Animals Australia Server-Side Analytics
How server-side analytics provides Animals Australia with a more complete data picture.
A project that has given Australia's leading animal protection agency total ownership over its digital data and allowed it to optimise digital fundraising activity.
The goodwill, kindness and generosity of the public is Animals Australia's lifeforce. Without donations, the organisation's world-changing work is impossible. But to understand where supporter contributions are coming from, who’s making them and the best way of encouraging or facilitating them, accurate data is essential.
As anyone who’s worked with digital information will know, however, data collection, analysis, and reporting aren’t always simple. Neither is attribution, the ability to connect an event or result to a specific part of a multi-session user journey. And when millions upon millions of pageviews, interactions, and user journeys are involved, it can be downright complex.
That complexity is only exacerbated when you take into account the many variables—the tools, platforms, traditional gatekeepers, and digital obstacles that stand between a user and a website. And the fact that, almost by default, organisations generally cede control of their data to third parties like Google.
To overcome these obstacles and mitigate against critical risks, Animals Australia turned to server-side analytics. They gained total ownership of their digital information, and clarified the picture their data produced in the process.
What is server-side analytics?
Here, we talk about what it is, why it’s beneficial, and which sort of organisations might consider it.
What does server-side analytics look like?
To gain insights from how visitors interact with your website, you need to collect digital data. You use an analytics platform to evaluate it.
You can gather that data in one of two main ways: server-side or client-side.
What’s client-side analytics?
When we talk about client-side, we’re referring to data collected on the device of the person visiting a website like Animals Australia’s.
What’s server-side analytics?
A server is a powerful device that acts as a hub for data completely separated from a website visitor’s phone, tablet, or computer. When we talk about server-side, we’re talking about data collected on a server controlled by an organisation such as Animals Australia.
What’s the difference?
In both client-side and server-side, tracking loads on a browser. You might think of the data as being ‘piped’ from one place to another.
With client-side the pipes lead directly to third-party platforms like Google Analytics and Facebook. You’re not all that involved in the process. You’ve essentially outsourced it.
With server-side analytics, there’s a data ‘tank’ between the pipes. In the example of this case study, it’s controlled by Animals Australia. It provides a layer of protection and control, removing the risk that comes from a lack of ownership. Animals Australia’s fundraising team can determine why and how they process the data captured. Understanding the importance of keeping personal information safe, they can then use that data in many ways to customise and improve their supporter experience, connect it to their CRM, and more.
How do these differences benefit an organisation?
There are many differences between client-side and server-side analytics.
The table below shows just a few:
Quick answers to common questions.
Take a look at these three short videos that answer some of the frequently asked questions about server-side analytics.
What's the server-side analytics elevator pitch?
Your tracking configuration almost certainly isn’t as reliable as you think it is. With a server-side configuration, you can clear up your data picture and optimise your digital marketing.
Who is server-side analytics for?
Server-side configurations are best suited for organisations who care about three things: data control, maximising return on investment for digital ad spend, and having an clear picture of the extended audience journey.
What are the three biggest benefits of server-side analytics?
There are numerous benefits to a server-side configuration, but the three most important are greater data accuracy and reliability, better control over data, and highly customisable analysis and reporting.
Get in touch
Want to take control of your data?
As you might have gathered, we don’t mind talking about the many advantages of server-side analytics. If you want to find out how you can take control of your data, we’d love to have a chat.