Web Server Logs

Guide to Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence

A web server log is the file(s) on a web server that contains a history of web page requests that have occurred.  The following data is available from server logs:

IP Address

The address of a device attached to an IP network. Every client, server and network device must have a unique IP address in order to communicate.  Every communication that occurs contains both a source IP address and a destination IP address. The format of the IP address looks like this: 255.219.12.2

Date & Time

Data and time that the communication request occurred

User Agent

Name and version of the Web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer)

Web Page

URL of the web page being requested.  The address can contain parameters with session specific information (e.g. form fields)

Referrer

The URL of the previous webpage from which a link was followed

By slicing and dicing this granular information, it is possible to compile the following type of statistics:

  1. Number of unique visits by day, week, month, year
  2. Number or repeat visits by period
  3. Number of page views by period
  4. Most common entry pages
  5. Most common exit pages
  6. Most common navigation paths
  7. Number of visits by high level domain (i.e. country)
  8. Number of visits by originating IP address (PC, search engine, etc.)
  9. Number of visits by search query used
  10. Number of visits by browser type and version

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