Revealed: The secret to selecting the right web analytics solution
Gerry Brown explains how to identify the most appropriate web analytics solution for your business.
- Do you have any new products or significant functions due for release shortly? What new functions are in beta testing? How often do you release new versions, upgrades, and bug fixes?
- What do you consider the main advantages of your company and your product over your competition?
- Can you profile the usage of similar firms in our industry sector who use your product successfully?
- What data sources can be used to populate the system? Can we integrate your product’s web analytics data with the data from other business intelligence systems?
- What internal resources do we need to have in place to effectively use your product?
- What are your commercial terms & conditions, and can you detail your local service and support offer? Can you describe your on-boarding process?
- Do you guarantee customer satisfaction? Do you have returns policy should we not be completely satisfied?
- How much web analytics knowledge do we really have? Do we need external help?
- Are there enough specialist product-specific skills available in the market, at a reasonable cost, for us to recruit if required?
- Is there a clear product roadmap and commitment to long-term product development? Is the vendor likely to be acquired and for these commitments to be nullified?
- Can we trust the vendor to work collaboratively with us to drive ever more advanced analytic insights over the longer term?
- What support can we expect from our IT Department and what level of consulting support and training will we require from our vendor?
- Should we have an on-premise or a hosted (ASP / SaaS) web analytics solution?
- What internal buy-in do we have and need from our internal stakeholders? How often and to whom do we need to report our results?
- Will we be able to analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of all our online and offline channels?
- What change management is required and what new business processes are needed to ensure reports are acted upon?
- Do we have a measurement framework and what key performance indicators will we use to measure business performance? How will we know we are being successful?
It is important to ‘think big, start small, and scale up fast’. By thinking about the big picture you will a better direct your efforts towards a long term sustainable web analytics solution. Key considerations are to align with longer term business objectives, set goals for what you want web analytics to achieve, and to determine the data sources you want to access and integrate. Address your focus towards the future integration of the online/offline multichannel customer journey and experience. The overarching measures of web analytics success will be customer acquisition, conversion, retention and loyalty – and these goals should be the guiding light for your procurement process.