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Open Web Analytics

Open Web Analytics


Comparison of Free Web Analytics to Google Analytics


Web Analytics: Open Source


Although the majority of websites use Google Analytics and other popular analytics like SEOmoz, a growing number of websites are using free web analytics.  This article will compare and contrast one web analytics (open source) called Open Web Analytics which is now being used by thousands of websites across the web. 


Overview of Open Web Analytics


Open Web Analytics is one of the top free web analytics programs on the internet for legal websites and their search engine optimizers, and the services that compare and  exceed Google Analytics in some cases.  This web analytics (open source) was created by Peter Adams and has been accessed by thousands of websites and developers.  The free web analytics is funded by donations from the public and the donations allow the developers of the web analytics (open source) to work on new features, fix bugs, and more. 


Comparison Between Open Web Analytics and Google Analytics


The following categories will help to make a comparison between the free web analytics offered by OWA compared to services offered by Google Analytics.  For more information on the web analytics (open source) offered by OWA.


Delivery Model and License


The free web analytics offered by OWA is Open Source Software while Google only offers commercial service.  Additionally, the web analytics (open source) offered by OWA have a GPL v2 license, while Google has  a commercial license. 


Technologies and Cookie Model


Open Web Analytics offers PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript software while Google Analytics offers proprietary and JavaScript technology.  The free web analytics offered by OWA offers a first party and an optional third party cookie model while Google only offers a first party model. 


Data/Logging Limits


Perhaps one of the biggest advantages to OWA’s web analytics (open source) is that it does not have logging limits like Google.  Google Analytics only has a logging limit of 5M page views per month.  Additionally, Open Web Analytics allows unlimited tracking of multiple websites, and although Google allows tracking on additional web sites, they limit the tracking to 50 websites.  This advantage is particularly beneficial for law firms trying to compete with other websites in the same area.


Site Usage


The free web analytics offered by OWA offers information on page views, visits, and more just as Google does.  Both services offer tools for conversion goals, goal funnels, E-commerce, and custom even tracking that allow you to track custom site actions and events as long as they are defined. 


Custom Variables


The web analytics (open source) of OWA and Google both define and store custom variables within tracking requests.  Each service provides up to five name/value pairs for page, visit, and visitor scopes.


Click Heatmaps, Mouse Movements, and DOM Click Tracking


Open Web Analytics offers all of these services while Google Analytics does not offer any of the services listed above. 


Standard Reporting and Multi-Dimensional Queries


The free web analytics offered by OWA compare exactly to Google’s standard reporting.  Each service provides 35+ standard reports.  Additionally, the web analytics (open source) offered by OWA compare exactly to Google’s resources for Ad-hoc multi-dimensional queries as well as mix-and-match metrics and dimensions. 


Segmentation for Defining Segments of Customers


Both the web analytics (open source) offered by OWA and Google Analytics offer these services.  Open Web Analytics uses segmentation through data access API. 


Unique Services offered by Open Web Analytics


The free web analytics offered by OWA provide the following unique features:


·         a command line interface that performs administrative tasks by using a command line instead of GUI

·         asynchronous event logging in order to process new events to a log file or queue instead of writing directly to the database

·         the ability to process new events on clusters of services

·         object caching

·         a core database schema for database warehousing

·         modules and plugin framework tools without having to modify core files


Other Unique Services offered by Open Web Analytics


The free web analytics offered by OWA have built in instruments for websites like WordPress and MediaWiki.  The web analytics (open source) also offer CMS integration for Drupal through a third party.  Google requires support for these integrations through a third party. 


How do I Report Bugs for the Free Web Analytics?


You can use the support forums offered by Open Web Analytics for troubleshooting answers.  If you need to report bugs, you need to visit the bug tracking system under OWA. 


How do I download the Web Analytics (Open Source) Software?


Before you down the web analytics (open source) software, you’ll need the following information:


·         the data host (the name of the host which the database is accessed)

·         database name (if the database does not exist, it needs installed before the free web analytics software is installed)

·         data base user (the user account that Open Web Analytics will connect to your database)

·         database password


After you’ve gathered (and installed) the following pieces of information, you can begin to install the web analytics (open face) software.  The following

steps are required in the download of the free web analytics:


1.       download the latest version of Open Web Analytics from the website

2.       place the OWA folder within the document root of your web server, and the folder must be accessible by browsers

3.       start the installation wizard