difference between google analytics and bc report?

Community Beginner ,
Jul 17, 2012

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When I compare GA and BC, BC shows me more than double number of visitors and pageviews than google.

For example June:

Visitors/Pageviews

BC: 1386/4087

GA: 492/1647

Thats so much difference, that I don't know which system I should trust. How can I interpret this data and how many visitors are visiting my site in reality?

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Reporting and analytics

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1 Correct Answer

Adobe Employee , Jul 17, 2012
smitchell80 Adobe Employee , Jul 17, 2012
Hi, Our analytics work fundamentally differently like other services (Google, etc) so there can be discrepancies in the data between them.For example, Google Analytics counts a page visit as a 30 minute session. If the person is inactive for 31 minutes and then clicks again, it counts as 2 visits. As for BC individual visits are given a 1 hour session before they time out and are counted as a new visitor. Unique visitors are kept unique via a cookie for up to 1 year.Every time a user interacts w...

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Adobe Employee ,
Jul 17, 2012

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Hi,

Our analytics work fundamentally differently like other services (Google, etc) so there can be discrepancies in the data between them.

For example, Google Analytics counts a page visit as a 30 minute session. If the person is inactive for 31 minutes and then clicks again, it counts as 2 visits.

As for BC individual visits are given a 1 hour session before they time out and are counted as a new visitor. Unique visitors are kept unique via a cookie for up to 1 year.

Every time a user interacts with the site this is refreshed (so if you view a page once and then 30 minutes later, the timeout would not occur until 1hr 30 min after you viewed the page the first time).

Google relies on JavaScript to record usage whilst BC does it each time it serves content. We use a number of methodologies to detect bots including user-agent string, repetitive hits from same IP or location amongst others. There's the reason why the numbers are different and cannot be compared. You can compare the results provided either by Business Catalyst for a long period or by Google Analytics, but not one method with the other.

Whilst there may be differences in the exact number of reported visits (as Google Analytics and BC have different ‘count’ processes and Bot handling mechanism’s) the main use for visitor statistics should be to view trends over time, which you should find are similar between GA and BC reporting.

If needing us to look into your report further please log a ticket and we'll advise.

Hope this helps!

-Sidney

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New Here ,
Jan 28, 2013

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One problem we are seeing is BC counting 1000% more visitors to our blog than GA is.

I think this has to do with the amount of comment spam we've been getting as there are the exact same number of exits after landing on that page.

We've been using BC to track visitors against conversions but now I'm not sure whether to revert back to GA.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 28, 2013

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Have you tried the new engine BC wrote that is in beta? Under settings - Beta features if you are a BC partner.

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New Here ,
Jan 28, 2013

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I'm not sure if we're a BC Partner. The site in question hasn't been migrated to our agency account as yet. This may have something to do with it? I think we are a BC Partner. Time to ask!

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Contributor ,
Apr 19, 2013

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With the abandoning of the new beta engine with forth coming move to AWS, if GA and BC stats are to remain worlds apart in visitor stats; as a BC partner which set of stats gives the closest genuine footfall to a website?

I have a client who is confused what to put in their website performance reports?

Cheers

Mike

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New Here ,
Jun 11, 2013

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I found this answer to be disconcerning. After checking the interwebs i found this link http://bit.ly/169ObJZ which explains why i have more than double visits on BC than on GA on any given day. I am going to try what it suggests and hopefully it will be a closer to an accurate measure. I'll reply here again in a few days.

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Explorer ,
Jun 11, 2013

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I have seen that page before and I think that is an old post about an old problem that has since been fixed. Also, it doesn't mention anything about the difference in numbers. It just says that BC "broke" the tracking code.

I have since reposted this issue on this forum, and Liam has stated in response that BC is well aware of this issue and is currently working on a resolution.

Thanks

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New Here ,
Jun 11, 2013

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That was the only issue issue I had with that guys site. It never stated a date of when it was posted nor did it have any resolutions/updates or quantitative analysis if it worked when it posted or if the hack needed to be updated. Also that font was horrible.

So after one day of reporting with that code suggestion, no change BC 78 / GA 34. I will change back, do not want anymore js loading on the site that is unnecessary.

Message was edited by: cbrophy78

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Explorer ,
May 20, 2015

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Where can I send my weekly BC report? I already submitted a ticket and it did not resolve my issues.

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Explorer ,
Dec 11, 2012

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I would like to add to this question - I had a site in a separate CMS (RedDot), and I had Google Analytics. I have since migrated that site to BC, but I kept the same GA account/tracking script. I noticed that since the migration my analytics reports are showing about half  what they used to show when my site was in RedDot. And, the BC reports are showing about twice as many visits as GA.

I can understand that GA and BC have different methods of reporting, but why would the same site show such drastically different reports in GA when I went from RedDot to BC?

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New Here ,
Aug 14, 2013

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BC seems to list google as 'visitor' - is this because of the GA code?  It's giving very unreliable data thus far.

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Explorer ,
Oct 11, 2013

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This topic has been hot for years. The problem is that people continue to respond with complex answers instead of telling developers what they really need to know. We don't need to know the details of cookie settings... we need to know:

  1. If BC visitor counts are higher than GA due in large part to BC including spiders, then *why* does BC include spiders? If there's a benefit, state it.
  2. Why does BC think the actual number of reported visits is irrelevant and encourage us to rely solely on trends over time? They need to recognize the fact that many of us have to report numbers to advertisers, executives and clients. If an advertiser asks how many visits our site gets and we say 10,000 per day when it's really 5,000 per day, that's a real issue. We need legit numbers.
  3. What can we do to compare apples to apples? Is there an easy way to filter BC reports to make them substantially match GA?

The bottom line is that, while Javascript vs. server-side tracking would certainly result in differences, they don't equate to a 100%+ variation. As long as the JS call registers with Google, the differences would be minimal. So, unless your pages are so slow and/or heavy that the JS call doesn't have time to complete, the variation would be negligable.

I encourage BC to create a *comprehensive* KB article on how to compare apples to apples. I also encourge the filtering of spiders if that's not already being done.

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Participant ,
Aug 05, 2014

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Any word on this?

I've got a site that shows 9 sessions GA and 256 BC. That's 28x more traffic shown on BC than GA.

Google Analytics shows 29 sessions this week.

GA.png

Business Catalyst Reports shows 852 unique visits this week.

BC.png

FYI, I'm using the Google Analytics Manager App.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 05, 2014

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I am in a similar situation where my Google Analytics reporting is significantly less than the Adobe Analytics. My customer receives their BC reports every week but at the first of the month I am contracted to give them the GA report. This is a difficult situation for me and any advise would be appreciated.

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New Here ,
Jan 05, 2015

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Try explaining this to a client... 'oh all the traffic from outside your region is spam' WTF!

GA 117 Sessions in the period

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.44.17 pm.png

BC 1194 Unique visits for the same period

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.44.33 pm.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 05, 2015

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As has been said, very simple - Google knows to filter out the spam better, simple as that.

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Participant ,
May 15, 2015

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So, we just can't trust in BC analytics?

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