May 2009 Update: I wrote this post over 2 years ago while I was still a Master’s student at BYU. In the interest of full disclosure, I now work at Omniture. Because I get the bulk of my traffic from search engines and variations on the Google Analytics vs. Omniture theme are always in my top 20 search terms, I wanted to make sure that my readers knew the current situation.
Not everything I wrote about GA is still true. There are lots of neat things that GA does now that it didn’t do before, probably the coolest of which is Advanced Segmentation. My opinion is that SiteCatalyst is definitely worth the investment if you have the resources in place to take advantage of it. I write this so you know the source of your information. So now that this topic is taken care of, read on.
I know I’ve written about this before, but as I become more familiar with the different products, I continue to find things that I think are important. There is one main point that I’d like to hit with this post and that is report customization.
Google Analytics: minimal customization allowed
At first glance, Google Analytics appears to offer some very similar reports to SiteCatalyst. With the exception of the Commerce section of SiteCatalyst, Google offers very similar reports and data. And while both products allow you to change the date range, Google does not offer any customization beyond that.
Omniture SiteCatalyst: everything is customizeable
I may be overstating this a bit, but only slightly. Omniture allows you to easily create filters to filter through your data as well as to define your own metrics and have your reports generated in terms of your new metrics. These calculated metrics are based on other standard metrics and applies some math in the analysis. The standard metrics can be on a report-specific basis or a totals basis, so the percentages can be calculated from all metrics across the site or on a line item basis.
This one additional capability that Omniture provides might make it worth the price tag. The word on the street is that Omniture won’t be worth your time unless you’re paying them over $500 a month. And since Omniture charges you by the page view, you’re looking at some serious traffic.