Web Analytics. Open Source.

Open Web Analytics Dashboard

Easy, Open, Web Analytics.

Open Web Analytics (OWA) is open source web analytics software that you can use to track and analyze how people use your websites and applications. OWA is licensed under GPL and provides website owners and developers with easy ways to add web analytics to their sites using simple Javascript, PHP, or REST based APIs. OWA also comes with built-in support for tracking websites made with popular content management frameworks such as WordPress and MediaWiki.

For more information about OWA, it’s features, and how to install, visit the OWA Documentation Wiki or the Demo & Examples site.

Download OWA!

OWA can be downloaded as a tarball or by checking it out of it’s Subversion repository. If you would like to see a demo of OWA before you download, head over to the Demo & Examples site.

Download a Tarball

To download the latest releases of OWA, point your web browser at http://downloads.openwebanalytics.com or click the button below:

Download a Tarball

Subversion Access

Subversion access to the OWA source code is available at http://svn.openwebanalytics.com/owa.

For the latest code, tell your SVN client to:

svn co http://svn.openwebanalytics.com/owa/trunk

For a specific release of OWA, choose the release you want from the tags directory:

http://svn.openwebanalytics.com/owa/tags

Help and support for OWA is provided by it’s community of authors, users, and contributors. To get help take a look at one of the resources below.

Demo & Examples

You can find a full demo of OWA along with development examples over at the Demo & Examples site.

Documentation

The OWA wiki contains all end user and developer documentation. To access the wiki point your web browser at:

http://wiki.openwebanalytics.com

Support Forums

The OWA support forums are a great place to ask for help and get answers from other OWA users. Whether you are troubleshooting an installation or just have a quick question about how something works, you will definitely want to check out the forums. The forums can be accessed at:

http://forums.openwebanalytics.com

Mailing lists

The best way to get support is via one of OWA’s mailing lists. Click here for more information on how to subscribe to the OWA mailing lists.

Bug Reporting & Feature Requests

To report a bug, check the status of OWA development, or even to log a feature request, visit OWA’s tracking system at: http://trac.openwebanalytics.com.

IRC

If you need realtime support or are familiar enough with OWA to provide support to others, then join the #owa channel on IRC (freenode). There is usually an OWA guru or two hanging out there.

Below are some screenshots of OWA’s reports, tools, and visualizations. If you’d like to see a full demo of OWA, head on over to the Demo & Examples site.

Mouse Tracking is better than Eye Tracking

Oct 17th, 2010No Comments

The good folks over at ClickTake have posted a great piece on how eye tracking compares to mouse tracking in terms of analyzing web page usability.

Mouse tracking differs from eye tracking in that a user’s mouse movements are recorded instead of their eye movements as they interact with a web page. The best way to think about mouse tracking is that it turns your web pages into a one way mirror through which you can literally watch how your users interact with the page.

When it comes to usability work, mouse tracking often times is far more effective than eye-tracking because:

  • It can be performed on live users of your site, instead of simulated in a lab.
  • It doesn’t require specialized/expensive labs, recruitment efforts, consultants, or equipment
  • If you use Open Web Analytics you can do it for FREE and get started immediately. No waiting.

Have you ever debated a design decision with a client or colleague only to wind up agreeing to disagree? Well, if you were recording mouse movements you’d be able to back up or disprove your hypothesis with real interaction data in minutes. Heck, you’d even be able to show live recordings as examples.

Here are some of the important usability questions that mouse/key-press tracking can answer:

  • Do users ever scroll the web page? If so, how far exactly?
  • Do users ever click on a particular element of the page?
  • How long do people spend interacting with the web page?
  • Do users use any keyboard short cuts to navigate the page?

General web analytics tools can’t answer these questions because they do not track what happens after a web page loads.

Open Web Analytics comes with built-in support for tracking a user’s entire “in-page” experience including mouse movements, scrolling, and key-presses. We call the entire stream of in-page events a “Domstream” and allow you to record them for all of your visitors or just a sample percentage that you define.

Watching Domstream recordings is like watching a reality TV show – once you start watching you can’t stop.

Because OWA is free open source software there is no limit on the number of Domstreams you can record. This means that if you have a large web site with lots of different page types you won’t bump up against the limits that commercial tools put in place or run out of budget as you record more streams or do A/B tests.

To see how OWA’s Domstreams work check out the OWA demo site and start tracking your user’s Domstreams. We just did ;)

1.3.1 Has Been Released

Sep 12th, 2010No Comments

1.3.1 is a small release to address issues when installing under WordPress 3.0.x.

1.3.0 Has Been Released

Aug 19th, 2010No Comments

OWA version 1.3.0 has been released. You can grab the code as a tarball or from SVN.

The full v1.3.0 release notes are here.

Major New Features

True Metrics & Dimensions – this release introduces a new abstraction layer for all of OWA’s metric and dimensions that allows developers and analysts to work with them without having detailed understanding of OWA’s underlying database schema. All metrics and dimensions now have their own names – allowing you to easily mix and match them in result sets and API calls.

Result sets – metrics and dimensions are now accessed through a new API method called getResultSet. This method greatly simplifies access to metric and dimension combinations greatly simplifies how you work with data in the presentation layers.

Data Export API – OWA now has a REST based API that you can use to export data in JSON, XML, serialized PHP, and even basic HTML.

Redesigned Reporting Interface – OWA’s reporting interface got a whole new look and code face lift bringing with it HTML5 graphing/charting as well as paginated data grids.

Action Tracking – you can now track an unlimited number of custom site “action” events using the new Action Tracking functionality. Track form submissions, video plays, downloads, or any other action that users can take on your site. You can even group action events and associate labels and values.

MediaWiki Action Tracking – OWA will now automatically track and report on the following MediaWiki actions: Article Creation/Edits/Deletions, User Registrations, User Logins, and File Uploads. No need to do custom page tagging, OWA will instrument your Mediawiki for you.

WordPress Action Tracking – OWA will now automatically track and report on the following WordPress actions: Post Creation/Edits/Deletions, User Registrations, User Logins, New Comment, New Blog Created (WP v3.0), User Profile Edit, Password Reset, and Attachment Creations, Edits, Deletions.

The release also contains lots of new reporting metrics and dimensions, five new reports, and tons of developer features. See the release notes for more details.

Upgrading from 1.2.4 or Earlier

1.3.0 is the first release that requires PHP 5.2.x. It also contains significant database schema changes that may take a long time depending on the size of your database. These schema updates must be applied from the command line to avoid browser timeouts.

Please see 1.3.0 release notes for instructions on how to install or upgrade this release.

Also, I would like to thank everyone that was involved in this release. Whether you helped out by testing the code, troubleshooting an install, filing bug tickets, or contributing code, your efforts helped make the release happen. Thanks again and please keep contributing your ideas and time to the project.

To see what’s up next, take a look at OWA’s development roadmap.

1.3.0 RC1 Has Been Released

Aug 2nd, 2010No Comments

OWA version 1.3.0RC1 is the first release candidate for the 1.3.0 release and is available as a tarball or from SVN.

Major New Features

True Metrics & Dimensions – this release introduces a new abstraction layer for all of OWA’s metric and dimensions that allows developers and analysts to work with them without having detailed understanding of OWA’s underlying database schema. All metrics and dimensions now have their own names – allowing you to easily mix and match them in result sets and API calls.

Result sets – metrics and dimensions are now accessed through a new API method called getResultSet. This method greatly simplifies access to metric and dimension combinations and returns a new paginatedResultSet object that will greatly simplify how you work with data in the presentation layers. Result sets can contain multiple metrics, dimensions and can be constrained by any number of constraints. Constraint support has also been enhanced to add regex and substring constraints.

Data Export API – OWA now has a REST based API that you can use to export data in JSON, XML, serialized PHP, and even basic HTML. The API utilizes user specific secret key authentication or cookie based authentication when used within a pre-authenticated OWA session.

Redesigned Reporting Interface – OWA’s reporting interface gets a whole new look and code facelift bringing with it HTML5 graphing/charting as well as paginated data grids.

Action Tracking – you can now track an unlimited number of custom site “action” events using the new Action Tracking methods. Action events can be grouped and can have associated labels and a numeric value. Action events are stored in a new fact table and its associated metrics and dimensions can be accessed through the API.

MediaWiki Action Tracking – OWA will now automatically track and report on the following MediaWiki actions: Article Creation/Edits/Deletion, User Registrations, User Logins, and File Uploads.

WordPress Action Tracking – OWA will now automatically track and report on the following WordPress actions: Post Creation/Edits/Deletion, User Registrations, User Logins, New Comment, New Blog Created (WP v3.0), User Profile Edit, Password Reset, and Attachment Creations, Edits, Deletion.

The release also contains lots of new reporting metrics and dimensions, five new reports, and tons of developer features. See the release notes for more details.

Upgrading from 1.2.4 or Earlier

This release requires PHP 5.2.x and contains significant database schema changes that may take a long time depending on the size of your database. These schema updates must be applied from the command line to avoid browser timeouts.

Please see 1.3.0 release notes for instructions on how to install or upgrade this release.

Google Encrypted Search Strips Referrers, Hides Visit Source

Jun 21st, 2010No Comments

Web analytics tools loose the HTTP referrer of new visitors that come from Google’s encrypted web search. The issue arises when the browser moves from an encrypted URL (https://) to an non-encrypted URL (http://) – which are most of the web sites on the net.

The effect on web analytics tools is that visits will appear to be coming “direct” when in fact they are originating from search.

Stay tuned.

OWA 1.2.4 is available – security update

Mar 28th, 2010No Comments

OWA 1.2.4 has been released. This is a critical security and bug fix release that fixes some small bugs and prevents a possible remote/local file inclusion attack that was brought to our attention. We highly recommend that everyone upgrades to this latest release as soon as possible.

Open Web Analytics 1.2.3 is Available

Mar 14th, 2010No Comments

This is a quick bug fix release that fixes a problem with new visit and geo-location reporting. See the release notes for more details.

1.2.2 Has Been Released

Mar 12th, 2010No Comments

Open Web Analytics 1.2.2 has been released. See the release notes for full details.

This release fixes a number of bugs found in 1.2.1 so we strongly recommend that you upgrade. In addition, this release introduces new and improved event queuing features that allow OWA to scale in high traffic volume environments by queueing events for asynchronous processing at a later time.

Specific features include:

Flat File Based Event Queueing – this mode allows OWA to avoid writing to the database during a tracking session. Instead tracking events are written to a flat file where they can then be processed at a later time.

Remote Event Queueing – this mode allows OWA to post it’s tracking events to another instance of OWA running under a separate php process or even on a remote server. This allows for multi-process and multi-server configurations where OWA’s event tracking is performed by one set of resources/servers and processing/logging is done by another.

Cache Expiration – Objects in OWA’s cache will now expire after a period of time in anticipation of a few upcoming features that will make it easier to update slowly changing dimensions.

More Event Processing Filters & Hooks – it is now possible to filter entire tracking events before they are logged to the database. This allows module developers to modify OWA’s core tracking logic without needing to modify any of OWA’s core files.

To get started, just download the 1.2.2 tarball or pull the tag from our SVN repository. Be sure to read the release notes for details on how to install or upgrade from a prior version.

Open Web Analytics 1.2.1 has been Released!

Feb 25th, 2010No Comments

OWA version 1.2.1 has been released. See the release notes for OWA 1.2.1 here.

Overall, version 1.2.1 includes significant speed and memory usage improvements, tons of bug fixes, and some major new features including:

Domstream Recordings. OWA can now record a visitor’s mouse movements, keystrokes, and clicks as part of a “screen recording”. Think of it as a video camera that allows you to see exactly how visitors interact with your pages. Domstream Recordings are a great way to analyze the usability of your pages. It’s like having a usability lab embedded on every page.

Client-side Heatmaps. Part of a new overlay reporting framework, OWA now uses the wonders of HTML 5’s Canvas to paint heatmaps over your web pages. As part of this, the heatmap height and number of observation limits have been removed! Client-side heatmaps have been successfully tested with over 50,000 observations.

URL Parameter Filters. You can now tell OWA to strip off session based parameters from your URLs. This will help you ensure that OWA only tracks your canonical URLs.

Revamped Javascript Tracker. The Javascript tracker API has been re-factored to be much faster and easier to integrate with other Javascript. Support for tracking custom DOM events has also been added.

Filters. It is now possible for developers to filter tracking data before events are written to the database. See the wiki for more on what filter hooks are available in this release.

This version also brings significant changes to OWA’s configuration, PHP APIs, as well as directory structure so please consult the release notes for upgrade instructions.

1.2.1 includes a number of bug fixes that were found in the last release candidate so be sure to “svn up” or download the 1.2.1 tarball here.

1.2.1rc1 is Available

Jan 2nd, 2010No Comments

What’s a better way to celebrate the new year than a sitting down with a new version of OWA. This is the first release candidate for version 1.2.1. See the release notes for OWA 1.2.1 here.

1.2.1 includes significant speed and memory usage improvements as well as tons of bug fixes and even some major new features including:

Domstream Recordings. OWA can now record a visitor’s mouse movements, keystrokes, and clicks as part of a “screen recording” that allows you to play back the interaction just as you would a video. Domstream Recordings are a great way to analyze the usability of your pages.

Client-side Heatmaps. Part of a new overlay reporting framework, OWA now uses the wonders of HTML 5’s Canvas to paint heatmaps over your web pages. As part of this, the heatmap height and number of observation limits have been removed! Client-side heatmaps have been successfully tested with over 50,000 observations.

URL Parameter Filters. You can now tell OWA to strip off session based parameters from your URLs. This will help you ensure that OWA only tracks your canonical URLs.

Revamped Javascript Tracker. The Javascript tracker API has been re-factored to be much faster and easier to integrate with other Javascript. Support for tracking custom DOM events has also been added.

This version also brings significant changes to OWA’s configuration, PHP APIs, as well as directory structure so please consult the release notes for upgrade instructions.

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