Who Has Been Looking At My Site?

I recently wrote the following article for our in-house work newsletter and thought others might benefit from it as well. 

In the past (the olde SharePoint 2007 days), we had been using a third party tool to analyze the web logs to determine who had been visiting our portal. These reports were available from an internal site and were created monthly to show the prior month’s activities.  Each report was archived so that we would have a history record even though we could not keep the activity logs on our server indefinitely.  Unfortunately, this utility was no longer supported when we moved to SharePoint 2010 this summer.

However, SharePoint 2010 itself provides equivalent analytic reports that can answer even more questions then our original traffic reports because you can run these reports at the site collection or even the site level.  To get to these reports, you may need to be at least a site hierarchy manager. Then to generate the reports, follow these steps:

1) Navigate to the site or site collection you want to run reports against.

2) Click Site Actions —> Site Settings



3) Next locate the Site Actions section and click on Site Web Analytics reports





4)  The default report that appears is a summary report showing:

¨ Number of pages views

¨ Average number of page views per day

¨ Total number of daily unique visitors

¨ Average number of unique visitors per day

¨ Total number of Referrers

¨ Average number of referrers per day

¨ And total number of sites under the current site

…but there is more

5) Notice the navigation menu along the left side of the page (shown to the left here as well).  This menu shows the other detailed reports available to you broken into two categories: Traffic and Inventory.

Each of these reports begins with a chart at the top of the generated page that by default represents data from the last 30 days. The chart only shows the top 20 of whatever functionality or feature that is currently being counted in that report.  However, beneath the chart you will find a detailed list of ALL data in sequence from the largest to the smallest.  Of course, this requires multiple pages and the details only shows 20 items at a time. (Can you guess were we are going with 20?)  At the bottom of the report is a page selector to allow you see the rest of the pages.  The interesting feature here is that as you select subsequent pages to see the details, the chart at the top of the page is redrawn to show only the items currently visible in the detailed  report section.

But if you want to see more than just the last 30 days (or perhaps only the last week), you can click the Change Settings link in the blue banner at the top of the report.  A ribbon appears that lets you select predefined periods (Preceding Day, Preceding 7 Days, and an option to custom select your date range. 

From this ribbon you can also change the report scope, apply filters, and change the number of items reported on each page.  You can also download a copy of the data to Excel and create alerts and report schedules that can email you a copy of selected reports on a regular basis that you define.

If you are the owner/site hierarchy manager of a site collection, you may also want to click on Site Collection Web Analytics Reports.  These reports, while similar to the site level reports, include additional reports on searches that have been used as shown in the list to the right. This lets you see what searches people have use frequently and can help you decide for which terms you may want to define Best Bets.

These reports add great new functionality that we did not have in SharePoint 2007.  However, what if we wanted to generate overall portal analytic reports.  As mentioned earlier, our previous history reports no longer work with SharePoint 2010.  However, in addition to the site and site collection reports described here, there are overall portal reports that provide the same information.  Unfortunately, these are not accessible by the average user.  In fact, they can only be accessed by your SharePoint administrators since they are run from SharePoint Central Administrator.

Some final comments.  One of the interesting things that we learned is the distribution of browsers that are being used to access our portal.  While the vast majority of the browser accesses are through IE 7 and IE 8, there are also a fair number of accesses from IE 9, IE 6 and even IE 10 (which is in very early beta).  Of the non IE browsers, Safari leads the pack followed by the other browsers such as Chrome, Mozilla, Opera and others.  Interestingly Safari leads the non-IE browsers by a considerable margin probably because it is the most common mobile device browser in use currently.  Hope you enjoy this new capability to see how all of your pages are faring in the real world.


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