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: