WebTrends Training for Technical Professionals – Day 2

Visitor History is a nice new feature of version 7.5 and up of WebTrends. It requires strong authentication, i.e. session cookies, persistent cookies but not IP address & user agent. Don’t turn it on if using IP address for authentication because it does make the profile larger and slows them down.

Running three segments of large amounts of data of 10 days each would run generally faster than 10 segments of 3 days each. But make sure you have the RAM and the hard drive in place before running large amounts of traffic.

Page files and download files can be defined on per profile basis. For example Flash files can be both downloads and page views. By default they would be under page views but it makes sense to configure the profile and assign swf (Flash files) as download files.

In Reports > Reports Headers you can customize the logos of the banner and replace the WebTrends Report Banner with custom images. The middle image is a spacer and it tiles it, so if the logo is large, do not use the middle image.

In Reports / Reports Types, turning all five reports types make sense — Yearly, Quarterly, Monthly, Weekly, Daily. If the reports start on June 1st, clicking on Quarterly, does not mean it will generate Quarterly reports for the first two quarters.

Parent-child profiles split your web traffic based on configurable rules, and create multiple report sets. This is useful for service providers and large enterprises. For example, a split based on domain can create a separate report for each domain.

When WebTrends analysis a log file it looks at the first hit, last hit and file size to compare and check whether it had run a report already.

Have a log file directory which keeps the recent log files.
Current directory for storing 1 – 30 days.
Another directory for storing 1 month – 6 months.
Another directory for storing older than 6 months.

Another approach is to use date macros in the log file paths:
ex%date-1%%yy%%mm%%dd%.log – for yesterday’s files
ex%date-2%%yy%%mm%%dd%.log – for 2 days ago
ex%date-3%%yy%%mm%%dd%.log – for 3 days ago

This always checks the last three days.

For special request profiles, the recommendation is to use a separate data source.

New to WebTrends 7.5 is the ability to schedule the download of reports. The smart thing to do is to design the template for the reports they need to see on a regular basis. In Scheduler > Scheduled Events > Schedule Report > Select profile, etc. Select a custom data range for the reports to be emailed.

Clear Analysis Data is different from Reanalyze. Make sure to have the new data source or editing the data source so reanalyzing would be meaningful.

To track the last three days of the SDC log files, use the following macro where sdc is the unique sdc identifier (usually 20 characters) if SDC stores logs on a daily basis:
sdc_%date-1%%mmm%_%dd%_%yyyy%.log – for yesterday’s log file
sdc_%date-2%%mmm%_%dd%_%yyyy%.log – for the day before yesterday
sdc_%date-3%%mmm%_%dd%_%yyyy%.log – for two days before yesterday

Session tracking: visits vs. visitors

Visit — all hits for any one visit
Visitor – anyone entering the web site

Sessionalizing by persistent cookie is considered more reliable than IP address & user agent. However, the same person visiting from work and home would be counted as two separate visitors.

To setup session analysis go to Web Analysis > Session Tracking. For example to track by parameter, we would use Parameter Match. WT scrolls you through grayed-out methods that are not used. Then in track sessions by parameter you would specify the parameter name.

If switching from 3rd party to 1st party cookie, you must redeploy the new tag to all your pages. Identify fallback method, most likely IP address and user agent.

Filters: All profiles by default come with all include filters. There are include and exclude filters. If there is not filter, all activity is included. There is no limit to the number of filters per profile.

To exclude spiders, create a new hit filter. From the browser drop down menu, select All Spiders and Robots [allspiders] which would include the browser.ini file which includes over 500 spiders.

Filters work from now on.

To analyze all campaigns, listing the Campaign ID in the profile would give you only number of visits but not a drill-down report. For “butterfly”-type drill-down report, create a separate profile filtering all entries from ?WT.cm_ID=*

Creating an include filter for the custom 404 files only would give a list of most failing pages which would be very valuable for web developers.

Multi-homed domain log file includes multiple data sources.

Remember, OR is more, AND is less.

If you are to email business users the reports they want to see, find out what they want and put it in a template.

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