- Google Analytics can’t provide the kind of advanced segmentation that you get with the enterprise vendors
- Google Analytics only allows you to track four goals for a website
- Google Analytics isn’t real time and doesn’t provide real-time alerts, so you’ll be always be working on 24-hour delay
Picking the right analytics tool for your website can be a difficult, time-consuming and expensive business. Do you go for the cheap or even free services such as Google Analytics or do you decide that you need the additional reporting and flexibility that an enterprise class analytics tool like Omniture can provide? The problem is often that when it comes to price or services, there isn’t much in the way of a middle ground between the cheap or free services and the services that can cost you tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars. In the end, many companies find themselves gritting their teeth and paying huge sums for analytics tools. The people matter more than the tool The most important thing to remember when making a decision is that while choosing the right tool is important, of far greater importance are the people who will be deriving the key insights from the tools. A very common scenario is for websites to spend huge sums on top of the range analytics only to have them create a multitude of reports and statistics that they do not have the resources to truly understand. Such websites would almost certainly be better served by going with a cheaper more limited analytics option that they do have the resources to gain insight from. Analytics guru Avinash Kaushik has identified a useful rule of thumb for companies looking to make a decision about what analytics tools to acquire. It’s called the 10/90 rule of analytics and it states that for every $10 you spend on analytics you should be spending $90 on the people to analyse those reports. This means that if you’re a company spending $50k on an Omniture or Core Metrics implementation then you should be spending $450k on a team to analyze those results. That’s a team of four-to-five top quality analysts working full time to analyze the reports, create tests and really make use of the service. If you don’t have the budget to spend $500k on a full-fledged analytics team, it’s a good idea to delve into what you can actually do at the other end of the market. With a little creativity, you can replicate a lot of the key functionality of the big services for very little, while getting a more focused approach that suits the resources you can bring to bear. Hacking Google Analytics and Chartbeat to compete with Enterprise Analytics When the Enterprise vendors are looking to switch customers from Google Analytics, they’ll often focus on three things:
'I want a big monitor of chartbeat for every site I love, run or have wanted to run'Baratunde Thurston, the awesome web editor of the Onion and the always insightful Jack And Jill Politics, gave an interview to Jolie O'Dell of Read/Write Web. Baratunde covers the problem of content curation online when dealing with an exponentially increasing amount of content and then moves on to the real-time web and what he loves about chartbeat. The video isn't embeddable so go here to read the interview and watch Baratunde in action.
The Twitter fail whale made it famous but someone hitting your 404 page has long been an early indicator of a potential major problem with a site. You can do a useful hack with chartbeat alerts to make sure you are instantly aware of anyone arriving at your 404 page instead of their intended destination. First check that your 404 page has the same global header and footer as your other pages (so that the chartbeat code is on the page). Then go to ‘Add An Alert’ and select: Send an email when total visitors on a specific page (type in the address of your 404 page) goes above 0 people. Then choose if you wish to receive the alert by email or SMS and press 'Add Alert'. That's it! Now you'll always be instantly aware of anyone hitting your 404 page.