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Why Are Customers Frustrated With Web Analytics?

I spoke to customers and vendors at the recent Emetrics Summit to find some answers. Customers generally underestimated the level of effort required of them -- for example the tagging required to collect "basic" data, such as downloads of PDFs, Excel and Word files. Not understanding the need to develop a process for data collection, page tagging, and analysis, customers often assume that once the Web analytics solution is in place, it will run itself.
I spoke to customers and vendors at the recent Emetrics Summit to find some answers. Customers generally underestimated the level of effort required of them -- for example the tagging required to collect "basic" data, such as downloads of PDFs, Excel and Word files. Not understanding the need to develop a process for data collection, page tagging, and analysis, customers often assume that once the Web analytics solution is in place, it will run itself.To some extent, analytics vendors spawn these problems themselves by selling to marketers with the pitch that JavaScript tags are easy to implement. Marketers then expect implementations to go quickly and provide actionable results. However, this isn't always possible based on requirements, or with the need to test any implementation. Says one vendor, "In the 'old' days, IT would be more involved and understand the need to test. However, they would also kill deals. Focusing on marketers speeds the sale."

But then there is the sticker shock customers express when being presented with the costs for all of the features shown in the demo, and the surprise when an implementation consultant tries to upsell them additional reporting utilities.

My advice: avoid disappointment by knowing the right questions to ask vendors, and by understanding more fully what any solution can and cannot do. You'll find much of this information and more in The Web Analytics Report.

Phil Kemelor is founder of PKWeb Communications, a Web strategy and measurement consultancy, as well as the lead analyst and author of The CMS Watch Web Analytics Report.I spoke to customers and vendors at the recent Emetrics Summit to find some answers. Customers generally underestimated the level of effort required of them -- for example the tagging required to collect "basic" data, such as downloads of PDFs, Excel and Word files. Not understanding the need to develop a process for data collection, page tagging, and analysis, customers often assume that once the Web analytics solution is in place, it will run itself.