Texas agency tracks Web usage

The Texas Education Agency announced July 16 that it is using software to monitor and audit public Internet use of TEA information.

The state is using Teleran Technologies Inc.'s iSight software to profile all access to the IBM Corp. database that supports the TEA Web portal. The site (www.tea.state.tx.us) offers constituents access to information on public schools, educational programs, curriculum and finance. Students, families, educators, administrators and state agency employees obtain TEA information on a regular basis.

The software helps officials document what information is important to constituents as well as determine what data has little value. It also monitors how well the system is performing and assists information technology staff in diagnosing and correcting performance holdups.

"It is important to know what information is being frequently used by constituents in order to provide meaningful database content as well as a quick reaction time to queries," said Christopher Doolittle, vice president of marketing for Teleran.

Public users do not have to identify themselves to access information on the TEA portal, Doolittle said, so the software captures patterns of use but no identifying information.

"Nearly all Web sites track access patterns by Web page and now many are tracking by data request," he said. "So far, this has not been an objection raised in any of the sites we deal with."

TEA's budget provided the $75,000 to institute the software, which has been in use for about a year. Since that time, the agency incorporated iGuard, a Teleran software program used to predict and prevent problem queries automatically, to work along with the iSight software.

Last month the Army announced that it is using the iSight and iGuard software suite to improve the efficiency of its personnel recruiting process.


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