Urchin – Google Analytics in a box

Google Analytics has proven itself over and over again as an extremely valuable tool for pretty much everyone interested in website statistics.  But as awesome as it is, Google Analytics has a number of limitations.  These don’t come handy when you need to analyze non-public websites, such as intranets or web-based services behind closed firewalls.  Sure, there are plenty of alternatives to Google Analytics that you could go with.  But what if you wanted to stick to Google Analytics?  I thought you couldn’t (that is without tricks and ugly workarounds).  Apparently, I was wrong.  You could.

Urchin is a packaged Google Analytics application that you can run on your own servers, under your full control.  There are a few features in Urchin that are not in Google Analytics (mostly due to Google Analytics not having access to your server logs).  Here are the interesting ones:

  • Process historical logs
  • Status & error codes reports
  • Individual visitor history drilldown

These are things that you don’t probably care too much, if you only have a couple of personal blogs to manage.  But if you are a company with a few busy websites and large chunks of your revenues spent on the online advertising, you’d want each and every bit of information, including the above.

One other reason that probably only the enterprises will be interested in Urchin is the price.  While Google Analytics comes to everyone for free, you’ll have to pay USD $9,995 (yes, almost ten thousand!) for the Urchin license.

And even though the price is quite prohibitive and will leave most people still using Google Analytics, I think it’s nice to have this option.

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