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No, WASP isn’t about Washington Style Politics-as-usual. For a change, this is about one of the leading tools for anyone in and around web analytics.

I won’t say that I’m a WASP junkie but, even on the most engaging sites, I’m driven to monitor the status bar for the Web Analytics Tool(s) being used.

Surfing on the iPhone does not frustrate me at all, except that not even WASP 1.x is available for iPhone’s Safari. Stephane?:)

What is WASP?

Web Analytics solutions are implemented with on-page JavaScript which send requests to the web analytics vendor’s servers. Tracking data is tacked onto the requested URL.

WASP ‘eavesdrops’ on the request and displays the sent tracking data in a Firefox Sidebar

For whom is WASP?

Yes, its for the consultants working with Web Analytics, AdWords ad network, behavioral targeting, multivariate testing, mapping, recording and Voice of Customer solutions. It should definitely be recommended by such consultants when providing solutions designed for implementation by 3rd party developers. Almost by definition, these developers will be new to such implementations.

But its even more applicable to those working with such solutions as an adjunct to their main functions such as web developers.

I would also recommend it to those trying to get beyond the basics of Google Analytics and Google Website Optimizer, particularly on a DIY basis.

Most importantly it is for the privacy advocates to see all the grossly revealing data being sent out:)

By whom is WASP?

Stephane Hamel conceived WASP at the start of its long history, way back in 2006, beginning with a proof of concept Greasemonkey script and releasing it as a Firefox Extension.

Stephane has now elevated WASP into the ver. 1.x space including a few of these latest features:

  • Enhanced cookies display
  • Page by page, technical details of tags, simultaneously displaying the tabs of all recognized solutions (125 to date)
  • Beyond web analytics, WASP recognizes ad network, behavioral targeting, multivariate testing, mapping, recording and Voice of Customer solutions
  • Enhanced tags view for Google Analytics and SiteCatalyst
  • Site Crawling for quality assurance and tag auditing
  • A licensing model (one cannot live by donations alone:)

The best feature of all

click for a larger image

This is not listed as a new feature but it’s certainly a feature that got me excited.

ECommerce pages, event tracking or pages with multiple solutions generate a higher than normal number of requests. WASP requires more tabs than could be displayed, making it difficult to access them all. This is a natural consequence of an embedded interface (WASP’s) running within a host interface (Firefox)

The test page imaged here generates 5 GA requests and 1 SiteCatalyst. Since button clicks don’t cause the page to reload, each button click adds additional, inaccessible tabs to the sidebar.

On projects requiring more creative solutions or when figuring out what’s in GA’s “black box”, I often hack together a page that sends the numerous requests I need. (Those pages were the forerunners to the code featured in the Google Analytics Cookies posts listed below.)

However, viewing the results was often difficult.
But no longer. Version 1.x features an expandable sidebar that allows access to all the tabs.

Monumental Inauguration

Yes, I know that writing this post might have been like discussing what Mrs. Obama wore to an inauguration of such monumental import, but great tools are important to those of us who spend our days with our noses to the WA grindstone — particularly to us WASP junkies.

For more insight into WASP go to WASP post and download link