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In this article by Murat Yilmaz, author of OpenX Ad Server: Beginner's Guide, we will learn how to provide every tool to efficiently analyze the performance of websites, website zones, advertisers, campaigns, and banners. We will learn how we can get such statistics online. Then, we will investigate how we can export the data into a spreadsheet such as in Excel and analyze it with a real example.
In this article series, we shall learn:
- How to view advertisers and campaign statistics
- How to export data to Excel for further analysis
- Types of advanced OpenX reports
- How to retrieve advertising analysis reports using Excel
OpenX provides a very detailed and useful statistics and reports mechanism to evaluate the progress as well as performance of any campaign. OpenX reports and statistics tools have the ability to retrieve data on several groupings such as advertisers, campaigns, banners, websites, and zones.
Advertisers and campaigns statistics
It is the default OpenX statistics type. It provides current statistics of all advertisers under an account. It is also possible to retrieve statistics according to start and end dates.
Time for action – getting advertisers and campaign statistics
Now, let's learn how to get the statistics for a certain advertiser and the campaigns under it. We will then see how to analyze them on a spreadsheet.
- Click on Statistics menu item. Advertisers & Campaigns screen should automatically open. If not, click on Advertisers & Campaigns link.
- Now, we should be able to see current date's statistics as a default for all the advertisers under an account. Note that following screenshots are from a real OpenX Ad Server implementation and do not necessarily have to match with your screens.
- Let's view all the statistics for the advertiser, starting from the installation of OpenX Ad Server. Select All statistics option from the date list.
- We can now see all of the statistics for the advertiser.
- Click on tiny arrow near the advertiser name.
- We can now see the all the campaigns statistics under the advertiser.
- Click on the Clicks column.
- You can note that the campaign's statistics are sorted accordingly:
- Click on the tiny arrow near one of the campaign names.
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- The following screenshot shows that the statistics of each banner under the campaign are listed according to the same criterion that is applied for sorting the campaign statistics:
- Let's click on any banner.
- We can now see the banner history on a daily basis sorted according to clicks. Let's sort it according to Day column as shown in the following screenshot:
- Let's click on Export Statistics to Excel link on the top of the statistics.
- OpenX Ad Server automatically generated an Excel (.xls) file for us. Let's open it with Excel.
Alternatively, if you don't have MS Excel, you can download and use Open Office for free from openoffice. You can achieve everything in further examples using Open Office as well.
- Let's select three columns from the spreadsheet—Day, Impressions, and Clicks columns in the spreadsheet. Then, let's insert a chart by choosing Insert | Column | 3-D Column.
- We can now see that a chart is created and shows the progress of clicks and impressions over a period of time.
- Let's see clicks progressing only by time. To achieve this, right-click on the chart and choose Select Data… option.
- Then choose Impressions column, click on Remove button, and Finally click on OK button to complete the process.
- We can now see only data pertaining to progress of number of clicks on the chart as shown in the following screenshot. Note that the Days row is decreasing over time. This is due to order of the data selected before the chart retrieval.
- Let's return to statistics screen and click on Website Distribution tab.
- Now, we can see how the statistics for the banner was distributed among the websites.
- Click on the tiny arrow near a website name and we can see how the statistics are distributed among the zones under the website.
What just happened?
We started with advertiser level statistics and progressed into banner level step by step. During this process, we learned how effective advertisers and campaigns statistics screens were, to see values such as impressions, clicks, and CTR (Click-through rates) for a certain period of time. After this, we have exported the statistics of a banner to Excel for making a simple analysis chart. Finally, we learned that it was possible to jump into website and zone statistics for any advertiser, campaign, or banner.
Have a go hero – exploring other statistics screens
As we already know how to get statistics for advertisers and campaigns, we are ready to further explore websites and zones and global history statistics. Let's find and investigate these sections under statistics menu until we learn what kind of additional statistics we can get from the OpenX Ad Server system.
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About the Author :
Murat Yilmaz is a software developer and an online entrepreneur who lives in Antalya, Turkey. He has over 10 years of experience in different IT fields, including development of web-driven solutions, large databases, and OLAP systems. He has worked in several multinational companies in Istanbul and Moscow as a consultant. He currently runs his own blog and an e-commerce and online advertising network. He holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Marmara University at Istanbul. He spends his free time playing progressive rock songs, online chess, and reading scientific books.
He has also authored two other books, OpenCart 1.4: Beginner's Guide and OpenX Ad Server: Beginner's Guide.
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