The accuracy of web analytics tools gives the likes of me great concern. Having different numbers for my report gives me great worry as I cannot ascertain which is more accurate than the other. Shouldn’t they report the same numbers? Have you been wondering why different analytics tools report different numbers?
Why different numbers?
We often try to reconcile absolute numbers between different web analytics tools, we also often forget that they are different systems and as such collect their data differently. There are some factors that may affect the data and thus affect our reports. Some of these data include the following; Data Collection, Filtering, Cookies etc.
Must Read: My Favorite Web Analytics Tools
Sometimes robots and spiders crawl our sites looking for information, it could be search engine crawlers or other types of crawlers. I often see Google adsense crawlers on my site. Different web analytics tools use different methods to determine visitors to our sites and some of them may consider different user agents in different ways. This definitely affects the numbers and the reports these web analytics tools give us.
Web Analytics Tools Accuracy:
It will be ideal to say that NO web analytics tools CAN prove to be EXACTLY ACCURATE with its numbers. The above mentioned factors and in fact a whole lots of more can cause variations in values. I will consider it a waste of time chasing ABSOLUTE accuracy from any web analytics tool as you may never find one that can totally address all the issues that affect its result as most of the factors are determined by the visitors and not the analytics tools.
So asking which web analytics tools is most accurate is not simple or easy to answer. I see the analytics report as a measure of trend simply to know when I am doing well or not and I do not need ABSOLUTE figure to do so. When your site traffic improves from 1000 visitors a day to 100,000 a day, no analytics tool will report it 200 a day.
I use Google analytics tool with Statcounter and I am used to the variations in result but I enjoy using these tools to monitor the progress of my blog and it’s enough for me. But if you are really worried about the result, maybe you should consider some advanced and PREMIUM web analytics tools and I bet you will find a lot of them on Google search.
What web analytics tools do you use on your site? How much do you trust its reports? How do you ascertain its accuracy? Which web analytics tools can you say is the most accurate? Share your views with me using the comment form below, remember to subscribe to my RSS feed.