HarePoint Analytics for SharePoint Vs. CardioLog Analytics

The experts at Intlock team have published an article called “CardioLog Analytics Vs. HarePoint Analytics” (this article can be found on the Intlock homepage) where a comparison of the functionality of these two competing products is made.

Rather than publishing a counter-comparison, which does not seem proper in our view, we simply have made comments on Cardiolog’s article – especially the parts of it which simply do not really represent HarePoint Analytics and its functionality. We understand that they did not endeavor to make a deep investigation into our product, so the information presented is surface-level. Below, we do not say anything about their product, we simply comment on the claims that they make, so that users can get a better and more honest comparison of the products.

The structure of this publication is simple – we cite the statements of Intlock’s article concerning various aspects of HarePoint Analytics and its capabilities, then comment on these claims based on the experience that a real user would have, not based on the extrapolations from the first impressions of a pseudo-expert.


Scalability

Intlock states:
HarePoint only provides analytics for SharePoint for a limited number of SharePoint versions, not including SharePoint Online which is gradually becoming a more commonly used version of SharePoint

Our comment:
HarePoint supports all versions of SharePoint on premise: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019 with identical functionality. It is true that the highly-specialized data collection mechanism in HarePoint Analytics, which has ZERO impact on portal performance, is not supported by SharePoint Online.

Intlock states:
HarePoint requires inefficient and time consuming configuration for every SharePoint farm

Our comment:
This is false. Installation of HarePoint Analytics takes about as long as drinking a cup of coffee; moreover, you can drink the coffee while you’re doing it.

Initial configuration of HarePoint Analytics requires only creating two SQL databases, which is fully performed from the SharePoint user interface. Deployment takes around 5 minutes. All further adjustments can be made at any later time and are optional.

Intlock states:
HarePoint is limited to generating separate reports for each farm in a multiple farm environment, unable to generate unified reports and creating more work, inefficiency and lost time. Therefore, organizations with multiple farms are not able to acquire a sense of their overall enterprise usage and performance.

Our comment:
In our 11 years in the market at HarePoint, we have seen very few companies with multiple production farms and where building unified cross-farm reports were required. In all such cases, the solution was to export data from HarePoint Analytics from each SharePoint farm to a Microsoft Excel to get unified data.

Intlock states:
All versions of SharePoint must be compatible with the versions of HarePoint – which means complicated migration, and duplicated report generation to access two or more environments.

Our comment:
This was poorly researched. Migration of HarePoint Analytics from one version of SharePoint to another is in fact only a matter detaching and attaching the HarePoint Analytics SQL database. The rest is then done by the HarePoint’s built-in Migration Wizard, which automatically maps site collections in the new environment, and HarePoint Analytics continues to work seamlessly with all the previously collected data available.

Intlock states:
HarePoint’s configuration and administration is carried out via SharePoint Central Administration which creates dependency on SharePoint services, such that if SharePoint systems are down, HarePoint system jobs are also down.

Our comment:
Also false. Firstly, issues such as a web application that is hosting Central Administration being down or SharePoint Timer Service not running (meaning none of the native SharePoint timer jobs can run) are extremely critical in the SharePoint environment and are immediately top priority for a SharePoint Administrator when they happen. It seems that our competitors wanted to get the phrase “SharePoint systems are down” into their article about us. Projection, perhaps.

It is also important to note that since HarePoint Analytics uses its own engine for data collection, even if the mentioned services are down, HarePoint Analytics will continue collecting the data normally, and will process them when SharePoint Timer Service functionality is restored; no data will be lost.


Data Collection

Intlock states:
HarePoint collects usage data via HTTP module out-of-the box, limiting the search data collection that requires additional configuration of Java Script code, impeding extra time and inefficiency.

Our comment:
This is false. HarePoint Analytics provides a rich set of reports for Search in SharePoint and in most cases, no additional configuration or setup is needed to collect and display Search data, so that they are available right out-of-the-box. JavaScript code is used only in very special cases. And we don’t even know what “impeding extra time and inefficiency” could mean – sounds like a supervillain’s special power.

Intlock states:
HarePoint’s data collection stops entirely with the expiration of their trial version.

Our comment:
This is true. The end of the trial period does equate to the stoppage of data collection. Note that we allow clients to extend the trial so that the trial period only ends when the client so desires. We see this as good business. In the past, we saw cases when companies stopped their evaluation process rather informally and were surprised to discover months later that data were still collected, processed and stored in an SQL database despite the trial period having expired was over. Based on this, we have chosen the policy to stop data collection after the trial has expired.

Intlock states:
HarePoint does not offer the option to view or import historical data, prior to the installation of the analytics solution.

Our comment:
This point is also not true. HarePoint Analytics comes with an IIS Importer Tool that allows the import of historical data from IIS logs from any required time range. This option is only limited by the number of IIS logs kept in your environment.

Intlock states:
With CardioLog Analytics’ use of JavaScript code, user behavior can be tracked within browsers such as mouse clicks on buttons, banners, playing videos, filling out form fields and more, which is not possible with HarePoint’s HTTP module. Administrators can also add the JavaScript code to a common component in SharePoint master pages.

Our comment:
This is misleading as it separates the HTTP module out from the product on the whole. HarePoint Analytics supports data collection from JavaScript events. This feature was added into the product version 14.10 released on November 19, 2012. Adding JavaScript code to site pages or to SharePoint master pages allows tracking of any on-page events (including clicking external links, buttons, activity within web parts and custom menus, video files playing and many more). There are straightforward instructions in the product manual.


Enterprise Effectiveness

Intlock states:
HarePoint limits compatibility to only a few versions of SharePoint, offering less range of insight and tracking options.

Our comment:
HarePoint supports all versions of SharePoint on premise: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019 with identical functionality, which guarantees that if you migrate to another version of SharePoint on premise, you will have all the same reporting available in HarePoint Analytics.


Extensibility

Intlock states:
HarePoint only offers an on premise solution, limiting those who require their analytics solution to be cloud-based. This option offers little flexibility based on the diverse needs of customers.

Our comment:
This is true. HarePoint Analytics is a solution only for SharePoint on-premises.


Proven

Intlock states:
HarePoint first development of analytics for SharePoint began in 2008, and their initial solution was not designed for SharePoint.

Our comment:
This is not only false but just weird – perhaps the writer confused us with a different product. We released our first SharePoint statistical solution back in 2007 at the same time that SharePoint 2007 was officially released (as a Microsoft Gold Certified partner, we were able to do development for SharePoint even before the official release). This solution was developed specifically and exclusively for the SharePoint platform and all subsequent versions of HarePoint Analytics are based on the same technical design. This first product appeared even before the “HarePoint” brand name was introduced, and was called “MAPILab Statistics for SharePoint 2007” after the original company name.


Segments & Optimize

Intlock states:
HarePoint User Segmentation is limited to Active Directory groups, Active Directory, Attributes, SharePoint User Profiles and IIS roles, therefore ,limiting data results and analysis based on these few segments, thus providing limited options for optimization.

Our comment:
Also untrue. HarePoint Analytics since the version 14.15 (April 27, 2017) allows data collection from the custom fields in the SharePoint User Profile and Active Directory. It is also possible to segment users by any SharePoint User Profile or Active Directory field, which provides brand-new and extremely wide opportunities in reporting.


Pricing

Intlock states:
HarePoint is priced based on the number of SharePoint users, creating a potentially wasteful and inefficient pricing model. For larger enterprises that maintain 10,000 SharePoint user and up, the solution can incur costs that are unnecessary and potentially useless, as not all registered SharePoint users actually use the organization’s SharePoint environment

Our comment:
Wrong again. HarePoint Analytics only counts the active users who have actually accessed the monitored SharePoint sites. It never counts users that are just in Active Directory but have not accessed SharePoint; neither does it count users on site collections where HarePoint Analytics monitoring is not enabled. So the number of users counted for licensing is always correct and corresponds to real user traffic on the monitored sites.

Another point is that the pricing curve is not linear and as the number of users increases, the per-user price goes down, ensuring that pricing is reasonable for customers of any size. Lastly, HarePoint Analytics does offer Enterprise Licensing, which is server-based licensing and does depend on the number of users at all.


Report Features

Intlock states:
HarePoint only offers a set of reports that cannot be altered and are limiting

Our comment:
This is not the whole story, either. HarePoint Analytics provides a wide range of pre-defined reports that are available out-of-the-box and are the work of our experienced specialists, developers, and over a decade of customer feedback, ensuring that all the data are absolutely accurate and correct. It is easy to filter, group, sort, and drill-down in reports and then save any custom report achieved in this way as a template that can be quickly accessed at any time, it also is possible to choose the data fields displayed in the reports. That is, HarePoint reports are easily customizable.


Search Reports

Intlock states:
Specific reports such as Average Onsite Searches per Visit, Onsite Searches: Failed versus Successful, Onsite Search Origin Pages, and Visits with Onsite Searches that CardioLog Analytics does offer are not available with HarePoint

Our comment:
This is not true. HarePoint Analytics includes a section for Search reports that provides detailed information on searches. Specifically, most of the reports mentioned can be obtained from HarePoint Search reports by simple filtering.


Navigation Reports

Intlock states:
HarePoint offers an inefficient list of URL navigation data that is difficult to understand and retrieve useful data from, requiring more time invested by end users looking to understand the value of the data.

Navigation Summary report (in CardioLog) is a three-page path analysis: the previous page, the selected page, and the next page. It can show you if your website’s visitors are following the paths that you’re looking for them to take to ultimately complete the desired action, rather than HarePoint that offers a long list of data for the URL that doesn’t provide a concrete, overall analysis of the navigation for that specific URL.

Our comment:
This is false. In the exact same way, HarePoint Analytics offers Navigation details report, which shows the previous and the next pages for any selected page, allowing understanding of the paths visitors take across the site. The user can choose whether to list the page by the page title or by URL.

Intlock states:
CardioLog Analytics offers a report indicating the statistics on SharePoint Entrance Paths, providing detailed insight on where users’ navigation begins, (HarePoint does not offer this report).

Our comment:
Again false. HarePoint Analytics provides a Landing pages report, which displays exactly that information. For each landing page, the bounce rate is also calculated and displayed.

Intlock states:
The External Destinations report presents data on outbound links that navigate to websites or applications outside of the SharePoint environment, highly useful for administrator portal design and optimization. Admins can recognize which websites are visited most and by which users, departments, and more.

Our comment:
This is false. HarePoint Analytics can collect clicks on links to external sites by adding a single-line JavaScript to the SharePoint page. The data is displayed in the Events group of the reports.


SharePoint Social Reports

Intlock states:
CardioLog Analytics offers social reports for Facebook, and YouTube with use of API, as well as social metrics for SharePoint 2013: likes, rating, and more – Not Available (in HarePoint Analytics)

Our comment:
This is no longer true. HarePoint Analytics incorporates reports on social features in SharePoint 2013 and 2016. Data from Facebook and YouTube at this time are not collected.


Yammer Reports

Intlock states:
Not Available (in HarePoint Analytics)

Our comment:
This is true. HarePoint Analytics does not collect data about the use of Yammer at this time.


Overall Features

Intlock states:
CardioLog Analytics offers a wide range of efficient and relevant filters for all reports, creating concise, focused and manageable and easy to digest data.

Our comment:
In HarePoint Analytics, data filtering, sorting and grouping are very easy and intuitive and performed in a graphical user interface simply by clicking or dragging columns in report tables. The capability of filtering by any report field makes it possible to obtain highly specific and narrow reporting.

Intlock states:
Unique to CardioLog Analytics is the meticulous drill down feature that takes SharePoint site analysis one step further, with a detailed analysis of sections and/or sub-sections, single pages and documents.

Our comment:
In HarePoint Analytics, all reports are cross-linked. It is possible to get further details and explanations on any number displayed in the report simply by clicking on it. Such drill-down will take you to the corresponding report that is automatically filtered and configured to display only the relevant details to that granular section of the original report. Drilling down is even possible between reports from different levels; for example, you can start with the most general, farm-wide report, then drill down to a single site collection report, and finally to reports on individual document libraries or lists.

Intlock states:
CardioLog Analytics offers reports with greater in-depth analysis of content and content types based on the various types of content available within SharePoint, such as Web applications, Subsites, libraries, and lists.

Our comment:
HarePoint Analytics provides reporting for all levels in SharePoint, from farm-wide reports, site collection reports, sites and sub-sites reports, down to individual documents, list items or users.

Intlock states:
HarePoint offers numerous reports that are essentially inefficient and can be downsized to fewer reports with more efficient filters and development. These multiple reports require more work and analysis for analysts since they disperse data, rather than focusing it.

Our comment:
The set of reports that HarePoint Analytics provides has been developed by experienced specialists in this area along with over 10 years of client feedback. so we are fully confident that the selection of reports corresponds to customer needs and expectations. The principles of the reports are understandable and logical. Reports are divided into categories; each category has one or two basic (raw data) reports, as well as reports that aggregate the basic data in certain ways. There is no need to study what each report represents; in most cases, users just follow an intuitive path by starting with the general reports and then filtering them, and/or drilling down, which automatically redirects them to the needed report. In this way, getting to a required report is never a matter of picking a report from a huge list, but rather a convenient path from one report to another, filtering out the unnecessary data and getting more and more details on the target statistical parameters. Any report so obtained can then be permanently saved as a template or subscription. Finally, reports can be removed from the list if a highly streamlined interface is desired.


You are always welcome to get detailed information about the product on the HarePoint Analytics for SharePoint homepage and of course our team will be glad to demonstrate the product as well as all its features.

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