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Should You Use Google Analytics with SharePoint?

Microsoft SharePoint is a popular document management & intranet solution, used by thousands of companies. Many of these organizations use Google Analytics to track SharePoint usage.

Here’s why this isn’t a good idea:

Google Analytics Is A Marketing Platform

Google Analytics is great at what it does. Its reports are focused on marketing-specific features: AdWords / DoubleClick / Display Network integration, remarketing, attribution, and advertiser ROI.

Most SharePoint customers aren’t using AdWords to drive traffic to their Intranet, which means Google Analytics is the wrong tool for tracking SharePoint.

Tracking Relies on JavaScript

JavaScript-based tracking can be blocked, and increasingly is. When a Visitor blocks the GA tracking script or beacon, the Visitor doesn’t appear in your GA reports.

If one of your job roles is to monitor website, file, or folder access, you can’t accurately rely on a JavaScript-based solution if the tracking is easily blocked.

This issue affects all web analytics tools that solely rely on JS-based tracking. But visitors can’t block themselves from appearing in the web server access log.

Minimal Details

Google Analytics shows aggregated data in its reports: the smallest increment in most reports is one day. And with large datasets, sampled data is shown.

Google Analytics also has PII (Personally Identifiable Information) restrictions: no Usernames, IP Addresses, or anything that can identify a Visitor can be stored.

A good SharePoint web analytics tool is able to show details. For example: a list of Usernames who accessed a specific document last Thursday between 8-10 AM, with the ability to drill into the results via segmentation.

Data Protection Regulations

GDPR, CCPA, PIPEDA, CDPA, PIPA…the list of acronyms and regulations keep growing.

Google Analytics stores its data in a global cloud environment. This becomes a problem when concepts like Data Sovereignty and Data Protection are enforced.

One of the best ways to avoid these regulations is to keep your data within your environment.

Web Analytics for SharePoint: A Better Solution

If your business needs a secure web analytics solution for your SharePoint environment, Angelfish Software is the answer.

Angelfish is a self-hosted web analytics tool. Angelfish is feature-rich, fully supported, and shows you data you won’t see in Google Analytics.

Angelfish works with both SharePoint On-Premises and SharePoint Online.

Learn More: Angelfish Overview