Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It’s not the Tools, It’s the Craftsman

It turns out that IndexTools does have nearly 80 percent of Omniture’s standard off-the-shelf functionality (77 percent to be exact). Yet, so does almost everyone else. Google Analytics has 64 percent of the standard features (excludes premium and custom features) offered by Omniture. And Coremetrics, Unica and WebTrends all deliver more standard features out of the box than Omniture. Our recently published Web Analytics Buyer’s Guide reveals that the functionality gap between Web analytics tools is narrow and differentiators will surface in flexibility and data integration capabilities. Only one-third of analytics clients surveyed listed standard features and functionality as a priority when selecting vendors. Flexibility of reporting, ability to service business needs and accuracy of information all outweigh features in the buying deliberation process.

As far as tools go, there’s not a huge difference in the tools that a carpenter would pull together to frame a house and the set that my three year old uses. He’s got a hammer, tape measure, level and a saw and walks around with them in a backpack like he’s ready to conquer the world. Despite the fact that these plastic tools will only get him so far in framing out a new house, they represent all the necessary components to do so. Yet, even with equivalent tools we all know that while one carpenter may be capable of building a magnificent abode, another might struggle with a birdhouse. Thus, today’s tools have less to do with how far an organization can go with Web analytics because other factors have significantly more impact. The ability to leverage data through unlimited segmentation, blended analysis, and capture/reporting of custom elements is becoming increasingly important as web analysts grow more sophisticated. Further, the ability to integrate multiple data sources into an analytics solution to obtain a holistic picture of business performance is a differentiating factor for data-driven organizations. Solutions that are leading the enterprise-class constellation from Omniture, Coremetrics and Unica are facilitating these complex tasks. And the others are not too far behind.

I’d like to congratulate all of the leaders in this year’s enterprise and SMB constellations and give a hearty thanks to all who participated. This report was about five months in the making and required significant help and cooperation from numerous individuals. One thing I realized in the process is that there is an analytics vendor out there for every business. I demo’ed some great tools and each one of them had at least one eye-opening quality demonstrating true innovation. Yet, attempting to definitively state which is best in the market requires understanding the unique needs of an organization. JupiterResearch reports (especially Buyer's Guides), are meant to initiate dialogue between analysts and our clients. While the report stands on its own, it is meant to be directional in nature and the insight that clients receive by understanding the content with respect to their unique businesses is invaluable. Thus, I welcome any questions or inquiries if you’d like to learn more about the method behind the report or how it applies to your business.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So true.