I'm comparing the results using the Popular macro on space x to the results from an analytic system looking at the same space. Both come very close to the top five page views (order of most hits) but the the counts are off between 3-8%. I'm thinking the analytic system looks at the database at the very moment it's run while either the popular macro or Confluence itself doesn't update the stats that frequently.
Popular macro and Confluence actually look into Confluence index to compose the result. Index should run every 30 seconds, and it could be modified in scheduled jobs menu.
Hope it helps.
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