Angelfish Blog

Articles and News About Digital Analytics

Angelfish v2.21 Highlights

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Angelfish v2.21 contains a number of improvements and fixes, many of which are minor. This article highlights the more important changes in the release. Delete Specific Visits This feature was prompted by the EU’s GDPR laws: each Profile lets you delete visits that match a specific IP address / username / source / browser (or other visit-level dimensions). However, it can also be used to delete traffic that you didn’t exclude with a Filter before processing, like pageviews from SharePoint service accounts, monitoring agents, or referral spam. We really like this feature – instead of having to delete everything and reprocess, you just delete the visits you don’t want. Avg Time on Page The Page and Page Title reports and the Visitor ID modal (available in AGF / UGA / USR Profiles) have a new metric column: Time on Page. This column shows the average time spent on the page in MM:SS format for all pageviews. Reports Load ~33% Faster Thanks to some improvements, reports now load significantly more quickly than the previous version. DB Maintenance Pre-Check The DB Maintenance utility can require free space as much as 150% of the db file being optimized. If this space isn’t available, the DB Maintenance task will be skipped and the related processing job will have a status of “Notice.” HTTP Security Headers Angelfish now contains a header file where you can list of HTTP response headers to add to all Angelfish HTTP & HTTPS responses. This feature is intended to be used in high security environments. Add Hardware Info to Support Tickets All too frequently, one of the first questions our support team asks when troubleshooting is something like “what are the hardware specs of the Angelfish server?” When you open a support ticket from the Support tab of the About page in v2.21, the Server Status tab are appended to the ticket, which will alleviate some of the back and forth Q&A with new support tickets. Updated Browser & Platform Detection Angelfish now recognizes some smaller (yet growing) browsers: Vivaldi, UC Browser, Samsung Internet. Plus, detection for more popular browsers has been improved. Use Local Time for Date Substitution Previous versions used GMT for determining date substitution. v2.21 uses...

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Should You Use Google Analytics with SharePoint?

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Microsoft SharePoint is a popular document management & intranet solution, used by thousands of companies to share information among employees and customers. At a basic level, SharePoint is a web-based application that sits on top of IIS. If you want to see how users interact with your SharePoint sites, you can use web analytics software to generate usage reports for your SharePoint environment. Many organizations use Google Analytics to track SharePoint usage. Here are some reasons why this isn’t a good idea: 1) Google Analytics Is a Marketing Analysis Tool When Google Analytics launched in 2005, it was a traditional web analytics solution. But over the years the product has become focused on advertiser-specific features, like remarketing, AdWords / DoubleClick / Display Network integration, attribution, and advertiser ROI. It makes sense strategically – the bulk of Google’s revenue comes from delivering ads, and Google Analytics provides reporting for advertisers. If marketing isn’t a concern and you’re only looking to track usage of your SharePoint websites, Google Analytics is the wrong tool for the job. 2) Google Analytics Doesn’t “See” Document Downloads In order for Google Analytics to function, you’re required to put JavaScript tracking code on each page of your website. When a visitor comes to your website, the tracking code runs and sends tracking data to Google’s data collection servers. But if someone opens a page or document that doesn’t contain the tracking code (or if the tracking code is blocked), no tracking data will be sent. Most SharePoint environments allow users to access documents directly from within an application, and you can’t embed GA tracking code in a document. This means when a document is opened directly from the application, Google Analytics isn’t able to show you the document has been accessed. 3) Data Security Depending on your company’s industry and the sensitivity of data stored in SharePoint, data security is usually a primary concern or an afterthought. If data security is a concern, Google Analytics stores the full location (hostname and path) of the content stored by SharePoint. 4) No PII (Personally Identifiable Information) One of the more useful features of using web analytics with SharePoint is the ability to see a list of usernames who...

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Goodbye Urchin, Hello Angelfish!

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In January of 2012, Google announced development of Urchin Software would be discontinued. We were disappointed to say the least, although we can’t say we’re overly surprised. Google’s focus on Urchin dwindled in 2011, coinciding with the launch of a paid version of Google Analytics. We’ve been contacted by a variety of customers ever since – the most popular questions and answers are below. Feel free to contact us if you’d like us to clarify anything further. Can I still get support for Urchin? Of course – Actual Metrics will continue to provide support for Urchin. Please contact us for details. Why did Google decide to retire Urchin? Google began making efforts to put more wood behind fewer arrows in 2011, and Urchin seems to be a casualty of this initiative. We understand the decision but we think there’s still a market for standalone stats software, so… Is there an alternative software product? Yes! We developed our own web analytics software product, called Angelfish. With Angelfish, we bundled all of our experience, best practices, overlooked feature requests, and homegrown utilities into a standalone software product. Angelfish gives us a chance to develop all the new features we’ve been requesting – things like nested segments, full db access from the API, cluster & cloud support, bulk updates, automated notifications / emails, and a long list of other improvements. If you like Urchin, you’ll love Angelfish. Will my Urchin installation stop working? Urchin isn’t going to turn into a pumpkin at midnight – it will continue working as long as you don’t change any of the hardware specs. You can continue using Urchin but there won’t be any further updates. When you’re ready to move to another product, you can migrate your Urchin data to Angelfish. Answers to more Urchin and Angelfish-related questions are...

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What iPads & Tablets Mean for Web Analytics

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Web analytics software companies are still touting their (recent) ability to segment mobile traffic in reports. This is important primarily because people using mobile devices interact with sites differently than people using more conventional machines. With iPads and competing tablets entering the scene, the terrain becomes a bit more complex. It raises important new questions for the web analytics industry and companies who rely on it. Identifying iPads in Reports First, it’s important to recognize that the iPad marks the beginning of a new era. Whatever you may think of Apple or the device itself, manufacturers are already poised to launch competing devices almost immediately. These devices will be just as portable, and they will seek to fill the same need. Lines are being blurred between phones, tablets, netbooks, laptops and desktops. The first hurdle for an analyst is one of identification. Some web analytics products, like Google Analytics, already identify visits from iPads automatically. But what of competing products and anything else that falls into this new category? What standard will identify them all? Without a unique identifier, there is no way to distinguish between a tablet and a netbook or even a more advanced phone. They all have similar screen resolutions, operating systems and browsers. Some will support Flash and some won’t. Also, with these new devices, even if visitors are using a wireless signal, like 3G, they are unlikely to be viewing the mobile versions of a site. They may prefer to view the site like they are accustomed to viewing it at home. How iPads Change Visitor Behavior The real reason identifying tablets is important is because we don’t have a clear grasp yet on how visitors on tablets will use the Internet differently. Will visitors be using tablets like phones or like netbooks? Will they be using Wifi or cell towers? Will they be using them on the road, at home or in the office? What will they do differently on a tablet than they would do on a bigger or smaller device? The kind of connection speed visitors can get will likely impact their usage. Will they view the site the same way, but view less pages because of slower load times? Will...

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