Siegert planted the scene related to our attendance of the Emetrics Summit in London, May last. I would like to focus on one major issue that stroke and comforted me during this 3 day event regarding Web Analytics: what vendors thought of and could do better than WebTrends.
For those who don’t know us, WebAnalytics.be is WebTrends Premier Partner, Authorized Training Center and only European member of the WebTrends Insight Network (WIN). Our business unit – WebAnalytics is a business unit of Interactive Agency OX2 – also works with Google Analytics and tools such as SPSS.
Anyhow, back to the Emetrics Summit. Except for the general feeling that emerged after 3/4 down the first day that my head was going to explode with the amount of information I was getting in, the summit was an intellectual and spiritual delight. I couldn’t have wished for more just before my 34th birthday! Such a variety of curious, interesting and sharing individuals that make you leap huge steps towards increased reflection and knowledge.
At the end of the second day, I came to hear from reputed vendors whether my choice of WebTrends as a primary vendor had been a good one. I thus bunker down and wondered about the consequences of their answers. Would they feel like me? good product, flexible enough today and in the future to respond to my clients’ requests?
Jim Sterne, in his stylish and engaging manner diligently asked the different vendors present to position themselves with respect to WebTrends, which he called something like “the founders of Web Analytics“. Please excuse my memory and notes if I’m not entirely correct.
Sharing his extensive knowledge of the field, he explained WebTrends’ history briefly to those of the audience not totally up-to-date and asked the vendors to position themselves with respect to “the grandaddy of WA“.
Noticeably, WebTrends was not a sponsor at the Emetrics Summit in London. Were present: Coremetrics, Foviance, Instadia, Unica, Omniture, ClickTracks, IndexTools and Maxamine. Hoops, forgot Google Analytics there. Probably because they’re free 😉
Coremetrics, who bought IBM’s SurfAid some months ago – was Gold Sponsor of the event and had already been allowed to make a 20 or 30 minutes presentation the day before. It turned out to be a sales pitch. This time it could be something else so humour was brought in: Who? Are they any good?. General laughter.
IndexTools very truthfully replied “WebTrends is a decent tool. It’s just that they have poor branding“. The other vendors agreed.
Danish Instadia went straight to the point: easier segmentation, smiles one of the founders. Their method is not ad-hoc.
ClickTracks‘ John Mill smartly admits that they limit themselves to 7 reports before adding that WebTrends “suffers from being all tools to all people BUT that for the right person, it is highly addictive.” Gosh, I can vouch for that: I see my husband every morning checking the stats of our WebAnalytics website, following prior days events and commercial meetings!
Unica, as only female vendor representative, smiled and talked about the ease of integration between off line and online activities.
Google‘s Bryan Clifton smiled as Jim reminded him to mention another reason except for price – as GA is free – and Bryan lifted his shoulders and admitted he liked them both. He suggested to have them run side by side and then choose.
Foviance (merger of WebAbacus and the usability Company), ended this round of open debate on a light note claiming that they were “knights and they’re evil!”. No but on a more serious note, Foviance should be more flexible.
I was amazed by the actual praise WebTrends got and the vendors’ frankness. And as one of the presenters mentioned, only 10% of Web Analytics is about the tool. The rest is about what you do with the data.
I remain comforted in our current choice of WebTrends as being the most accurate tool possible using 1st party cookies and the most flexible tool that strives to centralise but also allow for total decentralisation of collected and crunched data.