Standard server-side web analytics is based on server logs. All HTTP requests and responses come into the server, and they are logged line by line. Log file analysis tools parse the log files and calculate the usage statistics of a website based on the values contained there.
One methodology is not necessarily better than the other as there are advantages and disadvantages to both types of tracking systems.
The fact that each method uses different technology to collect data explains why the reported numbers tend to vary between them.
Some scenarios are only tracked with server-side tools:
- CardioLog tracks individual events that a visitor performs on a website, such as file downloads, clicks, form submissions, their path through the website, etc. This information can be used to help measure where a visitor drops-out of a complicated process, thus providing the business owners with the information that they need to make recommendations for simplification and improvement of that process.
- With CardioLog, counting is activated by opening the page, not requesting it from the server. If a page is cached, it will not be counted by the server. Cached pages can account for up to one-third of all page views. Not counting cached pages seriously affects many metrics. It is for this reason server-side log analysis tools are not considered suitable for analysis of human activity on websites.
Log files are not 100% accurate. ISP page caching and proxies can twist data and consequently lead to inaccuracies.
Intlock encourages each customer to perform his/her own load tests.
For more information please see the following article: http://www.intlock.com/intlocksite/productsandservices/cardiolog/cardiolog-analytics-vs-sharepoint-reports-infograph.asp