Hot on the heels of Sitefinity 4.0 CTP release is the preview release of Sitefinity Web Analytics for Sitefinity 4.0.
Several months ago, we [inside Telerik] began to chat about web analytics & reporting in Sitefinity. This conversation was partially driven by Telerik's sales & marketing teams. These teams rely daily on web analytics to make key decisions. Furthermore, like many web sites, we made heavy use of Google Analytics to understand our web site's traffic.
Google Analytics is a wonderful tool, but our sales & marketing teams identified gaps in Google Analytic’s data. Many of these gaps were later identified by the Sitefinity Community. These conversations formed a picture of how web analytics could be enhanced with CMS data.
Because the core Sitefinity Team was busy with the 4.0 platform we formed an external team to pursue this project. The short-term goal was to deliver web analytics inside Sitefinity. However, the larger goal was to enhance web reporting using CMS data.
Adding value to Google Analytics
After talking extensively with Sitefinity partners & customers, we decided that version 1 of Sitefinity Web Analytics would make use of Google Analytics data. Most of our customers were already using Google Analytics and reusing this data would let us concentrate on adding new value, instead of recreating reports that already exist.
The first version of Sitefinity Web Analytics would concentrate on 3 areas:
- Make Google Analytic’s reports accessible inside Sitefinity
It would no longer be necessary to leave the CMS to view web analytics.
- Add Sitefinity-based security to web reports
Eliminate the need to share Google accounts, or create new Google accounts. Administrators can utilize existing security and use this security to add granular permissions to each report.
- Enhance web analytics reports with CMS data
Explore ways of adding new value to existing reports with CMS data. For example, overlay page edit events to see how page modifications impacted statistics.
The goal was to deliver version 1 of Sitefinity Web Analytics with Sitefinity 4.0.
Sitefinity Web Analytics Preview
In the spirit of the CTP, we wanted provide an early look at Sitefinity Web Analytics. This first preview release can be downloaded and installed into a new Sitefinity 4.0 CTP web site.
What's included in this release:
- Setup access to a Google Analytics account.
- Visualize Google Analytics data inside Sitefinity (using RadControls for Silverlight charts)
- Setup permissions on all reports.
What's not included in this release:
- Drill-downs into each report.
- Report enhancement using CMS data
- Caching of report data (performance optimizations)
Downloading & Testing
Please follow the instructions below to test the Sitefinity Web Analytics preview:
1. Create and setup a new web site using Sitefinity 4.0’s Project Manage. (see the instructions)
The new web site needs to be completely setup and running in your web browser before continuing to the next step.
2. Close Sitefinity’s Project Manager
The purpose of this step is to close Sitefinity’s integrated web server. This will restart the web application when it is re-loaded later.
3. Download the Sitefinity Web Analytics Preview
4. Unzip this file and copy the extracted files into the Sitefinity 4.0 project’s web site directory (overwriting any existing files)
Example: /[location of sitefinity.exe]/Projects/YourProject
5. Re-launch the web site using Sitefinity 4.0’s Project Manager
6. Login to Sitefinity and click Analytics
7. Enter your Google Analytics login credentials
Be sure to give us your feedback. As mentioned, we’re primarily interested in how we can add extra value to data that you already have access to. Thanks for taking a look at this early preview.