Google Analytics Premium versus Adobe Omniture Site Catalyst

I love Google.I can search anything for free and can access all the world’s information through Google.I love Gmail, it is one of the best e-mail platforms out there. I love Google Maps, I can find my way around anywhere in the world. I love Google Analytics. Internet businesses can start to track their websites clickstream data by just adding 1 line of JS code to their pages. I don’t know what would happen if there was no free Google Analytics. I want to say thousand THANKS to the Google Analytics creators in Google.

Yes Google Analytics  is awesome and free but do we know what it actually does? Can it be used instead of enterprise solutions such as Adobe Omniture Site Catalyst? My answer is to that would be it really depends..

Google Analytics free version is not definitely for enterprises or even medium companies since it is a sample of data and you really can’t depend on that data to make critical business decisions.

Let’s also make distinction between web analytics and online marketing analytics to make sure we don’t think they are the same thing. Web analytics is more about measuring your product performance, clickstream data and measuring your site optimization efforts. Online marketing analytics measures your online campaigns such as adwords, email etc along with SEO..They are not same but they are connected.

For me the biggest difference between Omniture and Google Analytics is this: Google Analytics’ main skill is online marketing analytics and Omniture’s main skill is web analytics and optimization. I mean in Google Analytics you can see both Adwords and SEO performance together which is very vital for your acquisition efforts.

But when it comes to real web analytics that will help you to understand your product performance, Omniture is the best tool out there. All the customizations you can create with evars, props and events can’t easily be done by Google Analytics.

For me this is one of the big advantages of Omniture. You host your own JS library and you can add some code to that library so that you don’t have to add custom tagging on the page. Unfortunately Google Analytics requires page level JS code for every customization.

I also happen to love Omniture’s new solution “Processing Rules” which helps me to create new variables without any tagging at all. I can simply create some variables by using existing ones. Unfortunately this feature doesn’t cover complex cases so I just hope Omniture can improve this product more along the way.

Omniture VISTA is also another way to create variables without tagging. This is done by Omniture engineers at the database right after your data is sent and right befoire data shows up in the interface. This is more advanced than processing rules, but of course this one has a cost.

This one is so important. I want to be able to track my customers on the site at an individual level to target them later. In Omniture I can do that but Google Analytics doesn’t still allow that. I think not to be able to track your members, or logged in users closely, is a big issue with GA.

This is also one of my important tools. I stopped looking at pathing at a global level as it really doesn’t tell me any story. I look at pathing report by segments. I can look at my funnel by many segments you can imagine:

  • Campaigns to understand the point in the funnel where I have issue or opportunity. Then I can alter my ad campaigns to address that specific issue or opportunity.
  • How my loyal customer move through funnel?
  • What about users from Germany? Should I design my product different for people from Germany
As you can see this list can go on and on..Segmentation is the most essential tool for us and funnel segmentation is the top priority. 

Omniture admin console is pretty sophisticated and it is a must for enterprises, let me give couple examples:
  • I can share segments, dashboards or reports with anybody or with any group very easily
  • I can limit who can see what report at many levels
  • I can include/exclude IP addresses
  • I can customize menu and display most important items
  • I can create calculated metrics for my users
  • I can define when and how my conversion variables are expired, something that Google Analytics custom variables does not have
As you can see I have my own reasons why I prefer Omniture over Google Analytics. I am mainly focused on web analytics and optimization and unfortunately Google Analytics can’t provide all the tools I need for my optimization efforts. I talked to Google about analytics premium product and asked them If I could do all these things that I can do now. I was told that it is a beta program and I would be working with Google consultants try to realize all my objectives. There is an issue here. Why will I pay 100,000 USD for the product with unclear results. I just hope Google makes this product cheaper so that more customers can try it out. That way they can build a better product that can compete with other products in the market.
I am strong a believer for competition. Competition makes companies work more and create better products at a cheaper price :) That’s what society needs..
sibel akcekaya

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11 thoughts on “Google Analytics Premium versus Adobe Omniture Site Catalyst

  1. I would be interested in you expanding your comparison to include all of the Adobe Analytics solution offering. Now with Adobe Analytics you can tie offline data with online data in a meaningful way to complete all the actions of Collection + Analysis + Segmentation + Reporting. Google Analytics does not allow for the ownership of data by the client, you can also not leverage the raw data and cannot export 100% of the data. There are many additional questions that should be applied to having your source for analysis be the same source as the seller of your companies advertising.

  2. Hi Sibel,

    Can you give me any background on what is involved with pricing for Omniture? Google is very very clear with the 150k flat rate and all the features it provides, but I can't easily track down pricing for features for Omniture.


  3. Some of the key differences between Google Analytics Premium and the free product include:

    Increased processing power: Premium supports up to 1 billion pageviews per month (while the free version can process 10 million per month).
    The Service Level Agreement: This is an agreement between your company and Google Analytics which covers up-time, reliability, and data ownership. One of the most exciting features is the SLA because it gives you more confidence that the data is accurate.
    Increased Segmentation Capabilities: 50 custom variables (the free version offers five).
    Attribution modeling: The premium tool offers multiple attribution models, which can be compared quickly.
    Un-sampled reports: Up to one million rows of un-sampled data can be viewed in the UI and downloaded (the free version includes 50,000 rows of data).
    Dedicated Support: As part of the SLA, Google Analytics offers 24-7 product emergency escalation support, custom implementation assistance, and train. Thanks all!!

  4. Hi Sibel,
    Thanks so much for your post, and highlighting the difference between a web analytics tool vs an online marketing tool. I use GA very lightly, but am looking for a good web analytics software. Have you tried any of the other ones out there, such as Clicktale, Kissmetrics, etc.?

  5. Hi Grace,
    Thanks for your comment. Clicktale is different it is more for usability. I have never used Kissmetrics..But if the company has resources then Adobe Analytics (Omniture) is the way to go

  6. Could you please explain this statement, in regards to your claim that Google Analytics provides only a ‘sample’ of data?

    “Google Analytics free version is not definitely for enterprises or even medium companies since it is a sample of data and you really can’t depend on that data to make critical business decisions.”

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