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As you may know, Google will be retiring the Universal Analytics version of their Google Analytics product mid-2023. This product is used to track and report on visitors to websites. Google offers this product free of charge, but makes use of the data it collects in exchange.

For clients whose software we host which have Universal Analytics tracking code, we offer a few options:

  • You can upgrade your Universal Analytics site to Google Analytics version 4 and provide us with the new tracking code to place on the site(s) we host for you.
  • If we have access to your Google Analytics account already, we can upgrade your account and obtain the new tracking code for you.
  • You can switch to any other tracking service you choose and provide us with the new tracking code to place on the site(s) we host for you.
  • You can switch to a new tracking service offered by Andornot exclusively for our hosted clients that uses the popular Matomo open source software.

In our work with Google Analtics version 4, we've found that it will continue to give you the same basic information as from Universal Analytics, such as the number of visitors to your site. However, in working with Google Analytics version 4, we’ve found it difficult to obtain any more statistics than this, so we are not recommending or supporting use of this new version. It’s for this reason that Andornot is offering our new Matomo statistics and tracking service.

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Matomo offers similar features and benefits to Google’s Universal Analytics. Basic tracking will provide information on users, as well as words used for searching, searches with no results, and basic information on media accessed in search results (e.g. images and PDFs viewed or downloaded).

There is no charge for our hosted clients to use our Matomo service, and in most cases, the necessary tracking code can be added to your site with minimal effort. Data will be retained for up to three years, allowing you to compare current to previous years.

Should you desire more advanced tracking of some sort, that is likely possible with Matomo, but may involve a fee for the configuration work. A fee may also apply for long-term data storage, depending on the size of that data.

Please feel free to get in touch with questions or to use our Matomo service on sites we host for you.

Over the years, Andornot has used a variety of tools to track usage of software we host or provide to clients, to summarize activity and provide insight into the interests and actions of users. Currently we recommend Google Analytics and have recently added more tracking ability to our Andornot Discovery Interface (AnDI). 

We’re now able to cause Google Analytics to track the following:

  1. Overall site traffic, where visitors are from, how long they stay, how they found the site, whether they are using a desktop or mobile browser, and other general information. This is useful in several ways, but especially if you promote the site in some way, and want to see if that promotion affects traffic, or how people use the site.
  2. The words or phrases users start searches with. This is invaluable in seeing what is of interest to your users.
  3. Searches that result in no records found. This is also very helpful in guiding acquisitions or digitization to meet user interests, but also in seeing the terms users think to search with versus language used in your records. AnDI has a synonym list so this data can be used to then populate that list to better help users, as well as to guide your cataloguing or descriptive practices.
  4. Media such as PDFs, images, videos, and URLs to other resources, that a user clicks. This is a great way to gauge which of these media are of specific interest.
  5. Records added to the selection list feature. We consider this an excellent metric of which records are of most interest to your users.
  6. A count of emails sent from the selection list, as well as requests submitted via the request form, if applicable to your AnDI. Useful just as a general count and to see changes over time.

The above data can be summarized in a custom dashboard for a quick summary, with links to more detailed reports. This dashboard can be sent as a PDF in a periodic email, such as weekly or monthly, to save logging in to Google Analytics.

All of the above is included in every new AnDI site we build, but we may also be able to add it to existing AnDI sites as well. Please contact us if you’d like this done for your site, or if you have other specific information you’d like to try to gather from your site and users.

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