Zero to Piwik Analytics in Under Three Minutes with VitalSite CMS

Screen capture of VitalSite Script Manager displaying the Piwik Analytics tracking code.

We’ve been making some major investments in VitalSite that provide more power to the system administrators who manage hospital websites, and to the client advisors who work with them. To this end, one of the new features we’ve recently released is the VitalSite Script Manager. This new utility is available to users with GeoTechnician or System Administrator privileges, and it allows them to manage the markup and scripts that appear in the <head> sections and near the </body> sections in the HTML of all VitalSite pages.

To the uninitiated, it may seem like a fairly esoteric feature…but it actually opens an array of opportunities for those managing hospital websites. Chief among them is the flexibility to use a whole range of third-party tools with the websites you manage in VitalSite.

In this post, we’re going to add the ability to track visitors via Piwik, an interesting open source analytics package similar to Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics (Omniture SiteCatalyst), Clicky and others. While Google Analytics is our recommended analytics platform, Piwik provides us with some unique views and access to information either completely unavailable in Google Analytics (IP address information, for example), or not available without purchasing a Google Analytics Premium account to the tune of $150,000/year (e.g. unsampled reports for high traffic sites).

Not so with Piwik, which uses all available visitor data. This means no sampling, data limits or quotas.

Because we want access to some of this data, we’re going to add the Piwik tracking code in addition to the standard Google Analytics tracking already in place.

And we’re going to do it in under three minutes.

Don’t believe it’s possible? Here’s the video proof:

And there you have it. We’re already collecting data.

If you’re not yet using VitalSite for your hospital website, how long would it take you to do the same with your CMS?

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility (or Your Client Advisor)

Though easy to do, there are some caveats and important considerations to accommodate when using the VitalSite Script Manager. First and foremost, if you’re not comfortable administering sites and working with Script Manager, proceed cautiously. You could unintentionally change the functionality of your website, degrade site performance, or otherwise cause problems. For this reason, I recommend having a quick call with your client advisor about your plans, even if you intend to do the work yourself. A little bit of precaution at the outset can save you from major headaches after the fact.

Don’t have the time to dig in to Script Manager yourself? Here again, a call to your client advisor can let you focus on your goals while your client advisor places the right scripts on the pages and microsites managed by your VitalSite CMS.

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This entry was posted in Admin Feed, Search/SEO/PPC, VitalSite by Michael O'Neill. Bookmark the permalink.
Michael O'Neill

About Michael O'Neill

It’s not often you find a communications professional who is an expert writer, understands the power of social media and has the technical capabilities to embed on and contribute to software development teams. But that’s exactly the background Michael brought with him to Geonetric as the technical communications strategist. From writing eBooks to managing Geonetric’s digital presence, Michael uses his software know how and his marketing savvy to help tell Geonetric’s story through a variety of platforms. This former adjunct professor holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Worcester State College in Massachusetts and completed graduate level coursework at the University of Connecticut. In addition, Michael is also a Certified ScrumMaster, a contributing writer at iBusiness Magazine and a member of the Board of Directors at Gems of Hope. This new dad is known for his high coffee standards and has quite the following around the office when he brings in his favorite craft-roasted beans.

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