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Re: [php-49] analytics logging - where to store data

From: Mark S.
Sent on: Thursday, November 15, 2012 3:07 PM
Thanks for the thoughts David. Since I'm an independent contractor, it's a little easier for me to say, "Sure I can do that, but it'll cost you X" and that often puts a cramp on feature creep. And if they don't mind, then I just get more work :)


On Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 2:43 PM, David Malouf <[address removed]> wrote:

Couple of things come to mind:
+ everything you listed is tracking a given user, is that correct? That might change things (vs. tracking ' activities' or more than one "thing").  Which leads to...
+ a sticking point I've seen/heard/read about is feature creep: people seem to get excited when analytics "work" (look good, provide good data, easy to use, etc.). Then they want to see the data upside-down our from the side... 'seems' easy but requires drastically differ querying, etc.

I hate it, but it seems like such tracking/analysis all-but cannot be customer friendly in that you may (probably) end up saying "no"more than yes.  Google, et al have the benefit of saying "this is all we offer."  Even the good/right idea from Dan about summary tables (or columns or _____) implies that such data is ALL the client can ask for: a design decision that prevents further use of the data.  Which has to be done :-)

And I wholly agree: separate server for analytics!  Also, it's not too uncommon to take-in the data with one table-type and analyze using a different type.

As to NoSQL: unless you're going to limit statistics to one "kind"of thing (user, on this case), I think Relational (meaning: column types relate to their values) is rather ideal.  But I could be WAY off on this!

My 3 cents,
David Malouf

On Nov 15,[masked]:50 AM, "Mark Steudel" <[address removed]> wrote:

So I'm working on a project that is all about tracking user activity on a site:

1. How much time spent on site
2. how many activities a user has started, finished,
3. How many times a user has come to the site
4. etc.

And of course they want lots of reporting on all these aspects.

The site gets a fair amount of traffic and I can see all this logging
creating quite a bit of traffic especially over years.


1. Not knowing much of anything about nosql implementations, would
this project be worth exploring  nosql?

2. If I stick with MySQL, are there some ways I can architect at the
get go that won't make it a bear to work with in say 3 years. (ie some
ginormous table). I was thinking either try and get some sort of
business process retention policy (ie we only need to worry about a
years worth of data) or database retention (ie dynamic tables that
store a years worth of data user_time_2012, user_time_2013 ).

Anyway would love to get some feedback on this.

Thanks, Mark

Mark Steudel
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