When I started developing websites, blogs and online tools more than I decade ago the value of log files hit me right away. Because these could be useful someday they have followed me around for some time. Google recently made some changes that enhanced their already great Google Analytics product.
There are without a doubt alternatives but each of these involves running and managing additional programs on the server. Another advantage is the way Google Analytics works with Google AdSense (see affiliate link below) which helps keep this site's hosting bill paid for. Along with the realization that the log files from sites that have been inactive for years aren't ever really going to be very useful. The sites that were online in 1995 to compete with them are just a different lot and there's little hat can't be better judged by a couple of weeks of Google Analytics to look at the sites.
Below are some more ideas for taking advantage of Google's revisions to this tool.
One of the great new features of Google Analytics is the ability to email reports on a periodic basis. Now it's not even necessary to go login to the site and look at reports but a summary is pushed out to the inbox each day. I'm still hoping that Google will be adding RSS feeds shortly so I can read the daily or weekly report in my RSS Reader (Google Reader but that's another story) and not in my email box.
The ability to send periodic reports also makes it easy to keep others in the loop about how the website is doing. So the marketing department and the executive sites can both get the proper level of detail on the schedule that meets their needs.