Online Webstats from Google Analytics, etc just keep improving for you.
Writing about web page http://www.google.com/analytics/indexu.html
I have recently been trying out the new Advanced Segments on Google Analytics. This is just one of several new ‘enterprize class’ features that have been introduced.
I have been using both Analytics online and Sawmill server log processing offline alongside each other for a couple of years. Initially the friendly, fast interface of Analytics could not match the ability of Sawmill to filter, then slice then slice again through the data. Sawmill needed loads of processing power but our two students who tackled data mining of the www.wmccm.co.uk visitor data last year still found most of their results using Sawmill. Their work also helped the team to use Google Analytics better.
Advanced segments represents an enormous catch-up move by Analytics. I have used this to pick out our visitors who view the tenders on CCM and confirmed that these represent about half of our company registrations with two easy clicks. I have not updated to the latest Sawmill release and I am sure that they are also progressing rapidly as a market leader.
It was looking at two /stats pages last night provided by ISPs or their web developer that shocked me into blogging about this topic. They were so outdated, and frankly pathetic, as to be of no real use. Neither even matched the basic free online Xtreme service of 3 years ago. The problem is that these depend on someone to update the stats package, to download the latest tools.
If you are professional enough to need to use a complete package such as Sawmill then there may still be a good business case to upgrade to their latest licence. But the real advantage of the ‘computing in the cloud’ offerings from Google, Microsoft in their Live Office SB suite, etc. is that they continue to improve without you having to do a thing!