NetIQ releases latest version of Web analysis software

NetIQ on Tuesday released the latest version of its WebTrends family of Web site analysis software, designed for small and medium-sized businesses.

The San Jose, California-based company makes a variety of Web analytics tools that help customers track where visitors go on a Web site and what they tend to look at the most. Companies can use the NetIQ software to make reports showing end users' interests and then alter their sites to keep users surfing.

The vendor is now selling its WebTrends Log Analyzer 7.0 and two editions of WebTrends Analysis Suite: standard and advanced. The Log Analyzer products costs US$699, the standard version of the Analysis Suite offering costs $999 and the advanced edition costs $2,495, said Brian Induni, product manager for the WebTrends Analysis Series.

NetIQ revamped version 7.0 of its WebTrends products with a new user interface that looks more like typical Microsoft Corp. Windows application interfaces, Induni said. The company made things like the file or edit menus follow Microsoft formats and made WebTrends style reports look more like Microsoft Word documents.

The changes to the interface were a welcome surprise to one user.

"The interface was difficult to use and needed improvement," said Arturo Castellanos, a system administrator at Austin-based online travel company GeoPassage Corp. "It used to be pretty confusing, causing us to take a long time setting up the software."

The company also updated WebTrends to take advantage of new features in Windows 2000.

"There were a lot of advancements in Windows 2000 that we took advantage of, including some of the memory management functions," Induni said.

The changes have made the report-creating functions of the program run 350 percent faster than with the previous version -- something customers were begging for, Induni said.

With the additions, users should be able to keep an even closer eye on their Web sites.

GeoPassage's Castellanos called the WebTrends product an "invaluable" tool for his company.

"We used the path tracking feature to see where we were losing visitors on our site," Castellanos said. "Afterwards, we made targeted improvements to those areas to keep people on the site and interested in the content."

GeoPassage refreshed content on pages where users seemed to drop off and removed sections of the Web site that caused confusion.

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