At InfoBase Media Corperation we use Omniture SiteCatalyst which is very complex and is meant as a enterprise solution. Weâ€™re not that big trust me, the actual license is actually like $30,000 a year, thankfully we just buy from a reseller called 10XMarketing.
The funny thing is that both companies are located in the Provo-Orem Utah area just like us. I guess the apple doesnâ€™t fall too far from the tree, unless of course your Google. What I mean to say is that SiteCatalyst frankly is too much for us and is just too expensive for what we use it for. None of us are trained to use it to its fullest capacity and its even been giving us bad data the last week or so.
I think it is mainly because the SiteCatalyst code may not be on every page. It was the past but since we have been adding the Google analytics, which is free by the way, to our site some f the SiteCatalyst code may have been deleted by accident or something. I am not sure the date error could be caused by not having the code on every page due to the nature of the data, which is visits vs. unique visitors.
First I feel it is important define each, both definitions are taken from the SiteCatalyst Glossary of Terms.
The number of times a visitor browses to your site. A visit begins when a person first views a page on your companyâ€™s Web site, and lasts until that person stops all activity on the site for a period of 30 minutes (Web analytics general industry standard). The industry assumes that, given the length of time, the person likely closed their browser and reinitiated a separate â€œvisit.â€ A unique visitor could be responsible for multiple visits (or sessions) during a day, month, and year.
Registered when a person visits a site for the first time within a specified period of time. In other words, while one person may visit your site and view the front page three times, a contact page twice, and several other pages once each, this person would be recorded as one “unique visitor” so you can tell exactly how many individual people are coming to your site.
There are four different time frames SiteCatalyst uses to define unique visitors: hourly, daily, monthly and yearly. An hourly unique visitor may visit your site at 2:01, 2:45, and then again at 3:24. This visitor will register as two hourly unique visitors, because only the 2:01 and 3:24 visits would count as unique visits for their respective hours (2:00-3:00 and 3:00-4:00). This same standard is used to determine daily, monthly and yearly unique visitors for their respective time frames. It can be helpful to ask the following question to see how SiteCatalyst determines who is a unique visitor: â€œHow many different people saw my site during this time period?â€
Note: Daily Unique Visitor reports are different from the others in that it is not only cookie-based, but is also IP address based to help catch everyone who visits your site.
Note: The sum of all daily unique visitors is not equal to the total monthly unique visitors for that month. This is because a visitor who returns twice in a given month will count as two daily unique visitors â€“ one for each day they visited, but only as a single monthly unique visitor.
Because a unique visitor can return and make many visits in the course of a day or a month that there should always be fewer Unique Visitors than Visits or they should be equal, Unique Visitors < or = Visits. Another way of putting it is that Visits should never be less than Unique Visitors. But this is exactly the bad data I have been getting from SiteCatalyst for over a month now. Here is some data examples:
|Sep 1, 2006||807||812||5|
|Sep 2, 2006||997||1003||6|
|Sep 3, 2006||1383||1348||-35|
|Sep 4, 2006||1053||1030||-23|
|Sep 5, 2006||1006||993||-13|
|Sep 6, 2006||926||903||-23|
|Sep 7, 2006||964||949||-15|
|Sep 8, 2006||1299||1249||-50|
|Sep 9, 2006||1184||1134||-50|
|Sep 10, 2006||1635||1569||-66|
|Sep 11, 2006||1327||1320||-7|
|Sep 12, 2006||1394||1364||-30|
|Sep 13, 2006||1153||1127||-26|
|Sep 14, 2006||1082||1074||-8|
|Sep 15, 2006||988||987||-1|
|Sep 16, 2006||1237||1217||-20|
|Sep 17, 2006||1681||1637||-44|
|Sep 18, 2006||1092||1093||1|
|Sep 19, 2006||1110||1136||26|
|Sep 20, 2006||1144||1121||-23|
|Sep 21, 2006||1824||1755||-69|
|Sep 22, 2006||1179||1177||-2|
|Sep 23, 2006||1238||1219||-19|
|Sep 24, 2006||1651||1575||-76|
|Sep 25, 2006||1214||1226||12|
|Sep 26, 2006||1215||1208||-7|
|Sep 27, 2006||1132||1128||-4|
|Sep 28, 2006||1090||1095||5|
|Sep 29, 2006||999||1009||10|
|Sep 30, 2006||997||970||-27|
|Oct 1, 2006||1720||1690||-30|
|Oct 2, 2006||1285||1253||-32|
|Oct 3, 2006||1166||1166||0|
|Oct 4, 2006||1075||1095||20|
|Oct 5, 2006||979||979||0|
|Oct 6, 2006||987||1001||14|
|Oct 7, 2006||961||910||-51|
|Oct 8, 2006||1511||1476||-35|
|Oct 9, 2006||1366||1398||32|
|Oct 10, 2006||1659||1618||-41|
|Oct 11, 2006||1580||1537||-43|
|Oct 12, 2006||1003||1007||4|
|Oct 13, 2006||948||941||-7|
|Oct 14, 2006||623||595||-28|
Google on the other hand has not been giving me bad data like this. Now keep in mind we just got all our pages added with the Google analytics code, or at least we think we have. Speculation still exists because Google consistently gives us lower numbers than SiteCatalyst for everything, but at least the numbers have been consistent. Here is our Google data:
|Date Range||Unique Visitors||Visits||Variance|
Conclusion: Google Analytics can actually give you more reliable data than Omnitureâ€™s SiteCatalyst and it’s FREE!