Steven JW Kennedy

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Archive for the ‘Google Analytics’ Category

Google Analytics: Color me confused

Posted by Steven Kennedy on January 7, 2011

In a previous posting I’d talked about setting up Google Analytics on an internal SharePoint site and ran in to an issue where I was using the url ‘http://sharepoint/my’ to access the SharePoint site, but I wasn’t getting any tracking data. I resolved the issue, as the post details, and started getting tracking data. All well and good.

The bit that has me confused is that I have a Mac Mini that I use at home and I used  it to access my SharePoint site. When I did so I used the ‘http://sharepoint’ URL and then drilled down to my My Site and subsequently my Blog. That means I wasn’t using the full qualified Domain Name (FQDN) that I’d thought was necessary for Google Analytics to work. So imagine my surprise when checking my Google Analytics results that I see my visits from my Mac showing up.

When I checked the Hostnames, within Google Analytics, I see both ‘sharepoint’ and ‘sharepoint.domain.local’ as host names, for the same server.

So, is the FQDN, and use of an Alternative Access Mapping entry only required to set up and get Google Analytics working? After that the abbreviated name will work and allow statistics to be gathered? I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do to resolve the question. A couple of ways forward present themselves;

  • Ignore, It’s working. Leave it alone – This would grate, I like to know why things do what they do and this isn’t working the way I expected.
  • Troll the Internet. See if someone has an answer to this question – most likely avenue that I’ll peruse
  • Play around with Google Analytics and SharePoint myself. This would mean setting up a separate SharePoint site, Google Analytics code etc. to play with various scenarios. Quite a bit of time and effort involved, especially give the time lag between setting Google Analytics up and it starts to report.

Posted in Google Analytics | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Google Analytics connector of SharePoint 2010–Traffic received

Posted by Steven Kennedy on December 14, 2010

So, now I have traffic to look at. Well, it’s only my own traffic but as I’m doing this just as a proof of concept, and to see what information Google Analytics collects, that’s okay.

The screen shot below shows the traffic for the one day that Google Analytics has been gathering information. I’ve switched the display to show page titles, rather than the URL for the page, Google collects them both.

I could see where either the URL or the page title might give some cause for concern, from an IT Security perspective but I’ll explore these possibilities in a later posting, once I have some more data.

Content by Title

Now I get to visit various pages on my SharePoint 2010 My Site to see what turns up in Google Analytics.

I guess one other approach would be to look at the JavaScript used by Google Analytics to decipher what information it’s collecting – what a novel approach! The bad news is I don’t do JavaScript, well not development. I’ve cobbled together some from examples I’ve obtained from the ‘net so perhaps I’ll look in to this.

Posted in Google Analytics, SharePoint 2010 | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Google Analytics connector of SharePoint 2010 – Receiving Data

Posted by Steven Kennedy on December 12, 2010

Okay, guess I didn’t have to wait 24 hours for the updates I made to  take effect. Just was on my Google Analytics page and say that the profile for my Intranet site is now ‘Receiving Data’. So I guess the changes I made, described in the previous post; worked. At least enough for Google Analytics to verify my tracking code. Now I just have to give it some traffic to track.

Posted in Google Analytics, SharePoint 2010 | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Google Analytics connector of SharePoint 2010 – Tracking Not Installed

Posted by Steven Kennedy on December 12, 2010

Okay, after leaving it for a couple of days my Tracking code was still showing up as not being installed; ‘Tracking Not Installed’ shows up for the specific profile.

So I tried copying the URL from the profile in to my browser, to validate I could get to the URL I’d used for the profile, but to my chagrin, okay annoyance, the URL didn’t work.

Seems my SharePoint MY Site doesn’t use a Fully Qualified URL, instead it was using ‘http://sharepoint/my’ instead of ‘http://sharepoint.domain.local/my’ as I’d entered for the profile.

So what I’ve done is created an Alternative Access Mapping entry, using the ‘Intranet’ zone and used the FQDN of ‘http://sharepoint.domain.local/

Now when I use the URL of ‘http://sharepoint.domain.local/my’ the url works. All I have to do now is wait 24 hours or so to see if Google Analytics can now verify that my tracking is installed.

A couple of notes;

  • Yes I checked to see that the Google Analytics code was installed on the relevant pages. You can do this by browsing to the page you want to check and then use ‘View.Source’ from the browsers menu. Look for ‘UA-‘ which is the start of your Google Analytics account code
  • Yes I tried updating Google Analytics to just use a URL of ‘http://sharepoint’ but it doesn’t like that. It requires an FQDN, and says as such in the various instructions.

Posted in Google Analytics, SharePoint 2010 | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Google Analytics connector for SharePoint 2010

Posted by Steven Kennedy on December 8, 2010

The Codeplex Open Source Project Community have a Google Analytics connector for SharePoint 2010 that allows you to use Google Analytics to track SharePoint 2010 usage. Now for some caveats;

  • You’re going to need a Google Analytics account, they’re free so this isn’t such a big deal
  • You’re going to need to be a SharePoint Administrator to install the ‘.wsp’ package
  • You’re going to need to be okay with SharePoint reporting back to Google what pages are being accessed. This could be a security concern, see comments below.

The Codeplex URL for this package is;

Once you’ve downloaded the package copy it over to your SharePoint 2010 server. You’re then going to need to know the path to the package. Open a ‘SharePoint 2010 Management Shell’. When I first tried this using the SharePoint Farm account I got an ‘Access Denied’ error so I re-opened the ‘SharePoint 2010 Management Shell’ by right clicking on it and selecting ‘Run as Administrator’.

Run the two commands;

  • stsadm -o addsolution -filename {[PATH]}\ConsultPoint.SharePoint.GoogleAnalyticsConnector.wsp
  • stsadm -o deploysolution -name ConsultPoint.SharePoint.GoogleAnalyticsConnector.wsp -allowgacdeployment –immediate

replacing {[PATH]}, in the first command, with the path to where you saved the package 

Providing the two commands run without error you can now go to the SharePoint Central Administration for the site and enable this new Feature. To do so look under ‘Site Collection Administration’ and select ‘Site Collection Features’. You should see something like;

Site Collections Features 

Just click on ‘Activate’ to activate this new feature for the site collection.

Now back at ‘Central Administration’ under ‘Site Administration’ you should see a ‘Google Analytics settings’ entry, as shown below.


Google Analytics Settings - Highlighted


Click on ‘Google Analytics settings’. The resulting dialog is shown below. In the ‘Account Id:’ box enter the Google Analytics code for this particular profile.


Google Analytics Account Settings


Security concerns

When users access SharePoint pages that usage is going to be reported back to Google so that you can use the Google Analytics to identify what’s going on, who’s looking at what, etc. on your SharePoint site. The $64,000 question is what information is reported back and what, if anything, of that information, might give you or your company cause for concern if others where to be able to view it.

As I haven’t gotten any results as yet I don’t know the extent of the information that’s going to be available but at the very least it’s going to include the page URL and title so you have to ask yourself;

  • is any of this information sensitive.
  • What happens when you access a Document Library and then select a document from that library. Is that document name captured?
  • Is it going to capture host names and or IP addresses?

Posted in Google Analytics, SharePoint 2010 | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »