Web Usage Mining

Web usage mining is the third category in web mining. This type of web mining allows for the collection of Web access information for Web pages. This usage data provides the paths leading to accessed Web pages. This information is often gathered automatically into access logs via the Web server. CGI scripts offer other useful information such as referrer logs, user subscription information and survey logs. This category is important to the overall use of data mining for companies and their internet/ intranet based applications and information access.

Usage mining allows companies to produce productive information pertaining to the future of their business function ability. Some of this information can be derived from the collective information of lifetime user value, product cross marketing strategies and promotional campaign effectiveness. The usage data that is gathered provides the companies with the ability to produce results more effective to their businesses and increasing of sales. Usage data can also be useful for developing marketing skills that will out-sell the competitors and promote the company’s services or product on a higher level.

Usage mining is valuable not only to businesses using online marketing, but also to e-businesses whose business is based solely on the traffic provided through search engines. The use of this type of web mining helps to gather the important information from customers visiting the site. This enables an in-depth log to complete analysis of a company’s productivity flow. E-businesses depend on this information to direct the company to the most effective Web server for promotion of their product or service.

This web mining also enables Web based businesses to provide the best access routes to services or other advertisements. When a company advertises for services provided by other companies, the usage mining data allows for the most effective access paths to these portals. In addition, there are typically three main uses for mining in this fashion.

The first is usage processing, used to complete pattern discovery. This first use is also the most difficult because only bits of information like IP addresses, user information, and site clicks are available. With this minimal amount of information available, it is harder to track the user through a site, being that it does not follow the user throughout the pages of the site.

The second use is content processing, consisting of the conversion of Web information like text, images, scripts and others into useful forms. This helps with the clustering and categorization of Web page information based on the titles, specific content and images available.

Finally, the third use is structure processing. This consists of analysis of the structure of each page contained in a Web site. This structure process can prove to be difficult if resulting in a new structure having to be performed for each page.

Analysis of this usage data will provide the companies with the information needed to provide an effective presence to their customers. This collection of information may include user registration, access logs and information leading to better Web site structure, proving to be most valuable to company online marketing. These present some of the benefits for external marketing of the company’s products, services and overall management.

Internally, usage mining effectively provides information to improvement of communication through intranet communications. Developing strategies through this type of mining will allow for intranet based company databases to be more effective through the provision of easier access paths. The projection of these paths helps to log the user registration information giving commonly used paths the forefront to its access.

Therefore, it is easily determined that usage mining has valuable uses to the marketing of businesses and a direct impact to the success of their promotional strategies and internet traffic. This information is gathered on a daily basis and continues to be analyzed consistently. Analysis of this pertinent information will help companies to develop promotions that are more effective, internet accessibility, inter-company communication and structure, and productive marketing skills through web usage mining.