Saturday, February 28, 2009

WebSphere Portal and Web Analytics?

Customers who want to perform web analytics on an on premise portal environment usually want the following types of information
  • How effective are the new campaign initiatives?
  • Which items have the highest clickthrough ratio?
  • What is the clickthrough ratio?
  • Which items have the highest view to purchase ratio?
  • What is the ratio for one product over another?
  • Which rules are resulting in the most number of downloads?
  • During the month of December, which categories of pages were browsed most often e.g. my special Christmas pages, or the regular part of my site?

What is provided out of the box?

Out of the box WebSphere Portal records the following information;

  • Page management (creating, reading, updating, deleting a page)
  • Requests of a certain page by users (including contained portlets)
  • Session activities (login, logout, timed out, login failed)
  • User management actions (creating, reading, updating, deleting users and groups).

WebSphere Portal supports NCSA Combined standard which means that if you switch on this logging this information can be read by most reporting tools.

What are the options for Web Analytics tools?

There are two broad areas:

  1. On-premise
  2. Hosted

This blog post is considering on-premise options.


There are two types of on-premise options

(i) Log Trawler

(ii) On-premise hosted

The log trawler will look at the logs that Portal produces automatically. The on-premise hosted solutions will require some javascript to be added to the theme and potentially some Portal API work depending upon the data required.

I have provided a short list of possible on-premise options. Customers would need to validate the best product to meet their web analytic needs. AWStat is probably a good place to start for those customers who are unsure exactly what they need. Once a customer has a better idea on the types of data they require then it may be time to look at one of the commercial products.

(i) Log trawler examples


(ii) On-premise hosted







There will be many others but these are the ones that I come across the most.