All about the New “Usage Analytics” in SharePoint 2013

Summary : All about the New “Usage Analytics” in SharePoint 2013, New “Usage Analytics” in SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 has a new feature called “Usage Analytics” to present you with informative Site Use Analytics or Statistics.Usage Analytics is an Improved version of “Web Analytics” which is now discarded in SharePoint 2013.There are two Analytics components introduced in SharePoint 2013. Search analytics and Usage analytics. Search analytics analyzes content in the search index, and usage analytics analyzes the user actions.In this post we will only discuss Usage Analytics.

Usage Analytics Description – In simple words, Usage analytics analyzes user actions, or usage events, such as clicks or viewed items, on the SharePoint site.These Usage statistics are then combined with information about crawled content from the Search analyses, and processed. Statistics on the different usage events is added to the search index and sent to the Analytics reporting database.

Usage Events - Every time that a user views an item, the system issues a usage event.In SharePoint 2013 three usage events are defined out of the box . These default events are always registered and analyzed by SharePoint.

Following are the default usage events

  • Views – number of views for a single item, page, or document.
  • Recommendations Displayed – number of times a single item, page or document was displayed as a recommendation.
  • Recommendation Clicks – number of times a single item, page or document was clicked when it was displayed as a recommendation.

Custom Events - In addition to the default events, you can add up to twelve custom events. For example, you can add a custom event that tracks how often an item is accessed from a mobile platform or How often someone Liked a Conversation.

When you Create Custom events you can set them up to drive your Recommendations by assigning them “Recommendation Weight. By this I mean, if you setup an event to track a special set of pages like Product pages you can set the Recommendation Weight of each product page to be higher than any other page on the site.
For example – View Product Page Items = Recommendation Weight of 10
This will now Drive the Recommendation piece of Usage analytics and display Product pages at a higher rank in Recommendations.

All usage events are counted per item, site collection, and tenant (for example SharePoint Online).

How Usage analytics works? Every time that a user views an item, the system issues a usage event and adds this to the total and recent usage event counts for that item.Statistics on the different usage events is then added to the search index and sent to the Analytics reporting database.

How do you Use these Usage analytics – You can use the data that is generated by usage events in the following ways:

  • Show recommendations or popular items on your site. By using recommendations, you can guide users to other content that may be relevant for them, based on how users previously interacted with the site. You can add recommendations to a page by adding Recommended Items and Popular Items Web Parts.
  • Use Content Search WebPart (CSWP) and sort the search results by the number of counts of a usage event.
  • View the usage event data in the Most Popular Items usage report. This report applies to all items in a library, and lists the most popular items for each usage event — for example, a list of the most viewed pages in a library.
  • View the usage event data in the Popularity Trends report. This report applies to a Site Collection, a Site or an individual item in a library or list. The report shows the daily and monthly counts for each usage event — for example, the total views of a page on a specific day.

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