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Looking at the site Web Analytics report, I see that one of our site collections has about 10K "Total Number Daily Unique Visitors" for a given time period. Comparing that number with the count of items on the User Information List shows a pretty big difference - the users list only contains about 4K users.

As I understand it the "Total Number Daily Unique Visitors" is cummulative - in other words if I visit the site each day for 30 days, and I run the report for that time period, 30 of that total number should reflect the visits that I made.

In trying to get a better idea of "distinct visitors for time period" I looked at the User Information List - I can look at the raw ItemCount for total for all time, and do creative things like filter by the Created Date field for a new users during a specific time period.

Are these assumptions I am making correct? Is there some documentation on MSDN or TechNet that covers how the totals in the Web Analytics are calculated and what they really mean?

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Number of Daily Unique Visitors: Total number of unique visitors each day. SharePoint authenticated users and anonymous users (using IP address) are counted as visitors.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ecm/archive/2010/05/03/web-analytics-in-sharepoint-2010-insights-into-reports-and-metrics.aspx

this part explains how they are getting the values and why your seeing the crazy number, check the link out ;)

According to IFABC Global Web Standards, a unique visitor is an IP address plus a further identifier (such as user name, user agent, or a cookie). If you want to know how many daily unique visitors there are, you should go to the Site Collection Web Analytics Reports – Number of Daily Unique Visitors page. The Summary page is nothing more than a summation of all days and all unique visitors.

Is this a bad thing? We feel it is at least a little (okay, more than just a little). It makes sense to provide overviews of the number of unique visitors per day, week, month, year or whatever. By simply summarizing all unique visitors, soon the number of unique visitors on the Summary page goes sky high. It leads to a situation where web analytic reports show that there are 1000 unique visitors, whereas in reality there are only 100. We know it’s a summary page, but we also feel this is a situation where simple math doesn’t apply to this data and leads to confusing results.

http://sharepointdragons.com/2012/01/12/web-analytics-unique-visitors-go-sky-high/

hope it helps :)

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