What is Visitor History?


Webtrends Analytics 8.x
Webtrends Analytics 9.x


What is Visitor History?


Visitor History (VH) is a database that can be enabled on a per-profile basis that stores long term information about a particular visitor’s actions. It is indexed by the visitor ID, and is dependent on strong session tracking (something better than IP/User Agent). The information stored in this database is continually updated during an analysis cycle, and is used in both the built in custom and standard reports. It may also be accessed in user created custom reports. It can be exported to the vhexport location as specified by the storage locations in the Webtrends Administration console. This export produces a zip file in a folder named with the profile GUID in the vhexport location. The zip file contains a simple CSV export of the contents of the visitor history database. As the visitor history information can be quite extensive, you may not be able to open the csv in Excel due to the maximum row limitation of Excel.

Visitor History must be enabled on a per profile basis, and you must check the boxes to determine what information you want to store in the VH database for that profile. The VH data is broken down into Campaign History, Search Engine History, Visit History, Purchase History, Custom Visitor Segmentation, Content Group Unique Visitor Tracking, and Page of Interest Unique Visitor Tracking. Campaign History stores data about the campaigns that bring visitors to your site. Search Engine History stores data about the search phrases and search engines that bring visitors to your site. Visit History stores visit-specific data such as time of the first and last visits, visit duration, and the entry pages and referring URLs for first visits. Purchase History stores data about your visitors purchases such as lifetime value, last sale recency, and number of days to purchase. Custom Visitor Segmentation stores the most recent value of a query parameter for inclusion in your reports. Content Group Unique Visitor Tracking stores data about the content groups visited by each visitor. You should only select this option if you plan to use the Content Groups of Interest report or the Content of Interest Visitor measures. Page of Interest Unique Visitor Tracking stores data about the pages of interest visited by each visitor. You should only select this option if you plan to use the Pages of Interest report or the Page of Interest Visitor measures.

The VH database can grow very large over time, and as such, custom trimming options are available to limit the amount of Visitor History data that is stored, and then specify how to identify the visitors that should be deleted from the database. Trimming visitor history permanently removes the visitors who interest you least from the database. Letting your VH database grow unbounded can result in excessive memory and disk space usage, as well as eventual analysis failure.

To access the information in the VH database you must create a custom dimension based on the parameter that corresponds with the column in the VH database you wish to see in your reports. For example, to access the Most Recent Active Campaign you must create a dimension based on WT.vr.rac. All visitor history parameters (with the exception of WT.VhSeg_X) can be easily identified by the “.vr.” in their names. Some of these parameters can be populated with data that is visible in the logs, but in general you will not see them in the log files (with the exception of WT.seg_X), since they are generated by the analysis engine itself. All VH parameters are considered visitor based for the purposes of creating your own reports. A list of these parameters and information on their use and content can be found in the Webtrends Administration User’s Guide. It is strongly recommended that you read the sections on creating custom reports in the Webtrends Administration User’s Guide before using these parameters in a production environment. It contains updated information that will help you be successful in this endeavor.

More Information

Instructions for setting up Visitor History can be found here: https://kb.webtrends.com/information/enabling-visitor-history-exports/