Sunday, January 27, 2013

Battle of the Web Analytics: Google Analytics vs. Omniture SiteCatalyst

Battle of the Web Analytics: Google Analytics vs. Omniture SiteCatalyst

As someone who is new to the world of web analytics, I reckoned that creating a blog post examining the two major online analytical tools would not only benefit my readers (which is hopefully more than just myself), but provide a way to multitask and indirectly teach myself the tools of the trade.

For someone looking to enter the marketing industry (and actually wanting to make money), understanding the ins and outs of web analytics is crucial. With enormous amounts of consumer data just a click away, businesses are desperately seeking ways to utilize this data. By understanding and analyzing the data, businesses are not only able to reach their customers more efficiently, but recognize their online buying behavior and modify their e-commerce models accordingly. The most commonly-known programs that offer this service are Google Analytics and Omniture SiteCatalyst. These online services are web-based applications that provide traffic measurement and interactive reporting for small and large sites and can be customized to fit the consumers’ online needs (courtesy of

 While the following is merely a hint of information comparing the two analytical tools, I found it useful for those of us new to the “techie” world.

                                                           Google Analytics                      vs.                Omniture SiteCatalyst

Ideal Users                       -Small companies with simple online                  -Great for companies needing
                                          transactions, don’t mind possible                       100% real-time data and have
                                          24-hour delays and only optimizes their            consistently evolving online
                                      online marketing programs monthly vs.             marketing plans
                                          on a daily basis

Pricing                           -Basic service is free (as long as page views    -Fee required; interesting to note
                                       are 5 million and under … service remains       no pricing exists on Omniture’s
                                   free if connected through Adwords); Google   website; user must call for 
                                       Analytics premium (which caters to larger       pricing quotes
                                   Companies) requires a fee

Set-Up Requirements   -Easy to install, but may become difficult       -Requires extensive planning
                                          user wishes to customize (setting custom      (i.e. KPRs, KPIs, creating solution
                                      tracking systems (i.e. KPIs or variables))         design document as a roadmap);
                                                                                                                          provides blue-print to create a
                                                                                                               customized analysis

Ease-of-Use                    -Very user friendly; often viewed as                -Requires a moderate user
                                         the non-techie’s analytics tool                           knowledge of analytics

Data Reports                -Ability to email reports in various formats;    -Ability to create                             
                                        However unable to provide multiple                multiple dashboards for a single
                                    dashboards (only allows one dashboard          site; in comparison to GA, ability
                                        per website)                                                          to create hourly reports

Limitations                  -Mobile pkgs create issues -  Ad filtering can    -Lacks traffic filtering capabilities
                                       block google analytics tracking codes (GATC);   unlike Google Analytics
                                      Privacy networks like Tor, can also block users’ -While Omniture can perform
                                      locations                                                                    segmentation, must be set up
                                      -Users can delete GATC cookies that enable      manually; isn’t 100% retroactive
                                     data to not be collected
                                      -GA limits their random report sampling to 500
                                      in order to reduce server load and provide quick
                                   response times


Courtesy of the following expert resources:




  1. Nice comparison.I like your post.

  2. Definitely a good summary of web analytics and a helpful start to understanding the two main players!

  3. I really like this! It's a great reference, as I don't know very little about the individual tools.

  4. This is a really nice breakdown of the two. As someone that is pretty in the dark when it comes to web analytics, this was absolutely insightful!

  5. Nice post! Call for pricing! I always like that one. It means, "It's a lot of money." Usually... It is amazing what Google analytics does give us for free and great to learn with too. Thanks again.

  6. Its unbelievable the things that Google offers for free that a lot of people aren't aware of. Free may mean limited abilities but not with GA. Good comparison

  7. Great post, wish you could go in greater detail as to the reasoning for why Google offers it for free. Great breakdown of the services.

  8. Great comparison. Thanks for the post.

  9. It really comes down to cost. If I could get Omniture for cheaper, then it is a done deal. Good comparison.

  10. It is interesting how this space has evolved. Google's strategy to come in with a low cost product- google docs, android etc... totally changes how the segment functions.

  11. I didn't know anything about SiteCatalyst before! It was easier to understand its offerings and limitations since you compared it to GA - which are familiar with because of class.