Web Analysis Tools and Web Site Effectiveness


This blog from Krzysztof Kowalczyk's Weblog caught my eye because I've recently been looking for log analysis tools. I've been out of that market for a while and was surprised by how little has changed.

In the past I used log analysis software and I wasn't impressed. Two leading free tools (Analog and Webalizer) are doing industrial-strength but very uninspired job. They are old and busted. They are Ford Ts. They don't go beyond producing basic stats and occasional graphs. (note: I haven't used commercial tools, maybe they're much better). I felt that it could be done better, that we need a Ferrari of log analysis tools, a new hotness. Unfortunately I didn't know how to build this new hotness but when I saw it I knew this is it. I'm not going to bore you with the details, just see their 60 seconds demo. I was blown away by simplicity and usefulness. It really takes analyzing logs to the next level.

I watched the demo and was pretty impressed.  Seems like a pretty neat tool and there's a 30-day free trial.  I installed a web log analysis package called Sawmill yesterday which seems to do a pretty nice job as well.   

On another note: building a little 60 second flash demo of a GUI based software product is pretty cheap and it needn't be slick to make its point (as the above demo demonstrates [which would indicate its a demo and a metademo]).  As a CIO with responsibility for a large IT budget, you can imagine how much marketing material I see every single day.  Most of it I throw away or delete unopened.  When something does catch my eye, I'm frequently amazed at how hard it is to get a good understanding of what a product actually does.  Most web sites are collections of marketing material which is dumbed down to the point of giving the curious no idea what the company or product really does.  Seems pretty stupid to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get me and people like me just to spend a few moments looking at your product and then not do a good job of communicating what it does.