SharePoint and Google Analytics

SharePoint on-premises is a popular portal solution, used by thousands of organizations globally. SharePoint 2010 had a built-in web analytics feature that did a decent job of showing how users interact with the portal, but Microsoft decided to remove certain web analytics features with SharePoint 2013 and 2016.

Many SharePoint customers now use Google Analytics, since it’s free (up to 10 mil events) and contains lots of useful reports. But unfortunately, Google Analytics isn’t able to provide a complete picture of activity on SharePoint sites:

No Usernames
Google’s Terms of Service doesn’t allow customers to store Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in Google Analytics. When users login to SharePoint to access documents / pages / information, Google Analytics isn’t able to tell you anything about the individual username and which documents were viewed.

Missing File Downloads
To track file downloads, Google Analytics requires JavaScript. But if a file is directly linked from a website or in an email, Google Analytics won’t “see” the file download.

Data Sampling
GA frequently uses report sampling for high traffic sites, which is frustrating when you’re looking for an exact count.

No Data Security
This primarily applies to Intranets and secure environments. SharePoint URLs frequently contain sensitive information about customers or employees, and GA tracking requests contain useful data like IP addresses. When data is stored outside your network, you can’t guarantee data privacy.

SharePoint Web Analytics Solution

SharePoint sites sit on top of an IIS server, and IIS creates a daily access log. These logs can be processed by a web analytics software program, which alleviates all the above issues and provides:

  • Data Security
  • Track Downloads, by Username
  • Full Visitor Details
  • No Sampling
  • No Tagging Required

Angelfish Software is our recommendation. Angelfish is self-hosted web analytics software which provides detailed reports about how users interact with your SharePoint websites, and has a comprehensive API for populating corporate dashboards.

SharePoint Web Analytics Software.