Angelfish Blog

Articles and News About Digital Analytics

Should You Use Google Analytics for Your Intranet?

in Google Analytics |

Google Analytics is the most popular analytics solution globally, used by millions of websites. Even though it’s an effective solution for external websites, Google Analytics is NOT a good choice for Intranet websites. Here’s why: Google Analytics Isn’t Designed for Intranets Google Analytics is an advertising tracking platform, targeted towards marketers and advertisers. Most of the new features released in the last few years are not relevant for Intranet websites, like Remarketing, AdWords linking improvements, and DoubleClick integration. This wasn’t always the case: early versions of Google Analytics were more Intranet-friendly. But as Google Analytics has grown, the product has become more aligned with advertisers’ requirements and less Intranet-friendly. Poor Document Tracking In order to track file downloads (like PDFs), Google Analytics requires you to tag the clickable link with a JavaScript snippet. When the link is clicked, a tracking event is sent to Google’s data collection servers. Depending on your environment, setting up these tracking events can require a lot of work. But there’s a bigger problem: if someone accesses a document via a direct URL, Google Analytics won’t “see” the document has been accessed. Intranet environments commonly have direct URLs to documents embedded in both websites AND applications, which means Google Analytics isn’t able to provide an accurate count of document access. Privacy Regulations When considering data privacy, the two areas worth mentioning are the Google Analytics ToS (Terms of Service), and the data laws enforced by your Country. Firstly, the Google Analytics ToS forbids you from storing any PII (Personally Identifiable Information) within Google Analytics. This includes usernames, IP addresses, email addresses, or anything that would allow you to identify an individual. Secondly, Google Analytics’ report data is stored in Google’s cloud, and some countries have stringent limits on the types of data that can be stored in a cloud environment. Again, these laws vary by country – it’s a good idea to verify the data privacy laws enforced by your country (and industry). These regulations interfere with your ability to see how employees are using your Intranet sites. For example: if you want to see a basic list of employees that viewed your Intranet website in the past month, you won’t be able to use...

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Google Analytics + Angelfish = Data Privacy

in Google Analytics |

It’s no surprise that Google Analytics is used by a staggering number of websites around the world. Google Analytics has lots of advanced reports, looks great, and it’s free. But for all the features Google Analytics has, it doesn’t give a complete snapshot of website activity. There are a few reasons for this: Terms of Service (ToS): The Google Analytics ToS states that Personally Identifiable Information (PII) cannot be stored in Google Analytics. This includes IP Addresses, usernames, customer information, or anything that can be used to identify an end user. Data Sampling: Free Google Analytics accounts have data collection and reporting thresholds. Busy websites frequently exceed this threshold – have you ever seen the “this report is based on X% of visits” message in Google Analytics? Tracking Method: Google Analytics relies on JavaScript to track visitors. If the Javascript file doesn’t load or the tracking request is blocked, visitor activity won’t show up in Google Analytics. There’s also a lot of great information that Google Analytics doesn’t show you, like direct file downloads, stolen bandwidth, and full visitor clickpaths. The best way to overcome these limitations is to use another web analytics product in addition to Google Analytics. Prior to 2013, organizations would use Urchin Software with Google Analytics to get a full snapshot of site activity. Now that Urchin has been canceled, we recommend using Angelfish Software for this same solution. Angelfish is a web analytics software application – you install it on a server, in a private cloud, or on your desktop. Angelfish ensures data privacy because data doesn’t leave your network without your approval. Angelfish will also process the tracking request made by Google Analytics! Angelfish will show you things that Google Analytics doesn’t show you, like: IP Addresses New mobile devices Hidden visitors Stolen bandwidth Direct file downloads Crawler traffic Site and page errors Full visitor clickpaths Individual visitor information Many organizations use Angelfish Software to enhance the data provided by Google Analytics. Angelfish provides full data privacy and shows IP addresses, usernames, site errors, stolen bandwidth, and much...

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