Collect usage metrics of software


What would be the best way to collect usage metrics of a SaaS software?

I want to collect something like logins, clicks and time spent in my software.
Are there existing services out there that allow such data collection? Or would you advise to write our own custom data analysis?

Metrics Data Collection

asked May 24 '11 at 18:42
Sebastian Hoitz
191 points

3 Answers


Google analytics is a pretty standard approach. Just a small bit of javascript on your web pages. Also has features to help you track usage against marketing campaigns.

answered May 24 '11 at 19:05
404 points
  • Also there is some feature within Google Analytics to track your own values (eg. the category of the customer), plus is able to track usage of dynamic apps (based on AJAX). This is good solution. – Tadeck 13 years ago


If you are writing the code to your saas application(s) I don't see why you wouldn't write your own over time.

Start off with simple data provided by google - but that will probably be limited to page views - and likely won't be able to tell you more detailed information only available from your database and other servers.

answered May 25 '11 at 00:45
Tim J
8,346 points
  • Google Analytics has pretty large potential when it comes to gathering such information. You can also gather the data, that can not be gathered by analyzing the headers of the requests. But creating own solution for statistics is worth mentioning. – Tadeck 13 years ago
  • I would discourage building your own. This is a common trap for technical founders and could be a real time sink. To do this properly will take a lot of time (and probably wont be as good as currently available tools). There are quite a few mature analytics tool available. Best to work on your startup, you will mean 120% of your time for that. Don't get distracted – Tinny 13 years ago
  • @tinny - Um, identifying events they want to track and then adding code to increment a counter is hardly what I would call a "time sink". I am not suggesting doing anything that the existing analytics engines do - but if they have functionality that is hidden from analytics that is where they write the code. Also - adding simple counting to a ne development project is simple - adding it after the fact is expensive. – Tim J 13 years ago


Here is a list of possibilities:

  • I like Google Analytics (GA) for the price (free). One drawback is that it updates daily, not in realtime.
  • StatCounter may be what you want if you want to tag certain actions on your website and you are willing to do a little programming.
  • You may also what to look at Crazy Egg for heat maps that give you a visual of where visitors are clicking.
  • Kissmetrics is put out by the same company as Crazy Egg. It is more of a direct competitor to GA, arguably better as it works in realtime.
  • Clicky is another realtime web analytics tool.
answered May 25 '11 at 01:33
Kenneth Vogt
2,917 points

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