What are website analytics?
Website analytics are the measurement of traffic and user behavior online. They tell us what users are doing on websites and how they navigate and access content.
Why should National Statistical Offices (NSOs) care about website analytics?
Analytics are an integral part of how leading businesses, civil society organizations and governments around the world communicate effectively online. NSOs can and should use web analytics to ensure that access to data is streamlined and easy.
How can the Measuring Data Use report improve access to data?
We conducted this study to help NSOs and their partners understand the benefits of web analytics and their ability to improve data accessibility and dissemination online. This report provides specific and actionable recommendations that can be implemented by web managers to improve the accessibility of online data for users.
More information about the study
The study was made possible by funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and is a collaboration between Open Data Watch, AidData at William & Mary, and PARIS21. It is part of a broader project to increase the impact of official statistics and serves as a companion to Counting on Statistics: What can data producers and donors do differently to increase use?
What did the study reveal about web traffic?
The websites and data portals we studied are not data graveyards.
The study uncovered evidence that users are seeking, finding, and using a wide variety of statistical data. This confirms that these websites and data portals play a vital role in the dissemination of data to the public.
NSOs should make use of available tools for measuring, collecting, analyzing, and reporting data about the use of their websites. Proper installation of a web analytics package is necessary for collecting relevant and accurate data.
Common errors in implementing Google Analytics that may also be applicable to other packages include:
Detailed recommendations can be found in the full report and are categorized by the level of effort they require to implement. We encourage all NSOs to adopt as many of these recommendations as possible.
Open Data Watch
Open Data Watch is a non-profit, non-governmental organization founded by three development data specialists. It monitors progress and provides information and assistance to guide implementation of open data systems. The Open Data Watch team has unparalleled experience in development data management and statistical capacity building in developing countries and is committed to making open data a reality in all countries and development agencies.