Monday, February 14, 2011

SharePoint Web Analytics Service insight part II – Reports deep explore and issues

After you setup the SharePoint 2010 Web Analytics as described in previous blog SharePoint 2010 Web Analytics Service insight part I - Planning and Configuration, you may enjoy reading all different reports now. Most of the reports are straight forward and users can understand without any instructions.  However, some of the reports are difficult to explain and some of them have some issues. It will worth while to drive deeper in some of those reports and share some of the issues identified.

  1. Deep drive on some of the reports 
Among all Web Analytics reports, search reports are the most complicated reports to configure and explain. Let’s looked at the “Failed Queries” report as example in Search category as below. This report is missing leading since it does not display the query actually failed. Here is the way to read this report. You will noticed the “Percentage Abandoned” column. The most interesting value is less than 100% which means users did not click any links in the search result page NOT search failed.

The next "Best Bet" reports will display the search queries users conducted with the best bet URL users have setup. The two columns with "Best Bet Clickthrough" and "Percentage of Best Bet Clickthrough" are somehow difficult for me to explain. If you look at the report below, we are not sure why the number of Queries is 5 for the first entry, but the Best Bet Clickthrough is 11 that is much higher than the queries. The
Percentage of Best Bet Clickthrough is 57.89% that means some users do not click the Best Bet URLs after the search? If you know how to explain these reports, please let me know.

In order to get a"good" result on the Best Bet suggestions, you would need to setup the search keywords with suggestions as the screen shot below. Please refer the previous blog for reference how to setup. The search result will display the "Best Bet" as in the below screen shot if you have added this web part on the search result page.

Another report we are not sure how to explain is "Top Site Product Versions" report under Inventory. There is a column called "Site Product Version". In our case, we have 4 as the value as displayed in the below picture. We are not sure whether this is related to v4 master page on 2010. We are researching to figure at this time.

        2. Issues related to Web Analytics reports

The first mystery to us is some site collection reports such as "Top Pages" is missing "Custom Report" button on the ribbon. We have identified this is only happening on some sites not all sites. You could refer the two pictures with and without "Custom Report"button.

We have been working with Microsoft on this issue and have not identify the root cause or the solution. However, there is one symptom we identified that may related to this issue. We found the sites with "Custom Report"button have "Site Customized Reports" Document Library under View All Site Content page. Other sites without "Custom Report"button have not such Document Library on the sites. We just found the solution how to enable SharePoint 2010 Web Analytics "Custom Report".

 The second issue is IE 8 browser is not included in "Top Browser" report even IE 9 and all different Frirefox versions have been recorded. See the picture below. This seems like a IE 8 issue and you could find the reason why SharePoint 2010 Web Analytics "Top Browser" report does not record IE 8 browser.

The third issue is the duplicate entries for "Top Pages" report. The /Default.aspx is the same entry as whole URL like https://<servername>/sitename. However, both of them are listed in the report and we are not sure the reason. See the picture below for reference.

The forth issue is related to Best Bet Suggestion Report and Best Bet Action History Report. Best Bet Suggestion Report recommends URLs as most likely results for particular search queries based on analysis of usage patterns. The site administrators can accept or reject these suggestions. If they accept, the corresponding query-URL pair is added to the search keywords list. Best Bet Action History Report tracks the actions performed by the site administrator on the ‘Best Bet Suggestion’ Report. However, we are not be able to able to generate those reports and not be able to find the solution to generate these two reports. We have seen other people have similar issues and we are working with Microsoft to debug.

The fifth issue is related to capacity and performance of the Web Analytics services. If you recall the architecture of this service, the service depends on the log parser and report consolidator component. With increasing data, the report consolidator component may take longer than five hours to run that may impact the the performance. Here is the way you could enable the data trimming for this service.

  • You can enable data trimming using the Set-WebAnalyticsServiceApplication cmdlet. When data trimming is enabled, the number of rows of data in the tables in the reporting database is trimmed to 20,000 rows per day per component (site, site collection, Web application, etc.). This decreases the time that the Reporting Component takes to run. 
  • On the Start menu, click All Programs.
  • Click Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products.
  • Click SharePoint 2010 Management Shell.
  • At the Windows PowerShell command prompt, type the following command: 
         Set-SPWebAnalyticsServiceApplication [-Identity <GUID>]-EnableDataTrimming

 Those are top issues we identified for Web Analytics services at this point. We are evaluating some other findings that could be shared in later time.


  1. Hi,
    Do we have any updates on a 4th issue. Please mail me to

  2. Try our HarePoint Analytics for SharePoint 2010 and 2007, it contains 70 reports about site usage, documents and list items audit, search, db growing, etc:

    WBR, Alexander