Web Analytics: Sessionisation Methods Part 6: Choosing a Method

After reading about the various sessionisation methods that can be employed to gather th data needed for website analysis the next step is to determine which method(s) to use.

When choosing a sessionisation method to use the factors you need to consider include:

  • the degree of accuracy of information you want/need
  • company and/or government policies
  • appropriateness of the method for your site

Quite obviously everyone wants the most accurate information, however, due to the two other factors a compromise is usually required. This means that even before you consider the first factor you should consider the last two. With company and government policies there’s no going around it because this could lead to lawsuits! So if it is your government and/or companies policy that persistent cookies can not be used then just choose among the remaining methods.

When it comes to level of appropriateness it is the authenticated user method that is usually struck out. However, this is the best method for shopping sites, forums, and any other site that already asks their users to have a username and password.

Usually the perfect compromise between the three factors is the session cookie. Session cookies are more accurate than non-cookie based methods (except for the authenticated user) but is still allowed by government sites and does not bother users since they are not required to login or divulge personal information.

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