Many people stopped “analyzing” web logs because of the effort required to find actionable data. It’s not unusual; people tend to avoid frustrating messes. Engineers created web analytic software (seemingly for engineers) to take the raw data a server stores in its logs and convert it into structured information, creating reports and charts. It sounds useful, but if you’ve worked with these tools, you know better.
However, with the advent of Google Analytics, this has become a thing of the past.
It is amazing how many online businesses don’t use web metrics regularly. Only one in five companies tracks customer behavior using analytical tools. Of those that do, according to Jupiter, 28% of site managers distribute reports that are generally ignored. The biggest value of the web is the ability to measure and test everything. You can even measure when there’s nothing you can do with the information.
Gartner recently wrote, “It has long been said you cannot manage what you cannot measure. Nowhere is this more true than on the web – where examining what works and what doesn’t directly influences the bottom line.”