How accurate is the user location data?

  • 10 January 2023
  • 3 replies

Wondering how accurate the location data is for users? we are seeing a lot of users from Chicago which seems a little odd for our site, but may be right. Any reason why Chicago locations in particular might be skewed?

3 replies

Userlevel 4
Badge +3

Hey @jzieg sometimes we see in our clients’ FullStory instances concentrations of users, but they are actually bots/servers. You may want to look for things like “headless” in the User Agent view or other give-aways. 

Or look at users in Chicago that click nothing – that might give a signal for that too. 

Oh! And one other thought – we had a client that had a lot of sessions from a particular city at the same time of day and it turned out to be a synthetic monitoring service. 

Anyway, hopefully giving you food for thought on why you might have a concentration of sessions (that they might not be real users!). 

Thanks so much for your reply! These are actual bookings on our site, so they are definitely doing something real 🙂 I’ll keep looking to see if I can figure out what that’s all about, thanks!

Userlevel 4

Hey @jzieg! Thanks so much for chatting in, and thank you @stevenshyne for sharing that valuable insight! 😄 It’s true that sometimes bots can affect the user location data. 

There are a few other options you could consider to determine the larger user numbers in Chicago, such as whether you’ve recently released a marketing campaign targeting folks in that area. If that doesn’t resonate, it could come down to VPN’s. In a nutshell, we capture the IP Address of the end user when the session begins, and from there, the geolocation of the user is populated. Since a VPN replaces a user's IP address, we would likely show a different location than where the user is actually located.

Please let me know if you have any other thoughts or questions!