitor ProfilesWeb analytics enables marketers to tailorofferings to particular visitor needs by:• Segmenting the visitor population• Developing personas• Analyzing RFM (Recency/Frequency/Monetary Value) 14
  15. 15. Managing Online Marketing CampaignsWeb analytics enables marketers to effectivelytrack online campaign performance.• Web analytics allows marketers to tag not only webpages but also the in- bound links in online marketing material that send visitors to the website.• This in-bound link-tracking enables marketers to examine in detail what brings visitors to the website and what they do once they arrive.• Marketers evaluate the in-bound and conversion data to determine the effectiveness of their campaigns. 15
  16. 16. Improving ConversionWeb analytics enables marketers to improveconversion.• Conversion is the event where the website visitor becomes a customer.• The multi-step process through which conversion takes place is a conversion funnel.• Conversion is a leaky funnel, meaning some people abandon the process – some leak out each step along the way.• Marketers attempt to improve conversion by reducing the leakage. 16
  17. 17. Sample Conversion Funnel 17
  18. 18. Sample Conversion Funnel (Part 1) 18
  19. 19. Sample Conversion Funnel (Part 2)
  20. 20. How You Can Apply Web Analytics for Performance Management and Capacity Planning (And Vice Versa)• Advising On Implementation• Enhancing Your Performance Techniques 20
  21. 21. Advising on ImplementationAs a performance analyst or capacityplanner, you may be asked to consult inareas such as: • Placing JavaScript snippets • Selecting sampling strategies • Bringing web analytics in-house 21
  22. 22. Placing JavaScript Snippets – No Optimal SolutionSnippet placement can cause problems: • Placement anywhere can slow page rendering if the analytics server is down. • Placement at the bottom can cause data to be lost when visitor leaves a page before the snippet executes. • Placement at the top can cause passing of custom variables to fail. 22
  23. 23. Selecting Sampling Strategies – Your Judgment CallPerformance, resource, or budget restrictionsdrive some organizations to data sampling.Several sampling approaches are:• Instrumenting a subset of the website• Collecting a subset of tracked events• Querying a subset during analysis 23
  24. 24. Bringing Web Analytics In-House – To SAAS or Not to SAAS?Organizations may use a SAAS architecture orkeep their web analytics in-house. An in-housesolution creates performance and capacity issues:• Bringing data storage in-house: must plan for sufficient in-house storage of collected data.• Bringing data collection, storage, and processing in-house: must plan for sufficient servers and connectivity to support in-house collection and analysis. 24
  25. 25. Enhancing Your Performance Methods “We’re From Web Analytics – We’re Here to Help!” Seriously, web analytics can provide insights to enhance performance and capacity planning activities: • Diagnosing problems • Alerting for anomalies • Creating benchmark workloads • Developing forecasts 25
  26. 26. Diagnosing ProblemsWeb analytics data can provide insights notavailable from other tools:• When a performance problem cannot be reproduced in a testbed• When performance monitors do not have the granularity or reach to see into a web application• When a mix of configuration and user characteristics causes a performance problem that other tools cannot isolate 26
  27. 27. Alerting For AnomaliesWeb analytics tools can support proactive performancemanagement by alerting for situations that could growinto performance problems.For example, managing demand when a video goes viral: • Start by setting up an alert ladder • When alerted, use web analytics data to take effective action 27
  28. 28. Creating Benchmark WorkloadsWeb analytics data can make simulated workloads amore accurate representation of operational demand.Ecommerce system example: one million purchasesper day don’t equal one million visitors per day.• Web analytics data can reveal conversion funnel patterns of ecommerce to help you produce a more realistic visitor pattern.• Web analytics data can also identify customer segments so each can be represented with its own unique characteristics. 28
  29. 29. Developing ForecastsHistorical perspectives from web analytics dataand tools can help you develop better forecastsof future system demand.• Many of the features that make web analytics so useful for benchmark development also apply to forecasting.• Because page tagging undercounts the volume of activity, use it for revealing trends and identifying customer segments. Augment that trend analysis with evaluation of web server log data to estimate volumes. 29
  30. 30. ConclusionsWeb Analytics -- they’re not just for marketing any more! • These tools should play an important role in IT management for any organization with a major web presence. • While web analytics tools traditionally support marketing, they can also be applied much more widely to manage resources. • These tools can support the work of performance analysts and capacity planners, enhancing their work products and making their projects more successful. 30
  31. 31. Anna LongFounder and Principal Analyst Web AnalyticaSManna.m.long@webanalytica.net linkedin.com/in/annamlong 126 Colchis Court Cary, NC 27513 919 349-5725 31