Don't Buy That Web Analytics Package Just Yet - InformationWeek

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12/5/2005
03:22 PM
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Don't Buy That Web Analytics Package Just Yet

As most of us know by now, Google has decided to crash yet another party. This time it's not search, Web-based e-mail or classifieds that the Great Disrupter has decided to take on. It's Web analytics. And a lot of firms thinking of buying a new online analytics package should look into Google before making their decision.

As most of us know by now, Google has decided to crash yet another party. This time it's not search, Web-based e-mail or classifieds that the Great Disrupter has decided to take on. It's Web analytics. And a lot of firms thinking of buying a new online analytics package should look into Google before making their decision.Google started offering Web analytics on the cheap last month, and since then both the users of Web analytics and the firms that make the technology have been all a-twitter about it. Google's free service, called Google Analytics, is designed for small businesses and lacks the functionality of products made by Omniture, WebTrends and the like. As such, the product's not a threat to the established vendors -- at least not now. A story we're running from InformationWeek's Rick Whiting nicely summarizes Google Analytics' place in the market.

If you're a Web analytics pro with a small firm, you should look at Google before buying one of the more established packages. If you're a business intelligence practitioner with General Motors, you probably shouldn't bother with Google. At least not yet.

In the larger assessment, I'm betting Google didn't buy Urchin software, the vendor that lends Google most of its analytics capabilities, just so it could give the stuff away for free. Google is likely to expand its capabilities, and then channel its smaller customers onto a for-fee service as they grow. And if Google finds that the Web analysis business helps its bottom line, you can bet it will expand its capabilities to lure bigger customers and boost its revenue in that area. As a publicly traded company, it's practically obligated to do so. Then the real market disruption begins.

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