Case study

Web Analytics Solution for the European Food Safety Authority


Public sector Analysis Web analytics Key metrics
Project Overview 3 months

We analysed the current usability status of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)'s three websites – EFSA main page, openEFSA, and connectEFSA – using web analytics. We developed and configured new key usability metrics for EFSA to assess the usability level of the websites and related issues, and reviewed and improved the settings in Piwik.

The European Food Safety Authority now has a better overview of its users' movements and behavior, and thanks to the newly implemented metrics, more data to base future decisions on.

Key Usability Metrics

A useful tool for assessing website usability and identifying problem areas.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is an agency in the European Union tasked with providing independent scientific advice and reporting on existing and emerging risks associated with the food supply chain. Therefore, it is crucial that EFSA's websites are easy to understand and meet a high standard of usability.

Usability can be assessed using both qualitative (testing) and quantitative (web analytics) methods. EFSA had its website's current usability analysed and improved the key usability metrics set up for the websites, which are an important part of web analytics.

Although EFSA had previously configured these metrics, there was a need to update and adapt them to obtain the most relevant and accurate information about user behavior.

In developing EFSA's key metrics, we focused on the following objectives:

  • Understand the behavior of website users – why do they visit the platform?
  • Gather baseline data to assess user interests and main activities.
  • Align user behavior on websites with EFSA's own priorities and goals.
  • Map out key tasks (how session visits are distributed among the main menu's content pages) on selected platforms. What do users do on these platforms? What goals do they hope to achieve by visiting them?

Using quantitative methods in addition to qualitative ones provides EFSA with a complete picture

Basing decisions on data and employing diverse methods to assess usability are both practical and innovative approaches. Sole reliance on either qualitative or statistical methods alone fails to provide a comprehensive view. However, integrating statistics with qualitative data enhances the understanding of user activities and behaviors more thoroughly. The development of a consistent and repeatable system for monitoring user behavior is particularly beneficial in pinpointing successful strategies and areas requiring improvement.


This approach was precisely what we adopted when the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) engaged us for web analytics. Our initial step involved identifying key usability issues through testing and user satisfaction surveys. Following this, we established statistical metrics tailored to these findings, equipping EFSA with valuable data and the means to interpret these metrics effectively in alignment with their goals.


Collaborative efforts played a crucial role in achieving optimal results. The EFSA team granted us access to Piwik, provided essential feedback and context, and assisted in resolving technical hurdles, enabling us to perform optimally. We pinpointed critical usability issues, developed and implemented new key usability metrics in Tag Manager, and prepared comprehensive documentation to support EFSA's ongoing research and application of these insights.


Project Execution and Deliverables for the European Food Safety Authority

The project involved four key stages to ensure the best outcome for the European Food Safety Authority:

  1. Data Preparation: We began by mapping out platforms and components that required data collection.
  2. Key Metric Development and Data Analysis: We conducted usability tests and online user satisfaction surveys, both qualitative and quantitative, to direct our focus in developing key metrics.
  3. Current and Future Needs: Post-analysis, we streamlined the Piwik environment and addressed existing limitations. Subsequently, we configured existing metrics for the three platforms in Piwik's Tag Manager and set up new data tracking mechanisms.
  4. Documentation: We created detailed instructions for EFSA to replicate our study in the future, including comprehensive documentation of the formulas used in metric calculations and the logic behind these formulas.
  • At the outset of the project, we began by mapping out the platforms and components that required data collection. Our aim was to grasp the current state comprehensively and develop the most effective key metrics. To achieve this, we conducted a series of usability tests and online user satisfaction surveys. The blend of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies provided the crucial insights needed to tailor our key metrics development accurately.
  • Following the completion of these surveys, we moved on to reorganize the Piwik environment. This step involved removing any duplicates and outdated or irrelevant information, thereby streamlining the system for enhanced efficiency. We also took this opportunity to identify and note any existing limitations within the system. Our next step was to configure the metrics for the three main platforms in the Piwik Tag Manager system, along with setting up new data tracking measures.
  • A pivotal outcome of this process was the development of a comprehensive system of key metrics specifically designed to gauge website usability. This system is poised to assist EFSA in future evaluations, particularly in determining the frequency and severity of main usability issues. It also serves as a tool for monitoring improvements in usability as issues are addressed and resolved.
  • Adding further value to the project, we created detailed guidelines on replicating the study using the same methods. We meticulously documented the formulas used for calculating the metrics, elucidating their logic and justification, and noting any known issues and limitations. This documentation was comprehensive, including screenshots for each formula as implemented in Piwik Tag Manager, ensuring clarity and ease of reference.
  • EFSA, as a result, received a tailor-made Piwik setup, complete with carefully crafted tags and variables, laying down a robust foundation for their web analytics. This customized system empowers EFSA to closely monitor their website's dynamics and gather valuable insights into user behavior. With this enhanced capability, EFSA is better positioned to promptly identify and address usability issues, ensuring timely resolutions.
  • This solution, crafted specifically for EFSA, equips them to make informed, knowledge-based decisions, thereby significantly enhancing the user experience across their platforms.

We offer bespoke solutions with various tools and develop key metrics for web usability

We provide tailor-made solutions for assessing usability using various tools, develop the necessary key metrics for usability, and create reliable configurations for monitoring each metric.


Key usability metrics play a crucial role in measuring the achievement of objectives and monitoring the usability of web platforms – we have the capability to create, configure, and visualise them.


This enables our clients to measure the effectiveness of their web developments, analyse usability based on data, and identify common problems. Based on this information, they can then prioritise development activities and plan resources accordingly.