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September 2009 

Appraising Your Investment In 
Enterprise Web Analytics 

 

A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of 
Google 

 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Executive Summary ............................................................................................................................... 3

 

Key Findings ...................................................................................................................................... 3

 

Why Web Analytics Now More Than Ever? .......................................................................................... 4

 

Enterprise Analytics Undergoes Metamorphosis .................................................................................. 5

 

Strategies Are Being Refined ............................................................................................................ 6

 

Attitudes Toward Technology Are Shifting ........................................................................................ 7

 

Analysts Trump Technology ............................................................................................................ 10

 

Web Analytics Essentials ..................................................................................................................... 13

 

Enterprises Weigh Their Options ......................................................................................................... 17

 

Appendix A: Methodology .................................................................................................................... 18

 

Appendix B: Demographics/Data ......................................................................................................... 19

 

Appendix C: Endnotes ......................................................................................................................... 20

 

© 2009, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Information is based on 
best available resources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change. Forrester

®

, Technographics

®

Forrester Wave, RoleView, TechRadar, and Total Economic Impact are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. All other 
trademarks are the property of their respective companies. For additional information, go to www.forrester.com. 

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Executive Summary 

In May of 2009, Google commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate the use of Web analytics 
technologies within US-based enterprise organizations. The goal of this study was to understand 
current Web analytics technology adoption trends and to identify usage practices within the 
enterprise.  

Enterprises qualifying for participation achieved revenues in excess of $500 million annually and 
employed more than 1,000 employees. In conducting a Web-based survey of 198 decision makers 
from these large organizations, Forrester found that enterprises rely heavily on their Web analytics 
programs to produce information and insight about their online marketing initiatives. However, the 
strategies, resources, and technology employed for this task are often misaligned with enterprise 
needs. Thus, many enterprises are currently evaluating their Web analytics programs.  

Key Findings 

Forrester’s study yielded five key findings: 

 

Free Web analytics take residence within the enterprise.

 A staggering 53% of 

enterprises surveyed currently use a free technology solution as their primary Web 
analytics tool, and 71% use free tools in some capacity. This places use of fee-based 
solutions in the minority, with only 33% of survey respondents paying for Web analytics 
technologies (12% use homegrown solutions, and 2% use some other option). In addition, 
it dispels the belief that free solutions are resigned to use in small organizations or 
somehow diminished in their capacity to provide value to the enterprise.  

 

The merits of free are compelling.

 Among respondents currently paying for their primary 

Web analytics tools, 66% would consider displacing them with a free alternative. While the 
primary driver for this consideration is cost, 60% of enterprises are more likely to consider a 
free tool now because of recent improvements in free solutions. Additionally, 52% are 
enticed by free tools because they allow enterprises to invest more in the people necessary 
to drive insight rather than the technology used to collect and analyze data.  

 

Balancing costs and benefits requires introspection.

 We found that 52% of 

practitioners employing both free and fee-based solutions fail to effectively use more than 
half of the capabilities offered by their tools. This realization is cause for a Web analytics 
needs assessment to determine if fee-based technologies are justified or simply excessive. 
For many, spending on Web analytics technologies could be better allocated toward 
program development and acquisition of expertise. 

 

 

Reliability and ease of use are characteristics that enterprises crave.

 For 71% of 

enterprises surveyed, Web analytics data plays a significant role in driving decisions. So it 
comes as no surprise that users place a premium on data assurance, with 45% citing 
reliable data collection as the most important vendor selection criteria. This was followed by 
40% who listed an easy-to-use interface and product pricing as the second equally most 
important vendor selection consideration. 

 

 

Organizations are approaching a point of inflection. 

Nearly two-thirds of enterprises 

would abandon their current Web analytics provider given the right circumstances. While 
74% of large enterprises agreed that Web analytics is a technology that they cannot do 
without, many indicated that alternative tools would suffice. These metrics indicate that 

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organizations are receptive to change and justifiably seek solutions best suited to meet 
their needs. 

 

Why Web Analytics Now More Than Ever? 

As the Web crests through its second decade of existence, the practice of measuring visitor activity 
within online properties has become commonplace — so much so that nearly three-quarters of 
large enterprises consider the Web analytics technologies that enable their organizations to quantify 
visitor traffic across their sites to be indispensable.  

The Forrester US Web Analytics Forecast, 2008 To 2014 revealed that US companies will face 
significant challenges which that will impede their progress toward analytical excellence.

1

 Forrester 

recognized three omnipresent chasms that organizations must bridge to attain success with Web 
analytics: the investment chasm, the staffing chasm, and the action chasm. As organizations of all 
sizes appraise their Web analytics programs, they are increasingly weighing their investments in 
technologies against their resource allocation with the goal of driving actionable outcomes. For 
many, adopting free solutions enables them to liberate funding from underutilized tools and apply it 
to expertise required for generating insight. Forrester found that among enterprises surveyed:  

 

The value of Web analytics is undeniable.

 Web analytics programs that ascend beyond 

mere clicks and visits are ones that derive insight from their data. Leading organizations 
use Web analytics data to achieve greater relevance in automated actions such as 
dynamically targeted content, and justify budgets based on historic and predictive 
modeling. Companies that apply Web analytics in this manner obliterate guesswork 
marketing and develop online programs with the evidence of past performance, projected 
outcomes, and clear expectations of returns. 

 

 

Insight and action are driven by expert analysts. 

Expert analysts comprise the 

backbone of many enterprise analytics organizations, and these active users drive 
decisions from their data. Successful organizations leverage their analytical experts to 
develop and document processes for communication of data. They translate raw data into 
business objectives and disseminate knowledge throughout multiple levels of their 
organizations. These expert practitioners transform the data generated by Web analytics 
tools from metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to genuine customer intelligence. 

 

 

Competitive advantage awaits enterprises that commit to Web analytics. 

Perhaps the 

most equalizing component here is the fact that Web analytics tools alone do not 
differentiate leading organizations from laggards. Forrester’s recent Web Analytics Wave™ 
exposed an extremely tight field of vendors that deliver quality products with immense 
customization capabilities across a comparable set of features.

2

 Through this and other 

research, Forrester determined that world-class Web analytics organizations are not 
abundant. Enterprises have an opportunity to achieve competitive advantage by developing 
their Web analytics strategies and aligning organizational resources now. 

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Enterprise Analytics Undergoes Metamorphosis  

Throughout this study, Forrester tested the hypothesis that large US enterprises are more inclined 
to use fee-based solutions for their Web analysis needs. We explored this theory using a survey-
based methodology that quantified Web analytics usage as well as defined the needs and wants of 
large enterprises. The results showed that 53% of enterprises employ free Web analytics tools as 
their primary solutions, and an additional 39% are currently evaluating or using one or more free 
tools as secondary solutions (see Figure 1). These metrics not only refuted our hypothesis, but 
revealed that 71% of all enterprises surveyed are using free Web analytics in some capacity.   

To further negate our hypothesis, our randomly selected survey sample skewed toward larger 
corporations, with 45% representing companies with revenues in excess of $5 billion annually and 
74% representing companies that had 5,000 employees or more (see Figure 2). Thus, free Web 
analytics have permeated enterprise-class businesses, and many are reaping the rewards of these 
services. Forrester found that change is afoot among the enterprises surveyed, evident in 
numerous aspects of Web analytics program development. 

Figure 1: Web Analytics Technologies Employed By Enterprises 

Free 

Primary Tool 

Users

53%

39%

39% of enterprises using a fee-based tool as 
a primary solution are currently using or 
evaluating a free tool concurrently. And 43% 
of homegrown tool users do so as well. This 
brings the  total population of  enterprises 
surveyed using free  tools to  71%.

Fee-Based 

Primary Tool Users

33%

Homegrown 

Primary Tool Users

12%

 

Note: Two percent of respondents listed “other” as their primary Web analytics tool. 

Base: 198 Enterprise Web analytics users 

Source: a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Google, May 2009 

 

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Figure 2: Survey Respondents Hailed From Large Enterprises 

20,000 or 

more 

employees

34%

5,000 to 

19,999 

employees

40%

1,000 to 

4,999 

employees

26%

More than 

$5 billion

45%

$ 2.5 billion 

to $5 billion

17%

$1 billion to 

$2.49 billion

19%

$500 million 

to $999 

million

19%

“Which is your enterprise’s annual revenue?”

“Using your best estimate,  how many employees work 

for your company worldwide?”

 

Base: 198 Enterprise Web analytics users 

Source: a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Google, May 2009 

 

Strategies Are Being Refined 

Although Web analytics technologies have been in existence for nearly 15 years, many large 
enterprises have only recently recognized the value that they can offer to their organizations. This 
recognition is sparked by a number of factors, including the growing importance of digital channels, 
the recognition of accountability that Web analytics technologies can bring to the enterprise, and the 
strategic benefits of amassing customer intelligence.  

Organizations that strive for data-driven decisioning are expanding their perspective on data, which 
has allowed Web analytics to move from the backroom to the boardroom in many enterprise-class 
companies. However, this process requires a plan comprised of three critical components: strategy, 
resources, and technology. Forrester observed that enterprises are constructing their Web analytics 
strategies with the following principles in mind:  

 

Permeation of knowledge is a key strategic element. 

Seventy percent of enterprises 

surveyed believe that their company has a well-defined strategy for Web analytics, which is 
an essential prerequisite for any program (see Figure 3). Yet, leading organizations 
recognize that data generated from digital activities must not only be captured, but must 
also be disseminated strategically throughout the organization. While this often begins with 
a corporate champion for Web analytics or a C-level sponsor, leading programs kindle 
evangelists within their ranks who provide the support and vision for data-driven success. 
This culture propagates the democratization of data, meaning that information is accessible 
to all and employed in multiple levels and functions across the enterprise organization.  

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Dedicated resources are mandatory. 

Sixty percent of decision-makers agree that 

investments in Web analytics people are more valuable than investments in Web analytics 
technology (see Figure 3). This sentiment reflects a market that appreciates experts in the 
field of Web analytics who are more likely to have an impact on moving their organizations 
forward than the technologies from which they derive their insights.

 

As such, many 

enterprises surveyed acknowledge that given finite resources for Web analytics, their 
money is better spent on acquiring the human resources necessary for generating insights.

 

 

Technology selection is based on specific business requirements. 

According to 

survey respondents, their companies are actively using or evaluating 2.1 Web analytics 
solutions. This indicates that companies are still engrossed with finding a vendor or 
combination of vendors that offer a balance of the right technology requirements without 
excessive non-essential components. Savvy enterprises recognize that the technologies 
can facilitate the analytical process, yet companies must first align on organizational goals 
and measurement requirements.

 

This understanding enables enterprises to effectively 

select technologies that meet their needs and derive maximum value from these solutions.

 

Figure 3: Web Analytics Technology Is Essential, Yet People Are The Asset 

9%

13%

12%

17%

51%

57%

59%

58%

37%

23%

26%

21%

3%

8%

4%

4%

Investments in Web analytics people are more valuable 

than investments in Web analytics technology

My company has a well-defined Web analytics strategy

Web analytics plays a significant role in driving decisions 

at my company

My company recognizes Web analytics as a technology 

that we cannot do without

Strongly agree

Agree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

“To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following  statements?”

 

Base: 198 Enterprise Web analytics users 

Source: a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Google, May 2009 

 

Attitudes Toward Technology Are Shifting 

Among enterprises surveyed, 65% would consider switching vendors if they could find adequate 
capabilities in another solution (see Figure 4). This indicates that loyalty toward Web analytics 
vendors is tenuous and that many enterprises are discontent with aspects of their incumbent 
solutions. The primary factors that would entice these enterprises to switch vendors are lower cost 
(69%) and tools that are easier to use (46%). This data, coupled with other findings from our survey, 
indicates that: 

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Free is not a four-letter word. 

Despite their prevalence in the market, free solutions are 

sometimes viewed with prejudice, and we found that 34% of respondents stated that they 
would not consider a free Web analytics tool as their primary solution. However, these 
individuals are in the minority. For the balance of decision-makers primarily using a fee-
based tool, 60% are now considering the switch to a free tool because current solutions 
have improved, and 55% cite the economy as a driving factor forcing them to reconsider 
(see Figure 5).  

 

Premium tools are not priceless. 

Individuals surveyed for this report found fault with all 

technologies in question, yet the biggest complaint from 29% of respondents who use fee-
based solutions was a need for simplified pricing. Conversely, the most-liked vendor 
features included usability (59% overall), custom reporting (47% overall), and data security 
(40% overall) (see Figure 6).

 

While it’s no surprise that free tools are well liked because of 

their usability, the fact that users of such solutions appreciate the data security and 
application reliability more than their fee-based counterparts is noteworthy.   

 

Adoption of free tools is dominating. 

Without question, free Web analytics tools have 

made an indelible impact on the marketing landscape. Yet, despite extremely high use of 
free tools, their tenure on average is two years within the enterprise. Both homegrown 
solutions and fee-based tools have an average use tenure nearing three years. This 
indicates that over the past 24 months there has been a surge of adoption among 
enterprises using free tools. In fact, 30% of enterprises surveyed have been using free tools 
as their primary solutions for one year or less, indicating a shift in attitude toward free 
capabilities in recent months.  

Figure 4: Likelihood And Reasons For Considering A Vendor Switch 

Yes, we 

would 

consider 

switching 

vendors

65%

No, we 

would not 

consider 

switching 

vendors

35%

“If you could find adequate capabilities  offered 

by another vendor, would you consider switching to 

a different  Web analytics  provider?”

“Given comparable capabilities,  which of the following

reasons would entice you to switch vendors?”

2%

24%

31%

32%

33%

39%

46%

69%

Other

More marketer friendly

Easier to  derive insight

More opportunity to grow with my 

business

New features being rolled out

Better service/support

Easier to  use

Lower cost

(multiple responses accepted)

Base: 198 Enterprise Web  analytics users

Base: 128 Enterprise Web  analytics users 

who would consider switching  vendors

 
Source: a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Google, May 2009 

 

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Figure 5: Free Tools Become More Appealing 

Base: 58 Enterprise Web analytics users who would 

consider switching to a free tool

“Are you more likely  to consider a free Web analytics solution

to be your primary analytics solution 

now more than before? If so, why?”

22%

24%

35%

52%

55%

60%

Has the key enterprise analytics 

reporting features

Easier to use than my current 

solution

Is increasingly comparable to 

current paid solution

Allows me to invest more in people 

rather than tools

Economy

Free Web analytics solutions have 

improved

(multiple responses accepted)

Yes

66%

No

34%

“Would your  company consider using  a free  Web

analytics tool as your primary solution?”

Base: 88 Web  Enterprise analytics users who use

a fee-based tool as their primary solution

 

Source: a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Google, May 2009 

Figure 6: Most-Liked Vendor Attributes 

5%

9%

17%

15%

12%

14%

19%

17%

15%

35%

31%

35%

51%

54%

7%

12%

12%

13%

18%

18%

14%

20%

22%

32%

37%

42%

39%

68%

Ongoing education 

Quality of strategic  and consulting services

Responsiveness to your needs

Custom events and variables

Customer segmentation capabilities

Quality of support services

Scalability 

Ability to utilize the majority of functionality within the tool

Integration capabilities

Overall cost compared to the value

Application reliability

Data security

Custom reporting

Usability

Free tool

Fee-based tool

“Which of the following things do you like most about your primary vendor?”

 

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Base: 105 users of free tools 

Base: 65 users of fee-based tools 

(multiple responses accepted) 

Source: a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Google, May 2009 

 

Figure 7: Tenure With Web Analytics Tools 

Less than 6 

months

7%

6 months to 

less than 1 

year
15%

1 to  less than 

2 years

25%

2 to  less than 

3 years

21%

3 to  less than 

4 years

13%

4 to  less than 

5 years

8%

5 years  or 

longer

11%

“How long have you used your primary Web analytics solution?”

Average tenure 

of primary tool

N =

All respondents 

2.4 years

198

Free tools

2.0 years

105

Fee-based tools

2.8 years

65

Other (e.g., 

homegrown)

3.0 years

28

 

Base: 105 users of free tools  

Base: 65 users of fee-based tools 

Source: a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Google, May 2009 

 

Analysts Trump Technology 

Large enterprises have demonstrated that their priorities are different from those of smaller 
organizations. More than one-third indicated that matching product capabilities to business 
requirements was an important consideration factor. Yet, to do this, organizations require talented 
analysts who are capable of developing measurement strategies and delivering on insight and 
action. These individuals are gaining recognition and traction with many large enterprises, but 
challenges still exist. Companies grapple with:  

 

Avoiding excess by recognizing funding priorities. 

Only 17% of all enterprises 

surveyed use the majority of their Web analytics tool capabilities (see Figure 8). A scant 
19% of companies surveyed barely use any of their solution capabilities, leaving a bell 
curve of users falling between 31% and 70% use of tools. Variances in use of fee-based 
and free solutions indicate only a slightly higher use of fee-based tools. This reveals that 
few organizations are getting the maximum benefits from either free or fee-based Web 
analytics tools. Enterprise companies must ask themselves if they are paying too much for 

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capabilities that they simply do not need. In some cases, gaining fewer seldom-used 
capabilities is a worthwhile tradeoff if funds can be reallocated to hire more resources 
necessary for analysis. 

 

 

Situational conflict that forces tough decisions.

 Economic factors place pressure on 

many large enterprises, to the point where 39% have decreased budgets for Web analytics 
and 35% have decreased head count as well (see Figure 9). This scenario prevents a 
simple transfer of funds from technology to human resources. To further complicate 
matters, 28% of enterprises are increasing their use of Web analytics, and 23% are using 
Web analytics data to drive more decisions. These competing factors emphasize the need 
for enterprises to safeguard their analytics staff to ensure that Web analytics programs 
continue to generate the insight and data necessary to fuel their organizations. 

 

 

Driving decisions with insight from active users.

 More than two-thirds of survey 

respondents are frequent or power users who access their Web analytics tools as primary 
functions of their job responsibilities. This frequency of access indicates a familiarity with 
their Web analytics tools and presents an opportunity for these users to showcase the 
analytics data potential to their large enterprises, thereby further emphasizing the need to 
retain qualified Web analysts. Expert practitioners allow organizations to differentiate 
themselves from other enterprises competing on common Web analytics capabilities. 

 

Figure 8: Tool Underutilization Invites Change 

4%

5%

10%

17%

16%

17%

15%

12%

3%

2%

“What percentage of Web analytics are you effectively  using?”

2%

8%

11%

16%

18%

13%

13%

16%

2%

0%

5%

2%

9%

19%

12%

20%

20%

8%

5%

2%

0%

5%

10%

15%

20%

25%

0% to 

10%

11% to 

20%

21% to 

30%

31% to 

40%

41% to 

50%

51% to 

60%

61% to 

70%

71% to 

80%

81% to 

90%

91% to 

100%

Pe

rc

en

ta

ge

 

of

 

de

ci

si

o

n

ma

ke

rs

Percentage

 

effectively

 

used

Free tools 

Fee-based tools

 

Base: 198 Enterprise Web analytics users 

Source: a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Google, May 2009 

 

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Figure 9: Economic Factors Influence Decisions 

“Has the current economic situation affected your Web analytics strategy in any of the following  ways?”

23%

28%

35%

39%

Web analytics data drives more decisions

Usage of Web  analytics increased

Head count for Web analytics decreased

Budget for Web analytics decreased

 

Base: 198 Enterprise Web analytics users 

Source: a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Google, May 2009 

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Web Analytics Essentials 

Once large enterprises establish a foundation for their Web analytics programs, attention turns to 
data collection, reporting, and analysis. These functions represent the core capabilities that Web 
analytics technologies bring to the enterprise and should be carefully prioritized according to 
individual business needs. However, this study indicates that large enterprises maintain:

 

 

Vendor selection based primarily on reliability, cost, and ease of use. 

Enterprise-level 

users of Web analytics tools surveyed for this study made a resounding statement about 
their unwavering need for data quality and reliability. Yet, 40% of survey respondents listed 
an easy-to-use interface as a most important consideration factor when selecting a Web 
analytics solution (see Figure 10). Given the current use of tools and the overall importance 
of Web data, it’s no surprise that enterprises seek these qualities in their vendors. 

 

 

Data “must-haves” that include custom metrics and easy implementation. 

For 38% of 

enterprises, the ability to customize metrics is an important one, followed closely by easy 
implementation and deployment, required by 36% (see Figure 11). Interestingly, 40% of 
fee-based-tool users cited this as an important capability, indicating that there may be pains 
associated with implementation. This is echoed by the fact that 19% of enterprises are 
currently using or evaluating a secondary solution because implementation does not 
require IT. While this is not always feasible, it is a benefit for some enterprises. 

 

Power users who prioritize speed, flexibility, and visualization. 

Figure 12 illustrates 

that all users want fast, flexible, and meaningful reporting, but power users place a higher 
emphasis on these capabilities. For many of these advanced practitioners, visualization is 
the sandbox in which they can analyze, interrogate and investigate their data to draw 
insight and meaning from the numbers. These users then rely on custom reporting or 
dashboards as a means for getting the right information out to stakeholders in their 
respective organizations.  

 

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Figure 10: Important Vendor Selection Criteria 

“Please select the most important consideration factors for choosing a Web analytics solution.”

1%

9%

9%

11%

12%

14%

19%

21%

26%

27%

28%

31%

34%

40%

40%

45%

Other, please specify

Licensed (on-premise) software option

Vendor’s product enhancement plans

Vendor’s customer retention

Hosted software option

Training program

Dedicated product support

Vendor reputation

Customer satisfaction

Integration with other applications

Data reporting assurance (SLA)

Quality of support

Product capabilities meet our requirements

Product pricing

Easy-to-use interface

Reliable data collection

 

Base: 198 Enterprise Web analytics users 

(multiple responses accepted) 

Source: a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Google, May 2009 

 

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Figure 11: Important Data Capabilities  

“Please select the most important data capabilities of a Web analytics solution.”

1%

14%

15%

16%

15%

16%

18%

20%

20%

22%

28%

33%

34%

34%

36%

38%

Other

Custom session  definitions

Mobile device tracking

Social media tracking

Implementation auditing

Unlimited segmentation

Ability to associate  anonymous  data with unique  visitors

Custom variable  creation

Ability to import data for blended  analysis

Administrative access controls

Collection of all data (no sampling in data collection)

Ability to export data to other applications

Data warehouse

Benchmarking

Easy implementation/deployment

Custom metrics

 

Base: 198 Enterprise Web analytics users 

(multiple responses accepted) 

Source: a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Google, May 2009 

 

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Figure 12: Important Reporting And Analysis Capabilities 

“Please select the most important reporting and analysis capabilities of a Web analytics solution.”

1%

9%

10%

12%

12%

13%

12%

15%

15%

18%

19%

19%

22%

23%

25%

26%

32%

38%

44%

Other

Conversion attribution

Ability to append comments to reports

Vertical industry reports

Data import/export  through Web services or APIs

Site overlay

True OLAP analytics

Scenario/funnel analysis

Ability to set  goals/conversion events

Customizable alerts

Industry benchmarks

Data integration with other marketing solutions

Robust standard reports

Customizable dashboards

Predictive analytics

Full reports with sampled data

Data visualization

Custom report creation

Real-time reporting

 

Base: 198 Enterprise Web analytics users 

(multiple responses accepted) 

Source: a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Google, May 2009 

 

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Enterprises Weigh Their Options

 

It’s challenging for large organizations to know when the time is right for changing course on their 
Web analytics technology. After all, switching costs are high despite the fact that nearly two-thirds 
would consider that option. Thirty-five percent of organizations surveyed stated that they’re too 
tightly integrated with their current vendor, and 20% simply don’t believe that they could find the 
same capabilities in another vendor’s solution. Yet, Forrester’s in-depth survey of large 
organizations using Web analytics yielded several important observations about enterprises that 
derive great value from their Web analytics programs, including: 

 

A balanced cost-benefit ratio.

 Enterprise-class organizations recognize the value of their 

Web analytics programs on multiple levels within their organizations. This recognition 
shines through when companies are able to command budget for digital initiatives based on 
data derived from Web analytics, or when Web analytics revelations result in bottom-line 
earnings for large enterprises. These accomplishments come from well-defined Web 
analytics programs where the costs associated with technology are generating clear 
benefits in equitable terms for the business. Whether playing a direct or an indirect role in 
revenue generation, large organizations that spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on 
Web analytics technologies must clearly recognize the benefits. If not, organizations must 
reevaluate their vendor relationships.  

 

Access to vendor or partner support. 

No large organization — no organization of any 

size, for that matter — should be required to navigate Web analytics technologies and 
adjacent marketing functions without support. This support is available from numerous 
sources, including directly from vendors, from the expansive Web analytics consulting 
industry, and from qualified vendor partners. Today’s technologies require sophisticated 
implementation, extensive training, and dedicated attention in order to function at maximum 
capacity. Thus the onus of education falls squarely on clients using these technologies, with 
vendors playing a role in collaboration and assistance in sourcing qualified channels for 
support. 

 

 

A foundation of Web analytics process and human resources.

 Large organizations 

must take an introspective look at their Web analytics programs to determine if their 
resources and processes are aligned for success. Too often, technologies are unjustly 
blamed for the inability to gain traction with Web analytics, when internal disorganization is 
to blame. Clients of Web analytics technologies must consider that people and resources 
dedicated to Web analytics provide cornerstone elements of success. Failure to nurture 
and establish these elements will result in sub-par results. Consider that change may be 
required in areas other than the technologies employed to achieve sustainable success.

 

 

Features and capabilities matched to unique business needs. 

The Web analytics 

needs and wants of large enterprises span widely and are apt to change often. Companies 
seeking vendor partners must fully grasp their internal Web analytics needs in both the 
short and long term. These precautions will help manage expectations and will minimize 
overspending on unnecessary technologies. Further, the act of matching needs to vendor 
solutions with a vision for the future will allow enterprises to grow with their Web analytics 
tools. Users of Web analytics that possess a long long-term vision for analytical success 
ensure that their tools can scale with the growth of their organizations. 

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Appendix A: Methodology

 

In this study, Forrester conducted an online survey of 198 Web analytics decision-makers and 
influencers in the US. Respondents were offered incentives from the external survey vendor, ERI, 
as a thank you for time spent on the survey. The study began in March 2009 and was completed in 
August 2009. In this survey: 

 

All 198 respondents were from enterprises. Forrester defines enterprises as companies 
and organizations that have 1,000 or more employees. Twenty-six percent of respondents 
were from organizations with 1,000 to 4,999 employees; 40% were from organizations with 
5,000 to 19,999 employees; and 34% of respondents were from organizations with 20,000 
or more full-time employees.  

 

All respondents were knowledgeable with regard to their company’s Web analytics 
technologies and programs and were also decision-makers or influencers in the planning 
and purchasing of Web analytics technologies. Thirteen percent of respondents were C-
level executives or VP-level managers, 22% were at the director level, 49% were at the 
manager level, and 13% were project managers or other full-time employees.  

 

Respondents were from a variety of industries: technology/Internet (17%), business and 
industrial manufacturing (12%), financial services/banking (11%), retail/wholesale (9%), 
professional business services (6%), communications/telecom/media (6%), insurance (5%), 
healthcare/biotechnology/pharmaceuticals (5%), construction and engineering services 
(4%), other (4%), food (4%), beverages, and tobacco (4%), government (4%), 
distribution/logistics (3%), travel, airlines, hotels, and tourism (3%), automotive (3%), real 
estate (2%), energy, oil, gas, and utilities (2%), public services (2%), entertainment/leisure 
(2%), and advertising/PR/marketing services (1%). 

 

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Appendix B: Demographics/Data  

4%

9%

13%

22%

49%

C-Level executive

Vice president

Project manager

Director

Manager

“Which of the following most closely describes your role within your organization?”

 

Base: 198 Enterprise Web analytics users 

Source: a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Google, May 2009 

1%

2%

2%

2%

2%

3%

3%

3%

4%

4%

4%

4%

5%

5%

6%

6%

9%

11%

12%

17%

Advertising/PR/Marketing services

Entertainment/Leisure

Public services 

Energy, oil, gas, utilities

Real estate

Automotive

Travel, airlines,  hotels & tourism

Distribution/Logistics

Government (f ederal, state, local)

Food, beverages and tobacco

Other

Construction and engineering  services

Healthcare/Biotech/Pharmaceuticals

Insurance

Communications/Telecom/Media

Prof essional business services

Retail/Wholesale

Financial services/Banking

Business and  industrial  manuf acturing

Technology/Internet

“Which of the following best describes your primary type of business?”

 

Base: 198 Enterprise Web analytics users 

Source: a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Google, May 2009 

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Appendix C: Endnotes 

                                                      

1

 See Forrester’s May 27, 2009, “US Web Analytics Forecast, 2008 To 2014” report. 

2

 See Forrester’s July 23, 2009, “The Forrester Wave™: Web Analytics, Q3 2009” report.