IBM Digital Analytics Review
May 22, 2014

IBM Digital Analytics Review

John Runyon | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review

Overall Satisfaction with IBM Digital Analytics

We are a reseller of IBM DA where we have many clients engaged with several levels of the IBM product suite. The data is used across many departments for gauging marketing and site design performance. Many of our clients use this data to forecast visitors to their site and their potential actions. We use the Explore tool frequently to setup more in depth reports using custom variables passed in the tags, to build out and answer many of the tougher questions. We also have several clients that take advantage of the LiveMail tool to target and remarket to consumers based on interests or actions (abandoned cart campaigns for example).
  • IBM Digital Analytics is a strong offering for retail eCommerce clients, based on the out-of-the-box metrics available around product views, items added and abandoned, as well as the ability to remarke to the individual user based on that information.
  • Fairly straight forward implementation compared to the other major tools
  • Visitor stitching - I feel the IBM Live Profile is very accurate at creating a full picture of an individual user and provides opportunities to create better messages to them.
  • Having IBM Support as a an immediate resource to clarify or troubleshoot any of the system features has been very beneficial as well
  • The user interface is in Flash, which can be very frustrating and slow at times. Apparently, this is to be transitioned in a future release.
  • Can only segment the last 93 days of data. Any historical segmentation beyond the 93 days must be run in Explore (which is credit based, and has its own limitations with the number of credits per month, based on the initial contract with IBM).
  • Reports can only display 93 days of data at a given time for custom date ranges. There are pre-programmed date ranges setup with IBM during implementation (last week, last month, last quarter etc.), but are not flexible enough to answer more specific questions.
  • Certain reports cannot have segments applied, making answering some simple questions a bit more tricky. For example, I can create a segment around mobile devices and apply it to the marketing channels report, but I can't create a marketing channel segment and apply it to the mobile reports.
  • Built in API calls allows for nice report design and automation.
  • Increased employee efficiency by utilizing API calls for reporting
  • Lifetime value metrics have helped identify a client's strongest customers and the ability to market to those individuals more likely to convert, for a stronger ROI
  • Identify geographic and technological (mobile etc.) opportunities to expand the client's business
Google Analytics - Compared to IBM, not as strong on the product reporting (product views, abandoned carts etc.). The end results can be achieved through custom variables, but that does require custom coding. While Google does at least have a reporting API, it is not nearly as streamlined as IBM's.Google has at least caught up in the way of custom metrics and some visitor stitching with the Universal Analytics.

Site Catalyst - Compared to IBM, definitely a much more intensive implementation.
It is still a best in class analytics platform, but working with IBM contracting has proven to be quite a hassle at times... There are proven pros and cons to each of the major systems and vendors (most I already listed). I always recommend to establish the business questions you are trying to answer, determine which platform answers them best and decide whether it is worth the dollar investment.
IBM Digital Analytics is very strong from a retail eCommerce standpoint. It is an enterprise level tool, so I would not recommend this for smaller business' with smaller budgets. In the selection process, I would recommend reviewing what business questions your company really wants to answer from an analytics offering, and ensure the investment is worthwhile. IBM Digital Analytics data is leveraged by other tools in the product suite (like LiveMail and Digital Recommendations (formerly Intelligent Offer)), to get more personalized messages and product recommendations to the consumer, if you have a contract with IBM for those services. I would also highly recommend that any end users receive in-depth training on how to use the tool and set up reports, as the interface can take some getting used to.