Yes Google Analytics is awesome and free but do we know what it actually does? Can it be used instead of enterprise solutions such as Adobe Omniture Site Catalyst? My answer is to that would be it really depends..
Google Analytics free version is not definitely for enterprises or even medium companies since it is a sample of data and you really can't depend on that data to make critical business decisions.
Let's also make distinction between web analytics and online marketing analytics to make sure we don't think they are the same thing. Web analytics is more about measuring your product performance, clickstream data and measuring your site optimization efforts. Online marketing analytics measures your online campaigns such as adwords, email etc along with SEO..They are not same but they are connected.
For me the biggest difference between Omniture and Google Analytics is this: Google Analytics' main skill is online marketing analytics and Omniture's main skill is web analytics and optimization. I mean in Google Analytics you can see both Adwords and SEO performance together which is very vital for your acquisition efforts.
But when it comes to real web analytics that will help you to understand your product performance, Omniture is the best tool out there. All the customizations you can create with evars, props and events can't easily be done by Google Analytics.
OMNITURE HELPS YOU TO MAINTAIN LESS JAVA SCRIPT CODE ON THE PAGE
For me this is one of the big advantages of Omniture. You host your own JS library and you can add some code to that library so that you don't have to add custom tagging on the page. Unfortunately Google Analytics requires page level JS code for every customization.
I also happen to love Omniture's new solution "Processing Rules" which helps me to create new variables without any tagging at all. I can simply create some variables by using existing ones. Unfortunately this feature doesn't cover complex cases so I just hope Omniture can improve this product more along the way.
Omniture VISTA is also another way to create variables without tagging. This is done by Omniture engineers at the database right after your data is sent and right befoire data shows up in the interface. This is more advanced than processing rules, but of course this one has a cost.
OMNITURE CAN TRACK CUSTOMER INFORMATION
This one is so important. I want to be able to track my customers on the site at an individual level to target them later. In Omniture I can do that but Google Analytics doesn't still allow that. I think not to be able to track your members, or logged in users closely, is a big issue with GA.
OMNITURE PATHING REPORTS CAN BE CUSTOMIZED AND SEGMENTED
This is also one of my important tools. I stopped looking at pathing at a global level as it really doesn't tell me any story. I look at pathing report by segments. I can look at my funnel by many segments you can imagine:
- Campaigns to understand the point in the funnel where I have issue or opportunity. Then I can alter my ad campaigns to address that specific issue or opportunity.
- How my loyal customer move through funnel?
- What about users from Germany? Should I design my product different for people from Germany
As you can see this list can go on and on..Segmentation is the most essential tool for us and funnel segmentation is the top priority.
OMNITURE ADMIN CONSOLE AND ITS MUSINGS
Omniture admin console is pretty sophisticated and it is a must for enterprises, let me give couple examples:
- I can share segments, dashboards or reports with anybody or with any group very easily
- I can limit who can see what report at many levels
- I can include/exclude IP addresses
- I can customize menu and display most important items
- I can create calculated metrics for my users
- I can define when and how my conversion variables are expired, something that Google Analytics custom variables does not have
As you can see I have my own reasons why I prefer Omniture over Google Analytics. I am mainly focused on web analytics and optimization and unfortunately Google Analytics can't provide all the tools I need for my optimization efforts. I talked to Google about analytics premium product and asked them If I could do all these things that I can do now. I was told that it is a beta program and I would be working with Google consultants try to realize all my objectives. There is an issue here. Why will I pay 100,000 USD for the product with unclear results. I just hope Google makes this product cheaper so that more customers can try it out. That way they can build a better product that can compete with other products in the market.
I am strong a believer for competition. Competition makes companies work more and create better products at a cheaper price :) That's what society needs..