Analytics: Are You a Fan of the Google Swag?

So this is the question: If I rave about Google Analytics (GA) does that mean I am a fan of the Google Swag? This is the general concept of what Google Swag is, although I’m not sure this is the “official” store. This creative writing instrument is another example of Google Swag.

I attended a “Google Analytics Premium Event” today sponsored by Google and Blast Advanced Media. The Google team was pitching their GA Premium product which was recently released and is offered at $150,000/year for the annual license fee. They say they have 20+ clients including Gucci, Papa John’s Pizza and Travelocity. It’s a “fixed cost” (or what they call “no penalty for growth”) for up to 1 billion hits/month compared to the free Standard version which allows for 10 million hits/month. In addition to this extra processing power, the Premium product offers data freshness (getting the data within 2-4 hours vs. up to 24 hours for Standard) and unsampled reports. I will not go into the details since all you need to do is Google “Google Analytics Premium” and you will get adequate results, I’m sure.

The Google team did talk about the Standard version (AFTER the more expensive Premium version) and I did leave with some take-aways. First, data does not exist in a vacuum. It’s easy to create segments. A segment is defined as a subset with one thing in common. An advanced segment is a subset with two things in common and a really advanced segment is an extremely specific subset. So the key is the discovery of informative segments within the data. And the purpose of segmenting is to analyze the process of acquisition, behavior and outcome. For example, social media traffic (acquisition) are visiting sites (behavior) and they become purchasing visitors at a value of x dollars (outcome). The result of this process is actionable insight. One of the Google team members referred to a quote which summarizes the essence of this approach: “Analyzing data in aggregate is a crime.” ~ Avinash Kaushik (2008)

There are other (powerful) analytics tools out there like UrchinAdobe Sitecatalyst  and Webtrends. And I’m wondering if current users there will eventually transition to GA. Will they become fans of the Google Swag?

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