Ain't that the truth!? I always thought of raw logfiles as stuff that the programmers looked at every now and then. Or my Server Admins were screaming at me because they were too damn large. That all changed a while back. I scour those puppies now. I have an app to do it for me and it does it in real time. Keeps us on our toes too.
GA has actually helped some of my smaller clients to uncover some unusual stuff. We typically don't watch things like many on a daily basis. Nah, that is boring, it really is. Once a site reaches certain levels, you tend to look more at overall trends on a weekly and/or monthly basis and then dig for the pearls when time permits. Small budgets, minimal time, it has to be spread out elsewhere. Mining anayltics is a tedious task and requires a certain skill that I have yet to really grab hold of, I'm learning though.
For example, I have one client who has a publication. It just happens to utilize a three letter word that is very popular in another industry. Someone ran a little experiment against their domain and hotlinked to the publication with related terms and they were sure to use a few of the exact terms from the publication title. Want to see your traffic go nuts for a little while? That term ranked number one for an entire month. It actually increased sales of the pub too just by default, go figure. Either way, in looking under the microscope at the effects, they were not good and not worth the added revenue, that one was blocked permanently. Within 30 days or so, things were back in order. I watched that term vanish from the list.
Out of all the analytics packages out there, GA can't be beat. You pretty much sign your soul over to the devil and in return you get something that many pay a pretty penny for. Now, Omniture stats are a sight to behold. Especially when there are high volume numbers. Try analyzing the logfiles of a site that large. Anyone here do that? I mean, are you micro-managing more than a million pages?
I wasn't real happy to read that. Are we absolutely sure of that? With all this technology we don't have a solution that is "almost" accurate? ;)