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Seven Details That Bust Web Analytics Budgets

Too many organizations fail to consider these not-so-hidden fine points when implementing Web analytics systems. Whether you choose SaaS or licensed software, here's the nitty gritty that can wind up breaking the bank.
Database Administrator

Participates in data integration

Performs database maintenance and optimization tasks associated with software-based Web analytic applications, such as archiving, data expiration and tape backups

Server Administrator (for licensed installations)

Maintains servers, installing security patches and updates

Monitors data collection, data processing, and imports into database

Monitors software and hardware components of site measurement system

Application Administrator

Sets system permissions for those who will have access to reports

Schedules and publishes reports

Provides diagnostic skills and the first level of support on system problems; point of contact to vendor support.

These roles and tasks may require further splitting out or may be combined, based on the scope of your Web analytics implementation and the size and breadth of your organization. In other words, each role could be part of a job, an entire job or it could require multiple specialists. Larger enterprises have multiple Web site managers. In smaller operations, the same person may serve as Developer and Application Administrator, as well as Server and Database Administrator. The work doesn't go away, however, so you have to account for the tasks. When setting your budget, consider how and whether these tasks can be accomplished with current resources. Will you need vendor support, additional staff or consultant/contractor services? As in every aspect of Web analytics deployments discussed in this article, you'll set more realistic goals and develop a more realistic budget if you plan for the need.

This article is based on an excerpt from the Web Analytics Report, which evaluates 13 major Web analytics vendors. Reprinted with permission from CMS Watch (www.cmswatch.com/Analytics/).

Phil Kemelor is Vice President of Strategic Consulting Services for Semphonic, a Web analytics consultancy. He is also a lead analyst with CMS Watch and consults with enterprises looking to select Web analytics technologies or apply best practices.