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Who's Using Big-time Analytics and How?

Recently I received a thought-provoking e-mail from Jeff Ginsberg at “The E-mail Company”: asking why we didn’t talk more about analytics here at One Degree.
bq.. Long time reader, big time fan.
How come there is not much at One Degree about analytics? Am I not looking in the right place or has it been overlooked?
After getting my free “Google Analytics”: trial and setting it up in a matter of minutes I have to tell you the reports rival the big boys.
It would be nice to hear from readers who have used “Omniture”:, “Coremetrics”:, or “Web Side Story”: to see what they think of Google Analytics.
I’d also like to hear from people using the top tier products on e-commerce sites. Have they gone to the effort to do advanced tagging for the complex sales calculations the above mentioned products can give?
By the way, “Hotwire”: and some of the other travel sites use their analytics to send triggered email message to customers based on what they searched for on their site.
For example if you sign up for Hotwire’s deals and search for Los Angeles you will start to get e-mail about deals to LA like this:
Dear Jeff,
Looking for great deals in Los Angeles, California? Hotwire finds great deals on unsold hotel rooms. You save big.
Travelers like you found these great deals on Hotwire:

Very cool.
Jeff Ginsberg, Chief Email Officer
p. Cool indeed.

I’m a big fan of measuring what you do and I just _love_ the data that these big apps throw off. We haven’t done much on this at One Degree because no one has stepped up to cover “the analytics beat” and I don’t feel I know enough to add that much to the conversation. I’m therefore posting Jeff’s request a) to get a bit of discussion going around his specific questions and b) to hopefully flush out a few Canucks looking to write about their experiences with web analytics.
Feel free to comment below and if you are interested in contributing posts about analytics, “drop me a line.”:


  1. Melyssa Lipsey
    Melyssa Lipsey June 21, 2006

    As a part-time Instructor in the post-grad web marketing course here at Georgian College, I am lucky enough to be teaching a big module on web analytics. I am also fortunate to have been in the first higher-ed faculty in North America to teach the Google Adwords program in the classroom.
    When I am not being inspired by my students, I am working full time as a Web Marketing Analyst here at the college where we purchased URCHIN 5 about two years ago. We have been quite happy with the reports and depth of information that we have been able to mine to illustrate the all important return on investment.
    Along comes Google and buys up URCHIN…and Google analytics is born.
    I have to say that Google Analytics is a dream tool. It utilizes such a huge, rich feature set that makes it a very valuable addition to your web marketing toolbox. It has an amazing report engine, great visual graphs and charts and is extremely easy to use overall.
    Not only can you manage up to 5 different domains on the same account, but also you can use the tool within your Google Adwords accounts to help to guide and illustrate your “pay per click” successes!
    Run; don’t walk…get yourself on the “waiting list” now.
    (No, I am not on the Google payroll, just totally in awe of ANOTHER great Google service.)
    Get in line for that elusive “Google Analytics Invitation”.
    …good things come to those who wait.

  2. Simon Rodrigue
    Simon Rodrigue June 21, 2006

    Ken, I think the question should be “Who is not using big-time Analytics? To me analytics is key in the eCommerce world; it is through these analytics that you see how the customer is interacting with your site. eCommerce provides many advantages over the bricks and mortar world and the ability to track, analyze and utilize the findings to develop a better online experience is one of the main differentiators.
    At we truly take the approach of driving a better experience for the consumer, and everything we do or plan is built on returning results. Whether it is an ROI on an ad campaign or more product catalogue browsing, consumer programs (internal or external) or improvements to our site needs to move the needle forward. It often shocks me the lack of analytics in our industry in Canada vs. the online world in the US. This year I actually had a sales person from a major CDN portal ask who would be in charge of purchasing brand ads right after we had told them that the campaigns we execute on are highly tied to hitting key numbers, needless to say we have not engaged that portal since.
    Early this year we went through a change of our analytics provider, it was a great process as we reviewed and tested many of the solutions out in the marketplace. Before anyone starts it is important to first understand what your requirements will be. Are you looking for basic usage stats? How will your marketing team be using it? Will you be defining program goals and measure ROI on the activity level? Will your merchandising team be using it to understand changes in consumer trends and identify potential product categories? Will the user experience team be doing deep dives to define future enchantments or correct potential issues? Will you be allowing your development and agencies partners access to the information to improve their performance? It is through understanding your requirements that will define the solution you go with more with than any feature set differences between the products.
    Google analytics is great if you are looking for an inexpensive package that supports marketing functions. We ended up going with Omniture because of the focus and requirement for the advanced analysis we have within our business. We felt that the pathing and fall-out analysis, real-time reporting and the flexible tool made it the best fit for us.
    But don’t take my word for it, first off understand your needs and then work with each of the vendors to understand how they can drive your business. Remember our industry is growing at a rapid rate and with more and more players are entering the marketplace, if you don’t have analytics you will be running blind.

  3. Keith Holloway
    Keith Holloway June 26, 2006

    I am using WebTrends Professional 8.0 and Google analytics side-by-side on several sites.
    Google analytics is easy to use and quick to set up but doesn’t provide near the detail that WebTrends does.
    The scenario analysis of WebTrends allows you to see where people go when they drop out of each stage of your conversion process – which I find invaluable. Google has a goal conversion funnel, too, but it only shows that people dropped off – not where they go.
    I’ll be posting a detailed article on the differences soon – if anyone has insights they’d like to share with me I would greatly appreciate it.

  4. Joy Nelson
    Joy Nelson July 24, 2006

    It’s always that way if you need something serious than you have to work a little harder to get it. How can we get serious information from simple programs?

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