Monday, April 27, 2009

Server Log file mining based Web Analytics tools


When you click on your browser, what you are doing is sending a request to the server at ivarta to send you the home page.
When you continue to browse on the site visiting various links all your visit data is logged into a "Log file"

A log file would be common for all visits on the server and would contain details like:
(a) Cookie
(b) Visit IDentifier
(c) sequence of click
(d) page URL Clicked
(e) timestamp of the click
(f) other parameters that are sent to the server
e.g: When you click on the login button at, your login_id and password are sent as parameters to the server
page tags are also parameters passed
These are called tagging parameters that help the server to gather more information on the visit/visitor

These log tools present a mountain of information that can be used to extract patters and understand about visitor behavior on the site.
These analytics tools mine the server log files (through a process called extract-transform-load ETL) to create a mini data mart. This can then be combined with company specific data sources to complete the picture

Example of tool based on server log files is the erstwhile HBX then erstwhile Visual Sciences and now Omniture Discover OnPremise

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