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We run a manage a website system for a large retail franchise. Each franchisee has their own templated website. We currently use SmarterStats to provide website analytics to our franchisees. SmarterStats is nice in that it allows us to manage the login information for our franchisees. If they update their login info from another part of our website system, we can synchronize that to SmarterStats.

However, SmarterStats is bringing our web server to it's knees performance wise and so we're looking for alternatives.

We can't use Google Analytics because it would be too much to ask all of our franchisees to create a Google login. Does anyone have any good suggestions that would meet these requirements?

  1. Tracking is accomplished via javascript
  2. Allows us to manage login information for hundreds of users either via API or batch update.

I much appreciate any help you can offer.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I'm in this boat too....my company builds a SAAS application for marketers who in turn sell the product to their clients. Needless to say, the multiple depths can get pretty crazy in a hurry when you're trying to distribute customized info such as analytics. Here's how we clobbered the problem:

Like you, analytics hosted on the server were eating processor time alive. So, we --did-- do Google Analytics...it was just easiest for us and meant that we could leave the server processes for running our application, which is already working the server pretty hard....and it didn't hurt that it was free. To tackle the problem of access, we put (most) everything under one main account, then use the API to call data into the application based on the GA specific information for that site. Sure, there's a little bit of setup involved, but the result is good quality reporting that truly LOOKS custom, which we can then turn around and market as a custom feature.

Here's the concept pulled off in an online tut: http://freshwebtrends.com/show-off-your-google-analytics-on-your-site/13/ In our case, we used HighCharts (http://www.highcharts.com/) for charting because it's faster and better than flash, and styled the page with Jquery UI tabs as well as Datatables (http://datatables.net/) grid-sorters. All our data is pulled via direct API call to Google.

On a separate note, we do take advantage of Adobe Air reporting for our most valued and largest clients. It's a GREAT interface and allows them to quickly jump around very easy to read reports from a desktop icon. Here's a link: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/view-your-google-analytics-account-using-adobe-air/

Obviously, there are many options out there to consider. This one just happened to work the best for my company.

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+1 Very Very Interesting. I like this idea a lot. I just need to make sure that we can provide the information that the franchisees need to see. I am going to look into this further. –  jessegavin Aug 5 '10 at 16:48
    
Update. We ended up using your suggestion. It took a decent amount of effort but the end result is awesome! –  jessegavin Nov 10 '10 at 21:28
    
Glad I could help.....go Gophers! –  bpeterson76 Nov 10 '10 at 23:49
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Piwik is a very good solution and i would suggest you the same - but you can also take a look at FireStats[1]. Since the last update it supports tracking with JavaScript. Maybe thats enough for your needs.

[1] http://firestats.cc/

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I have looked at Piwik? The tracking is accomplished via JavaScript and although I haven't tried it, it is supposed to support adding users via an API.

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