BEL20 & Web Analytics


CAC40 & Web analyticsHere is the latest instalment in our WA Indexes series: the BEL20 index, which comprises the 20 most significant public companies in Belgium.

Well, 19 really, since Barco was taken off the index on March 1st, 2007 and the vacant slot hasn’t been filled as of today.

As with previous reports, let us start things up with an overview of which company uses which tool…

Company breakdown by Web Analytics Tool Usage
First of all, here is a description of each company site and which WA solution they use:

Company WA tool
Ackermans & van Haaren n/a
Agfa-Gevaert NetTracker
Barco n/a
Bekaert n/a
Belgacom WebTrends
Cofinimmo SiteStat
Colruyt n/a
Delhaize Group n/a
Dexia SiteStat
Fortis Google Analytics, SiteStat
GBL n/a
InBev WebTrends
KBC Groep n/a
Mobistar WebTrends
Omega Pharma n/a
Solvay n/a
Suez Google Analytics
UCB n/a
Umicore n/a

Brussels!Lots of “n/a” values here. Definitely quite a few Belgian companies in that listing that either do not use a visible Web Analytics solution or use a log-based solution. Either way, they’re not taking in the full measure of what they could be tracking and analysing or how they could be optimising performance as well as maximize their return on investment.

Then again, we’re dealing with an index of companies that come primarily from medium-heavy industries and who may be less sensitive to Web Analytics as a way to measure, analyse and optimise their activities and processes. Not being an Internet “pure player” company is not an excuse 😉

Interestingly enough, we start seeing companies that, very much like Fortis, use more than one WA tool on their site.
This usually happens:

  1. when selecting a vendor (hint hint),
  2. when doing regression testing,
  3. or simply when one tool does not comprise the functionality(ies) offered by the second tool.

Web Analytics Tools BEL20 Index Share

And now, here is the traditional split by solution:

WA Tool Share of BEL20






Google Analytics




As you can see, 60% of BEL20 companies have not implemented a visible Web Analytics tools. We just found a sparring partner for Spain… except that Spain has a market 4 times the size of Belgium’s! So it’s reassuring for Belgium, in a manner of speaking 😉

If anything, this 60% figure should be an indicator of how much remains to be done in Belgium to develop Web Analytics adoption, especially in an era of increasing integration of online and offline data.

The table below shows a breakdown of visible Web Analytics tool absence in the 4 country indexes we have run analyses for so far.

Country France Germany Spain Belgium
%age of n/a 28% 47% 63% 60%

It seems weird to see Belgium score so ‘high’ in that department for BEL20 companies when, in some industries such as the Belgian press sector, the adoption rate for Web Analytics tools is much higher, if only because the competition is fierce and because their business model has changed radically with the development of online journalism.

As far as tools go,

Insights from this study

Belgian companies have had all the momentum they needed in terms of Internet exposure. Now it is time for them to truly reap the rewards of their online presence by taking the right decisions based on relevant analysis, but that can only happen with the right strategy and the right tools.

As a reminder, the reason why I run this series of posts on stock exchange indexes and Web Analytics is because larger companies – those that should lead by example – usually fail to see the bigger picture when it comes to integrating Web data as part of their “regular” business intelligence.

On my previous post about the CAC40 index (in French), Aurélie had quite a few things to say that also apply here, among which:

  • European companies are reluctant to use Google Analytics either because of the anti-Google movement of for confidentiality reasons (not mutulally exclusive)
  • Financial companies are the ones who would benefit the most from WebAnalytics return on investment because of their potential for diversification.
  • If anything, knowledge about the outside world’s perception of your company is important and Web Analytics is one of the most cost effective tools to get a better idea of what your potential customers think of you.

A few weeks back, we announced our partnership with Web Analytics guru and top consultant Eric T. Peterson, founder of WebAnalyticsDemystified, Inc.

Eric ran a study of Web Analytics for Europe (click to download PDF file). In this study, it appears that:

  • 78% of European companies are understaffed when it comes to Web analytics
  • European companies tend to use WA tools better than their US counterparts
  • 35% of the 99 respondents to Eric’s study use free Web Analytics tools (63% in companies with fewer than 100 employees)
  • Adoption of Web Analytics by companies needs to improve so that more actors in Web Analytics related projects actually understand what the data represents.

With Eric’s services, we can now provide top-notch consulting services so do not hesitate to contact us should you want to discuss how we can help you go beyond reporting and define strategies for your data-driven company.

As always, constructive criticism is always welcome! 😉


2 Responses to “BEL20 & Web Analytics”

  1. Lars Says:

    How is “siginificant” defined here? Revenue?

  2. René Dechamps Otamendi Says:

    Hi Lars,

    The Bel20 is the belgian benchmark of main companies listed in the former belgian stock marketplace (nox integrated into Euronext), so I guess that significant means company value.

    Cheers from Brussels,


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