Tracking and Delivering Data Client-side or Server-side: Advantages and Disadvantages
Certain data is only available client-side, but server-side data management offers numerous advantages as well— here’s what you need to know
Client-side and server-side are the two ways to collect and deliver data– but each approach comes with its respective benefits and drawbacks. Tealium offers customers both client-side and server-side options, so you have the power to make the right choice for your data strategy, business needs, and budget.
Choosing Between Client-side and Server-side
Want to know how to choose whether to track and/or deliver data on the client-side or server-side? Or when you might need both options? Check out our client vs server decision tree for more info.
What is client-side and server-side tracking?
Client-side delivery of data is commonly accomplished through tags, one of the most popular ways to transmit data from web pages. This type of tracking involves the user’s browser (client) directly sending data to a server. The method is used for collecting and sharing data from your website to your marketing technology vendors and is referred to as tag management.
Server-side Tracking (aka, Cloud Delivery)
Server-side data management, also known as cloud delivery, is when a pixel or tag sends data into your web server (or a different type of server), then your web server passes that data to the destination system/server. This data could be used by a marketing automation platform, analytics provider, personalization tool or another type of execution system.
When a single, consolidated pixel or tag is used instead of one tag/pixel per destination system, this is called an event gateway system (also known as an API Hub), with one example being Tealium EventStream. This is where one, central system functions to collect all data, then that system relays data to third-party vendors. This action simplifies the collection and delivery process by sending one data stream to a cloud-based repository, and then the data is sent to your vendors.
Advantages of Client-side Tracking
Advantages of Server-side Tracking
How to Approach Mobile Data
Client-side versus server-side data management is a huge consideration largely because of the rise of mobile. Mobile devices present many unique considerations, especially when considered in tandem with legacy data. Get the facts.
Data Layer Approach: The Key to Unlocking the Benefit of Client/Server Tracking Optimization
Nimbly tracking and delivering data on either the server or client-side is not easy without taking steps to establish a data foundation that simplifies the process of defining and accessing data. Establishing a modular and vendor-neutral data foundation unlocks the maximum benefits of optimizing the client-server data management balance. Tealium takes a data layer approach (combined with an easy-to-use management interface) to establish a taxonomy of data that can be accessed from any location customer engagement occurs. This greatly simplifies the process of leveraging data, whether done client or server-side.