SAS Web Analytics, Coremetrics and HBX the Best Web Analytics Solutions

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Ideal Observer's Guide to Web Analytics Solutions brings together detailed product profiles with web analytics philosophy in a fresh, new way. Each of the 73 solutions is examined with reference to 190 items and prepared for comparison.

According to examinations made by Ideal Observer, SAS Web Analytics is the best solution currently available on the market for analyzing traffic on websites. SAS has created a web analytics solution that combines the experience and potential from the area of business intelligence with an easy-to-use interface for doing web analytics. The interface may not be as elegant as that of their competitors, but it is easy to use and freely configurable. The flexibility of data importing and the range of options for performing analyses are clearly not equaled by other solutions. Flexibility can become a disadvantage where clearly positioned modules - e.g. for SEO, email marketing, website customization, A/B tests – are preconfigured and supplied ready for implementation. Companies wishing to implement SAS need enough well trained staff to be able to exploit the tool’s full potential. With an entry-level price of over 3000 euros a month plus considerable installation costs, it is also not exactly a bargain.

Coremetrics Online Analytics and WebsideStory's HBX took the two next places on the list. Of all the solutions available from providers concentrating solely on web analytics, these two are clearly the best. Over the past two years both have made enormous progress in adjusting to the requirements of systems users on the one hand, and in the integration of important features on the other. For example: HBX's integration of Bid Management and the optimization of internal search processes, and Coremetrics’ Livemail system, Bid Management and SEO integration. Both also have a large pool of partners, enabling them to satisfy further requirements, and good interfaces, which ensure smooth integration with partners, external data sources and with company-internal data stocks and the processing of this data.

The analysis of the behavior of visitors to a website – known as web analytics – has become a central element of the corporate decision-making process. Just as the Internet is becoming a commonplace medium and research tool for more and more people, website operators are now recognizing the value of smoothly functioning online services. These are designed to provide visitors with attractive content and services and contribute to the process of acquiring and keeping customers, as well as to the maximizing of sales.

In the “Web Analytics Solutions Guide” a total of 73 products were evaluated, of which 16 came from the High-Level area (monthly costs higher than 1, 000 euros), 35 were solutions for medium-sized budgets (monthly costs of between 100 and 1, 000 euros) and 22 were low-cost tools. The High-Level products, with their business-relevant analyses, clear and colorful user interfaces and individual configurability score very well in the survey. Almost all serious services now provide an analysis of email or banner campaigns, shopping carts and checkout processes.

For this study, Ideal Observer has listed the functions, features, interfaces, costs etc. of the solutions examined with reference to 190 items in each, then prepared them for comparison. As well as product overviews, there is also information on strategies and methods for using web analytics and 14 interviews with experts. The buying guide, comprising more than 290 pages, is available for $399,- from http://www.idealobserver.com.

About Ideal Observer

Ideal Observer has been advising companies on introducing web analytics systems, improving their use of existing systems and optimizing their websites since 2001.

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Frank Reese