Think analysts, not their tools.
Updated May 15, 2014
Think analysts, not their tools.
Score 9 out of 10
- Analytics; Explore; Export; Import; Monitor
Overall Satisfaction with IBM Digital Analytics
It is our primary analytics package for ECommerce reporting and analysis. Using it, we automated a large suite of regular reports for site-wide, device-type, geographic and marketing segments, including year-over-year comparisons, trends, and funnels, using explore reports and Microsoft Office automation (VBA in Outlook, Access and Excel). Use Analytics, Explore and Exports for a variety of ad hoc analyses, greatly enriched because of a sophisticated tagging strategy.
- Mini-exports using Explore reports provide 10 metrics for 10 segments each. These enable easier automation than Adobe Digital Analytics (aka Omniture or SiteCatalyst) and Google Analytics.
- Changing report options (e.g., filters, segments, metrics) in Digital Analytics, along with saving views, scheduling emails, and share rights is quite easy for business users, who can self-service very easily.
- Marketing Channel manager is especially easy to use and, if supported by an intelligent MMC (Marketing Management Center) query string parameter policy, Marketing customers can be largely self-service for basic marketing reports.
- Wish we could export and import segment and report definitions as xml files (or something equivalent). The broadcast functionality is inadequate and will waste report credits unless one is very careful.
- Wish there were more options for setting default behaviors. For example, many of us would like to suppress the charts above reports as a default view.
- The ability to move between applications and sites is awkward. Sometimes one must close a drop down menu, or move to a different application before changing sites. Also, the test and production sites are not bridged, necessitating a logout and login.
- Having just completed a re-platform for the West Marine site and changing from Adobe to IBM for analytics, there are no significant business changes to link to our choice of an analytics package. That said, I would never be inclined to attribute the ROI to the analytics package itself. IBM and Adobe both have excellent enterprise-class analytics packages. Any decisions should be attributed to the analyses or managers, not to their tools. I don't credit Excel or Access with any ROI either.
I mentioned Adobe and Google and made some comparisons in prior questions. I believe that any of these packages can be made quite powerful with a good implementation, which includes a good tagging strategy. I like Coremetrics best because I believe it is easier to get a solid implementation, and it is possible to get the added analytics capabilities that Adobe provides using exports, a good data model for your ETLs and BI tools with a data warehouse.
The only feature of Adobe's product that piques my interest enough even to consider a change is the Satellite tag manager package, which Adobe bought within the past year and renamed.
The implementation and support are substantially superior and cheaper than Adobe. Free Google has no support, of course, apart from blogs. There are some things that can be done easily in Adobe (if implemented well) that are hard or effectively impossible to do in the IBM UI -- such as page- or visitor- as opposed to visit-oriented metrics. The decision then is either to rely on a data warehouse and BI tools, or to decide that the value of such capabilities does not justify the added cost.