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> ASL is usually the most useful data but only the L is sort of available

you are thinking in term of ads.

If instead what you want to know is, what parts of the sites do visitors stop navigating. Or which pages are seen by recurring visitors vs other pages seen mainly by new visitors. What pages are almost never visited.

Those informations don’t need ASL, the goal is not to target individuals but to profile the site and see what brings value and what might not.

> management is convinced

I think analytics are not a tool for management though, except perhaps in very broad stokes. I see it more for product owners who need a feedback tool so see the impact of what they do or have a vision of how the user uses their product.

It’s like asking management what decisions they make based on NewRelic. None surely. That’s not their job.




> you are thinking in term of ads.

I'm thinking in terms of demographics of visitors. Who's visiting, who's not visiting, why are we so big in japan, that sort of thing. My objection to analytics isn't just ads, it's sending information to a a third party behind the backs of users.

> If instead what you want to know is, what parts of the sites do visitors stop navigating. Or which pages are seen by recurring visitors vs other pages seen mainly by new visitors. What pages are almost never visited.

Those examples can be handled just fine by some trivial processing on server logs. Only the first needs a way to identify users (which analytics will also need) and the second 2 don't even need a user id in the logs. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume they were just simple examples and you want a lot more detailed information and in real time and output prettier than graphviz, why aren't you setting up a locally hosted alternative? If the data collected is truly worthwhile then it's surely worth this minimal time investment?

> That’s not their job.

That's kind of what I'm getting at, it will be mandated by someone in management or marketing but IME it's usually no ones job and nothing happens with it. Google is the only winner.


> Who's visiting, who's not visiting, why are we so big in japan, that sort of thing.

I misread your focus on ads, is it more about user aquisition perhaps ?

Government sites for instance have less of these issues IMO, as they’ll have other means, usually in person or by mail survey, to directly ask why people are not coming to the site (do they know about it ? Do they have a computer ? Can they read in the language etc)

More than anything, these sites have a captive audience so the focus can really be on improving the access to the relevant information.

> processing on server logs

I think it’s overestimating the cost and technical competency of the agency handling these websites, but also the time it would take to reimplement a log parser that surfaces all these informations user session by user session.

It definitely can be done, it’s not trivial in any way though. Compared to what some of the government websites do (they’re basically glorified wordpress sites) building a log analyser + the associated dashboard would cost more than the site itself.




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