Econsultancy Report: Web Analytics is Not Yet Leveraging Big Data

The sixth annual Online Measurement and Strategy Report, carried out by Econsultancy in association with web analytics consultancy Lynchpin, find comprehensive analysis of issues affecting the web analytics industry and industry insight into the use of analytics and business intelligence tools.

According to the report, more than half of the companies rely solely on Google Analytics when it comes to web analytics. It is another 34 percent use Google Analytics, but in combination with other tools. The figures draw a huge increase since 2009, when only 23 percent of respondents said exclusive use Google Analytics.

It’s no surprise that Google Analytics is so popular. The tool is free and easy to use, and there is a large community around the tool. The increase since 2011 is partly due to the discontinuation of Yahoo’s free analytics tool, which then was used by 8 percent of companies.

Econsultancy asks respondents to their data sources. The largest increase came from social data, which increased to 63 percent this year compared to 56 percent last year. Most companies need to understand the cost of acquiring a lead or customer. Understanding the customer journey does not seem to be very high on the agenda. The proportion of respondents that says that customer behavior is very important.

Many companies are still far away the most of their existing analytics package. They still have no clear picture on what big data can do for them. When asked what impact has big data had on the role of web analysts within organization, most said they don’t have idea on big data impact. When asked whether the term big data would help to unify data sources together, 8 percent answered big data is a pointless marketing term. Another third of the respondents reported they were not sure whether big data can help them anyway.

A quarter of the companies surveyed is said to have increased the budgets for big data. The researchers emphasize that analytics often not high on the strategic agenda. Typically, the number of companies that combines data and analytics to the business goals the past three years has hardly increased.

A less optimistic view would be that a lot of fundamentals around alignment of data and resources with organizational objectives are still absent. And, worse still, that the expansion and diversification of the analytics technology sector risks throwing petrol on the fire, says the report. The gap between those visions is tantalizingly small, and the opportunity created by the accelerating capabilities of technologies needs concerted focus from a people and process perspective to deliver results.

The report further states that with many companies still having a long way to go in using their current analytics tools to their fullest potential, the prospect of investing significant sums in further analytical technology (particularly those that process unstructured data of a variety of types and forms) is likely to be some time off.

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