We recently completed the analysis of our latest software user survey. It is always very exciting to review the results from such a survey since it is one of the best indications on why clients are using our software, where our strengths lies and what we can improve.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our clients who participated in the survey. Many of you wrote lengthy answers to each question making it very easy for us to understand why and how you use our software, what features you find valuable and what improvements, or added features, you would like to see.
The survey only consisted of six questions and to prevent influencing answers and encouraging unique thoughts and opinions, the majority of questions were open ended. Those answers applicable for categorization have now been categorized, compared and correlated. The survey was conducted for internal purposes but I would like to share some of the findings and comments we received.
Vendor devices and log formats
The top ten vendor devices client used WebSpy’s software to analyze and report on:
- Microsoft ISA Server (a whopping 48.6%)
- Microsoft Exchange
- Novell – BorderManager
- Squid – Proxy Server
- Microsoft Proxy Server
- Microsoft – Internet Information Services (IIS)
- Blue Coat – Proxy SG
- Check Point – Next Generation
- IronPort – Web Security Appliance
- Microsoft – Windows Event Logs
The most common reason why clients started to monitor and report on their log files:
- To achieve transparency, higher visibility, on overall internet and network resources. (No actual issue quoted)
- To reduce issues related to lost productivity, inappropriate and illegal internet usage
- To be able to perform detailed investigations on specific user and site levels
- To reduce bandwidth cost and increase speed
- To achieve monitoring requirements not satisfied by vendor device
- To reduce viruses and other security issues
- To produce reports required by management
- To trend and forecast Internet and network usage
- To investigate email usage
- To immediately address critical issues using real-time monitoring and alerts
Most valued WebSpy software features
- Dynamic Drilldowns
- Ad-hoc analysis and summaries screen
- Real-time monitoring and alerts
- Comprehensive and detailed reports and analysis options
- Predefined and customizable reporting and analysis templates
- Aliases – Logical grouping of data to represent it more meaningfully
- Profiles – Categorize web site URLs, email subject lines, instant message chats and any other logged data using customizable keyword profiling technology.
- Extensive log file compatibility and support
- Ease of use
- Automated task scheduling
The majority of answers related to suggested improvements and added software features were very specific to individual user experiences and quite difficult to categorize. However, here a list of suggested improvements that our development has taken to heart and decided to prioritize:
Increase and Improve Number of Default Report and Analysis Templates
Major changes and improvements to our reporting engine and interfaces are currently being planned. A short term goal is to provide the ability to create reports in PDF format. This should hopefully be available in the coming months.
Longer term, we will be incorporating a visual report designer (drag / drop charts and tables etc), as well as the ability to create reports that collate information from different sources. For example, using the information from Event logs, Web proxy logs and email server logs, you could produce a report that shows when a user logged on to their PC, what sites they browsed, what files they accessed, and the emails they sent – all sorted chronologically in the one table!
We currently have a large range of report templates available, but choosing the one you want can be a time consuming process, and you will most likely want to customize the report once you’ve found one that suits. We are planning to make the whole process of creating the report YOU want much, much easier.
Further Expand Profiles (Website Categorization)
When it comes to website categorization, WebSpy applications utilize keyword profiling in addition to importing category fields from log files (if available). There are upsides and downsides to keyword profiling. A simple keyword can instantly categorize thousands of sites which is much more efficient than maintaining a URL Category database. Being able to categorizing hits to your own organization’s website or intranet is also a very useful feature.
We are committed to distributing more frequent profile updates, without overwriting any customizations you have made. Longer term, we plan to provide an option for collaborative keyword customization, so that you benefit from the customization that other customers are making around the world. We also plan to integrate third party categorization services, as there are many great organizations that focus purely on URL categorization.
Improve Software Updates Correspondence
Our main mass communication channels include our newsletter, press releases blog and twitter. Here is where we inform existing and prospective clients about our software, updates, offers and much more. Starting September 2009 we will also send out emails, on a monthly basis, informing existing clients about the specific software updates implemented and are ready to download.
Further Improve Reporting Speed
Vantage 2.2 ranges (Premium, Giga and Ultimate) now use multithreading techniques to utilize the extra processing power on machines with multiple cores or CPUs to import log files and generate reports faster. In addition to the multi-processing improvements recently made in Vantage 2.2, the development team are planning to implement even more multi threading improvements in the next major version. These improvements will be available for users of both the Analyzer and Vantage range.
Thanks again for your participation!
The winner of the USB Camera Pen has been picked using a random draw and will be contacted personally via email.