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Foreword

Foreword

One of the most interesting aspects of web site measurement is that it overlaps with so many areas of a company’s business. A company’s web presence covers the whole of its interaction with the public. It is marketing and sales and customer relations and press office and recruitment. It has to inform the public, create new customers, and support existing customers.

Web analytics is the study of whether the web site is meeting its diverse goals. Just as important, it is the presentation of the results to the various divisions of the company in a comprehensible format. It is now an industry worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

It wasn’t always that way. I started writing Analog in 1995 when I was a student at the University of Cambridge Statistical Laboratory. Our department had just set up a web site, and we were keen to know how many people had been visiting it, but we found that none of the existing three programs worked well. So I decided to write my own little program, not guessing how it would take off.


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