Activity 2: Other Tools

There are many other tools used for web analytics. These range in price from free through to very expensive enterprise systems. Two of the most commonly used free tools are awstats and Google Analytics. Use the web to find information about them.

Write approx 1/2 page describing each tool with a comparison of them (ie. their relative advantages and disadvantages).


AWstats (Advanced Web Statistics) is an open source log analyzer written in Perl that can use a variety of log formats and runs on a variety of operating systems. AWstats was designed with the main purpose to process server logs and produce log reports to inform system administrators rather than website business owners, web marketers and web analysts, which basically means that making sense of AWstats data for marketing/business purposes is not very straightforward. Moreover, the reports are extremely basic and just spit out raw data which doesn’t tell you an awful lot about the website dynamics and stats.

Google Analytical

Google Analytics is intended to be a measure of business (website) performance and provides you with statistics that you , as a business person, will want to see. With current web analytics tools (of which Google Analytics is a big player today) we’re moving into a grey area between website statistics on one hand and business intelligence on the other. As web analytics as a study develops the needs for business intelligence rather than raw webstat data, the major web analytics tools will follow.

Major Differences

     •    One major difference between data collection methods of AWstats and Google Analytics, is that the first logs data on the physical webserver, whereas Google Analytics logs data on the site itself and stores the information in a remote location (on Google’s servers).
     •    AWstats detects search engine bots that access (“crawl”) your website to learn more about its content, link structure etc., whereas Google Analytics can’t detect this type of traffic.
     •    Google Analytics depends on cookies and is a little less accurate in data volume than AWstats.
     •    A lot of the stats that AWstats provides are purely meant to inform about website functionality and finding out more about the technologies used by the site’s visitors. Google Analytics is a platform that allows you to discover the why’s (or usually why not’s) and how’s of the interaction of website visitors with your site.