Web Analytics becomes increasingly strategic with Google Analytics taking center stage


I would like to talk about the large volume of transactions that have taken place in the Web analytics domain in recent years. Businesses that are strategically positioned in the digital sector all agree that it’s crucial to include an advanced Web analytics solution in their offer. Adobe, IBM, Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft are among the businesses that have bought into the sector, or are at least planning to do so. Below is a timeline of the main transactions that speaks for itself:

In the end though, there is really only one independent solution suited to large businesses: Webtrends. There are many small-scale, local solutions, but the latter just can’t keep up with the sector’s fast-moving pace:

  • An API that integrates Web statistics with other key business data;
  • A social ecosystem that has become increasingly active and difficult to gauge, hence the need for data processing tools that can accomplish tasks such as sentiment analysis;
  • Advanced segmentation and customer profiling;
  • Optimization tools, A/B and multivariate tests;
  • Qualitative analysis of visitors and traffic.

Only the more serious solutions are able to provide this kind of follow-up unless they turn to a cocktail of niche solutions in a desperate attempt to wade through this large volume of non-integrated data.

So what about the market of true alternatives for businesses looking to integrate Web analytics with other key metrics?

In my experience, large organizations often wind up choosing between Omniture, coremetrics and Google Analytics; in Canada at least. We see less and less organizations using Webtrends. Organization that are not interested in a solution that stores data externally (often government organizations or financial institutions) cannot use Google Analytics, but will find in Urchin 7 a comparable product in terms of feature at a fraction of the price of Coremetrics and Omniture.

Yet we can clearly observe the difference in price for basically the same features, with maybe a few small variations. This is especially true when you consider the progress the two solutions have made over the past five years. The Google Analytics curve is far more aggressive. Another thing to consider is the fact that since Omniture is owned by Adobe, it is only normal to expect that in the not-so-distant future, Adobe editing and creation tools will be integrated into new versions of Omniture, which may not be to the liking of several Internet publishers.

Adviso has decided to go with Google Analytics and has observed a growing trend to this effect, even among businesses that previously used the other services presented. Google Analytics also often serves as a benchmark as many websites that use Omniture or Webtrends still have a Google Analytics chip for comparative analysis purposes due to the significant market presence of the latter. Finally, Google Analytics is a logical choice because in the end, it provides a very complete, and more importantly, a very tailored solution at a very reasonable price.

In my opinion, Web analytics will become a key skill for businesses aiming to go digital. And your business too should become acquainted with this highly-strategic knowledge!

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