Web Analytics Vendor Comparison

Web Analytics Product Comparison:

The following versions were accounted for in this comparison: SiteCatalyst 14 & 15, Webtrends 9 & 10, and Google Analytics version as of the date of this publication.

Legend
Available out-of-the-box or easily achieved
Can be done, but requires more effort than competitors
Can be done, but has severe limitations
Cannot be done without engaging professional services or an extremely high level of competence among in-house resources.
Function Area Feature Adobe Suite Webtrends Products Google Tools
On Premise On Demand
Web Analytics
Basic features
Path reportingPathing reports show how users navigate step by step through your site, content, products, search terms, etc., usually starting at a particular point going forward (where they went next) or backward (how they got there).
There is a maximum of 8 levels. Pathing on variables is available.
There is a maximum 20 levels deep to and from any given page. The number of levels must be defined prior to analysis, in other words, path reporting is not dynamic.
There is a maximum 20 levels deep to and from any given page. The number of levels must be defined prior to analysis, in other words, path reporting is not dynamic.
Paths can be drilled into one step at a time.
e-Commerce reportingStandard e-commerce reports show revenue, purchases (conversions) and units sold, including shopping cart activity, by individual product and for the site as a whole.
Real-time traffic reportingReal-time reporting means almost no delay between an action occurring on the site and data showing up in the reporting tool.
There is an average lag of up to 1-2 hours in SiteCatalyst version 15. For version 14 the lag is less than 120 seconds for traffic properties and less than 30 minutes for conversion variables (including s.product, s.campaign, s.eVars).
This is achieved using Webtrends’ Analytics “Express Analysis” feature.
This is achieved using Webtrends’ “Reinvigorate” product.
Interactive, ad-hoc reporting interfaceInteractive reporting is the ability to configure reports (measures, time frames, breakdowns or correlations, data filters, comparisons) as you go, allowing you to conduct ad hoc analysis as business questions arise.
End-user help is applicable and helpfulHelp in the user interface refers to report-specific notes, tooltip definitions and contextual documentation.
Many help topics are only found in user forums and are addressed by the general public instead of Google employees.
Mobile device reportingOut-of-the-box reporting of website usage on mobile devices, e.g. page views or unique visitors by mobile device type, operating system, etc. and on site content or products viewed by mobile visitors.
Funnels/scenarios are easy to set upFunnels/Scenarios report the number of users who successfully complete a multi-step process, e.g. product view through to purchase confirmation, site registration, etc. and the number of users who fall out of the process at each step.
Multimedia content reportingMultimedia content includes audio and video, podcasts and rich interactive applications. Reporting includes downloads or streams, plays or starts, completes, minutes consumed, percentage viewed, etc. by content piece or application.
Requires tagging the video player
Requires coding custom event tracking
Requires coding custom event tracking
Requires coding custom event tracking
Advanced analytics
Interactive segmentation reportingInteractive segmentation is the ability to select criteria to define a subset of page views, visits and/or visitors as you go, and apply that segment to the analytics reports, allowing you to conduct ad hoc analysis.
Basic segments such as buyer/non-buyer, new vs. returning visitor, and geography are available.
Basic segments such as buyer/non-buyer, new vs. returning visitor, and geography are available.
Configurable attribution modelsConfigurable attribution models allow administrators to give credit for online purchases (conversions) in a variety of ways to advertising campaigns or merchandising locations the user touched before converting.
Only first-touch and last-touch attribution are supported.
Only first-touch and last-touch attribution are supported.
Robust attribution is only available in Google Premium.
Personally identifiable data allowedThe Terms of Service agreement allows the business to collect information which may identify a unique person, e.g. email address or user ID.
Collection of personally identifiable information is a violation of Terms of Service agreement for all Google Analytics accounts.
Product and content merchandisingMerchandising refers to measuring and reporting on which location performs best, when the same product or piece of content is promoted in two or more locations on the site.
Marketing/multi-channel reportingMulti-channel marketing measures each channel (display, paid search, email, etc.) users respond to before purchasing or converting, and reports the contribution (revenue, purchases, units, conversions, etc.) of each combination of channels.
This requires the multi-channel funnels feature.
Extended SharePoint reportingExtended SharePoint reporting complements SharePoint’s out-of-the-box data and includes measurement of web parts, document actions, breadcrumb navigation, etc.
Requires Unilytics’ “Mergence” product.
Requires Unilytics’ “Mergence” product.
Requires “Webtrends for SharePoint” add-on and installation of a Webtrends feature in SharePoint farm.
Customization
Custom report creationCustom reports allow administrators to create reports finely tuned to business questions or objectives, complementing the out-of-the-box reports.
Custom variablesCustom variables are used to capture data points particular to your site or business goals, e.g. content type, page template, social media mentions, etc.
There is a limit of 75 traffic properties, 75 conversion variables and 100 events per report suite.
There is a limit of 5 custom variables per profile in Google Analytics free version, and a limit of 50 custom variables per profile for a Google Analytics Premium account.
Multiple levels of data aggregationSite reporting split out by user experience (standard web, mobile-optimized, mobile app), by site version (country-specific versions), by product or brand, etc., may be aggregated across report suites, profiles or accounts, enabling reporting at a global or multi-site level.
Global report suites incur significant additional cost.
Two levels of aggregation are possible using an officially unsupported JavaScript ‘hack’.
Push to multiple report destinationsWith a single data collection call, data may be pushed to multiple report suites, data collection servers or user accounts.
This requires an un-supported ‘hack’ of GA code.
Calculated metricsAnalytics platform supports calculating new metrics based on measures collected from the site, e.g. page views per visit, conversion rate, etc.
Integration
CRM integrationAnalytics platform supports importing data from a CRM system, combining it with clickstream data using a unique key, e.g. user ID or transaction ID.
This requires a “Genesis” integration, or Adobe’s “Data Sources” or “Insight” products.
Tight integration with Google AdWordsAdWords data (individual keyword costs, impressions, clicks, etc.) may be integrated without requiring any customization of the data collection code.
Data exportAnalytics data may be easily and automatically exported from the platform, as a data feed, for integration with third-party systems (e.g. BI tool, CRM system, custom Data Warehousing)
This can be achieved using Adobe’s “Data Sources” product, “Genesis” integrations, “Data Extract” and “Export” feature, and web services (API) connections.
Export capabilities are provided through ODBC and REST types of connections.
Export capabilities are provided through ODBC and REST types of connections.
Export is made possible using web service (API) connections.
Data importThird party or offline system data may be easily and automatically imported to the analytics platform and combined with clickstream data.
Data collection is possible via a REST-based API connection.
Quick access to individual visitor dataAnalytics platform allows easy reporting of visitor behaviour and visitor history by unique individuals (unique visitors).
Reporting on individual visitors requires creation of a custom variable containing a visitor identifier.
This is possible using the Visitor History Export feature of Analytics.
This is possible using the Visitor History Export feature of Analytics.
Data consistency & transformation
No data samplingData sampling reports measure totals extrapolated from a sample of data collected and are less accurate and reliable when used in real-time/current reporting.
“Adobe Discover” is the only Adobe product that samples data and that is only when server calls exceed 7.5 million per day, or when certain extended date ranges are requested.
Data is sampled when 1 million unique dimension combinations occur in any query or when 500,000 sessions for some queries.
Translation tables/data classificationsTranslation tables or data classifications map additional values to a single data point, e.g. providing a friendly campaign name for a campaign tracking ID.
Translation or classification is achieved using the SAINT classification feature of Adobe SiteCatalyst.
Translation or classification is achieved using the translation table feature of Webtrends Analytics.
Translation or classification is achieved through FTP transfers using the translation table feature of Webtrends Analytics.
Can manipulate data prior to analysisAnalytics platform supports modifying, massaging or changing data between when it’s captured on the page and when it’s stored in the analytics database or log files, e.g. translating IP address to city, state and country.
Data manipulation is achieved via SiteCatalyst VISTA rules in version 14 and via data processing rules in version 15.
Very basic data manipulation is possible using Webtrends’ Analytics “URL Rebuilding” feature.
Very basic data manipulation is possible using Webtrends’ Analytics “URL Rebuilding” feature.
Indefinite data retentionThe ability to keep all historic report data, guaranteed by the Terms of Service agreement.
The DataWarehouse retention policy states data can be removed after 25 months, but in our experience this has never yet happened.
Bot/Spider filteringTraffic from bots and spiders (automated systems that crawl the web and can generate page views and skew other measures) should be filtered and excluded from counting against reported site totals.
Removing bots and spiders from report data requires configuration of VISTA or data processing rules.
Removing bots and spiders from report data requires configuration of hit filters.
Removing bots and spiders from report data requires configuration of hit filters.
Removing bots and spiders from report data requires configuration of filters.
Flexible filtering at multiple levelsAnalytics platform supports custom filtering of data, e.g. filtering out company-internal traffic, while data is being collected, while data is being stored, and in data reporting.
Robust data storage and accessAnalytics platform provides storage of raw clickstream data and facilitates easy extraction and analysis of that data, separate from the standard reporting interface. Raw data may include more detail than packaged reports, e.g. individual visitor history analysis.
Robust data storage requires Adobe’s “DataWarehouse”, “Discover”, or “Insight” products.
Robust data storage requires Webtrends’ “Visitor Data Mart” product.
Robust data storage requires Webtrends’ “Visitor Data Mart” product.
Visualizations
Heat mappingHeat mapping measures user clicks on the page and, in reporting, visually identifies the most-clicked links on the page with transparent color overlays, helping the business identify effective parts of the page.
Basic heat mapping capabilities are provided via the “ClickMap” browser plugin.
Heat mapping is achieved through Webtrends’ “Reinvigorate” product.
Flexible report layout configurationThe ability to customize how reports are grouped and presented in the platform.
Report layout is controlled by the “Template” feature of Webtrends Analytics.
Report layout is controlled by the “Template” feature of Webtrends Analytics.
Customizable graphing elementsAbility to control how report data is visualized in the reporting platform.
Customization of graphing elements is limited to line, pie, bar, and column graph elements.
Customization of graphing elements is limited to line, pie, bar, and column graph elements.
Real-time alerts & exception highlightingAbility to analyze logs generated by normal web servers, expanding reporting of technical data points, e.g. server response times.
The Adobe SiteCatalyst “Alerts” feature addresses activity monitoring, however it is only as granular as the level of a day. No real-time alerts are possible.
Real time activity monitoring requires Webtrends “Alerts” feature.
Real time activity monitoring requires Webtrends “Alerts” feature.
The “Intelligence Events” and “Alerts” feature of Google Analytics provides real time activity monitoring.
End-user access
Mobile end-user interfaceAnalytics platform supports data reporting through mobile application (iOS, Android or other).
Other end-user interfacesAnalytics platform supports alternative ways to access the data aside from the standard web-based reporting interface, e.g. Excel plugin, Mac or Windows application.
Adobe also provides “Direct Access”, “Report Builder”, “Dashboard Player”, and “SiteCatalyst Widgets” for end-users to access SiteCatalyst data.
Webtrends provides an Analytics 8.x, 9.x (Insight), and 10.x (Spaces) styled interfaces for end users.
Webtrends provides 9.x (Insight), and 10.x (Spaces) styled interfaces for end users.
Easy-to-use, intuitive end-user interfaceStandard web reporting interface is easy to understand, facilitating quicker understanding and adoption of analytics data by business stakeholders.
Webtrends provides 9.x (Insight), and 10.x (Spaces) styled interfaces for end users
Webtrends provides 9.x (Insight), and 10.x (Spaces) styled interfaces for end users
Administration
No hardware required to run softwareFor data collection and processing, dedicated servers are required both to capture and store the data, and to analyse the data. With hosted solutions, the vendor manages the analytics hardware and reporting is through web interface.
A small installation of Webtrends On Premise requires four servers and larger installations rapidly require additional hardware.
Transparent data collection for usersA measure of how difficult it is for business users to understand how data is collected from JavaScript tags.
Reprocessing old data is possibleAbility to re-run analysis of reports (including new reports) against historic data.
Requires clients to download and archive data in real time in advance of any processing, then to send that self-stored data back to Webtrends for analysis.
Processing of standard log filesAbility to analyze logs generated by normal web servers.
Available with an account add-on of the “Log Upload” service.
Tracking script is easy to generateHow easy it is for non-technical users to generate tracking code, directly impacting the level of effort required to implement and maintain the analytics platform.
The base tracking script is easily available through Admin Console Code Manager, but any further customization requires manual coding.
Tracking script is readily customizableHow easy it is to customize the tracking code to achieve a depth of business value from the analytics platform. Level of effort directly impacts business cost for implementing and maintaining the analytics tool.
Simple tracking script implementationEase of implementation directly impacts the cost of establishing and maintaining analytics measurement.
Cross-domain trackingCross-domain tracking allows you to measure visitors to multiple websites aggregated in a single report suite, profile or user account.
Digital Optimization
Other capabilities
Segment analysisTools purpose-built for analysing highly detailed and complex audience segments to understand how they behave differently on your site. E.g. New visitors may have a lower conversion rate than Repeat visitors.
This requires Adobe’s “Discover” product.
This requires Webtrends’ “Segments” product.
User experience optimizationTools purpose-built for A&#47B testing, reporting statistical measures like significance of audience size and confidence in the result.
This requires Adobe’s “Test & Target” or “Recommendations” products.
This requires Webtrends’ “Optimize” product.
This requires Google Analytics’ “Content Experiments” product.
Interactive dashboard creationAbility to create dashboard views from within the platform based on report data.
This requires Adobe’s “ReportBuilder” product.
This requires professional services.
This requires professional services.
Site asset placement optimizationTools purpose-built for managing and optimizing on-site placement and promotion of content or products, when the same content is featured in multiple different locations, based on customized business rules.
This requires Adobe’s “Merchandising” product.
Site asset promotionTools purpose-built for optimizing internal site search results and for promoting particular results based on customised business rules.
This requires Adobe’s “Search&Promote” product.
Social media analyticsPlatform allows tight integration with social media platforms, extending what’s possible to measure (e.g. mentions by sentiment) and facilitating management of social media presence based on measured response and site performance.
This requires Adobe’s “SocialAnalytics” product.
This requires Webtrends’ “Social” product.
Automated search marketingTools purpose-built for managing and optimizing search engine marketing campaigns based on measured response and performance on-site.
This requires Adobe’s “SearchCenter+” product.
This requires Webtrends’ “Ads” product.
This requires a “Google AdWords” linked account.
Email marketing integrationPlatform supports tight integration with email marketing management, including extended measures (opens, soft bounces, etc.), email retargeting, based on measured on-site response and performance.
This requires an Adobe “Genesis” integration for import and export, or Adobe’s “Insight” product for import only.
Webtrends Analytics supports Specific vendors.
Webtrends Analytics supports Specific vendors.
Audience sentiment/voice of customerPlatform supports tight integration with voice of customer measurement tools, or includes purpose-built tools for measuring audience sentiment.
This requires either Adobe’s “Survey” product or a “Genesis” integration.
Tag simplification/managementFeatures that make deployment, implementation and management of tracking code simpler.
This requires Adobe’s “TagManager” product.
Initial tag creation is simplified via Webtrends’ “TagBuilder” service, but no other tag management is offered.
Initial tag creation is simplified via Webtrends’ “TagBuilder” service, but no other tag management is offered.
Dynamic media content renderingAbility to provide embedded content for sites, e.g. detailed product views, based on measured on-site performance.
This requires Adobe’s “Scene7″ product.
First-party Cookie measurementData storage in first-party cookies rather than third-party cookies, which measure unique visitors more accurately than other methods, and may be required for measuring data points other than page views, visits and unique visitors.
Implementing first-party cookies requires additional configuration.
Control location of data collectionAbility to define where tracking data is sent to.
Adobe regional data collection occurs in Europe, Asia and the U.S. All data is analysed in the United States.
Data collection occurs wherever your servers are located.
Control over data usageTerms of Service agreement allows you to specify if, when, and for what purpose data collected from your site is used. Enterprise platform TOS agreements usually specify the analytics vendor will not use your data.
Granular user access controlPlatform supports specifying, by individual user account, what analytics reports, tools, measures and report suites or profiles the user may access, and assigning read-only or edit privileges.
The “Administrator” role can’t be restricted and has access to all profiles and all data.
The “Administrator” role can’t be restricted and has access to all profiles and all data.
User access may only be restricted at the profile level.


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