Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"Omniture and Google Analytics over-hyped" - CMS Watch

"Omniture and Google Analytics over-hyped", that's the headline of the press release from CMS Watch I got in my mail box this morning.

They go on to say that "today (they) rejected the snowball of hype suggesting that Google Analytics and Omniture are the only remaining solid choices for Web Analytics" and "CMS Watch research finds that enterprises can select from a broad selection of established vendors that work well in diverse scenarios and can scale as web site traffic grows".

CMS Watch is absolutely right that there are some great products, some of them much better suited for a particular client and situation (because of price, local presence, specific features, etc.). This seems to be especially true in Europe.

However, I don't agree that larger market share means over-hyped. Are they delivering on their promise? I think so.

Furthermore, you can't really compare Google Analytics and Omniture, they are at different positions on the large spectrum of web analytics solutions.

Google Analytics is great to start in the field and Forrester put it near the middle of their Wave: good offering, good strategy. Other products can compare advantageously to Google Analytics.

I also share Forrester's opinion about Omniture: strong strategy and strong offering. Omniture SiteCatalyst goes way beyond Google Analytics in terms of segmentation, custom metrics, system integration and advanced analysis capabilities... for a price. But web analytics doesn't stop with data collection and analysis, one need to look at the larger offering and think about other complementary tools to complete the Trinity approach put forward by Avinash Kaushik: Behavior, Outcomes and Experience. This includes A/B and multivariate testing, surveys, performance analytics, etc. Should you go with best of suite or best of class?

Companies looking at spending tens of thousand of dollars annually in a multi-year contract for a tool/service, training and put their faith in such a product to take important business decisions better do their research seriously. Although expensive, I think the report might make a lot of sense for companies currently in the selection process.

The web analytics vendors market shares I have started to publish might also be a consideration in the selection process. I leave it to you to decide if going for the bigger player is a good or a bad thing.