Analytics Tool Selection

Author: Aditya Khanna | Categories: Digital Analytics, Digital Marketing, Google Analytics

Analytics tool selection is very akin to a marriage because you will be stuck (lol – Please forgive me for this statement) with the same tool for very long time mostly due to your important historical data.

It is well said by Avinash Kaushik – “Choosing an analytics tool should be based on the facts and not because of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt)” - And I agree with every single word in this statement.

I have seen organizations investing in every possible analytics tool in the market. You name it – Google Analytics, Web trends, Site catalyst – and they have it. What they don’t have is someone who can figure out what they need to track and why do they need to track.

To make your life easy, I have created some basic questions which you need to answer before you start your analytics tool selection process.

Analytics tool pre-selection Questionnaire:

1. What do I need to track in analytics?

Here are some basic things which most of us wants to track:

  • Traditional clickstream data.
  • Funnel analysis
  • Events and Goals
  • A/B Multivariate testing
  • Heat Maps
  • Data Export and Integration
  • Attribution modeling
2. Why do I need to track?

These questions look very easy & simple, but trust me they are not, and they can play a vital role in success and failure of your marketing efforts for at least next 12 months (because we believe that this marriage will at least last for 12 months – lol) and you will have no one but yourself to blame if these questions are answered without deep dive and thinking.

To understand more about the above questions you can read my blog on analytics measurement model which can give you more insights and steps to create your analytics model.

Once you are through with the above questions and ready with you analytics measurement model, you need to answer another set of question which can help you to get married with the analytics tool.

Analytics Tool selection steps:

Step 1: What are the list of analytics tool which you are considering for your website?

You already have that right? – Write it on paper or an excel sheet.

Step 2: What is the amount of traffic you expect on your website in the next 12 months?

I know it’s not possible to predict the exact numbers, but we just need a fair idea based on your marketing activities planned. It’s possible, right? – Yeah J cool. Write it on paper or an excel sheet. This is important because the pricing for most of the tools will be based on the traffic which you want to track on the website. And my favorite Google analytics is free for websites with traffic <= 10 Million a month. Cool! right?

Step 3: Which all tools will be able to track all (maximum) metrics and dimensions which you have planned in your measurement model?

This will be a bit tricky because if you have not used any of the tools before then you will be dependent on online Blogs, articles or may be FAQ’s or comparison charts on the tools website itself. You can also try connect with the sales team of the analytics company and ask this personally (This would be only Valid for paid tools I guess).

Step 4: Does any free tool offer all the metrics and dimension you have in your measurement model?

If the answer is yes – Great!

If the answer is No – Then you need to review your budget or see how important those metrics/dimensions are to your business (in case you are willing to compromise on those).

Step 5: Now when you have shortlisted a couple of tools, you need to check how complexity the implementation is w.r.t your measurement model?

If you are just tracking the clickstream data, then the implementation should not be a problem with any tool. But, if the implementation is complex (events, custom variables, goals, conversion tracking, ecommerce tracking), then you might need help of a technical person (preferably a guy with javascript expertise) to implement that for you.

Step 6: How easy is the dashboard to analyze data?

This is the final step and if this is simple enough for your team to understand and find analytics insights then you are right there my friend.

After completing step 6, I believe you will be in a strong position to select the right analytics tool for your business. If not, then you might have to revisit the steps to fill the gaps and come up with the right choice.

Our final stand is that it’s neither about what others or your competitors are using, nor about paid or free tools, you need to see which analytics tool is good enough to meet your business objective and easy to comprehend by your team to provide business insights.

Still not sure about analytics tools? Let’s Talk!

How did you select your analytics tool?

What all steps did you take while selecting the right analytics tool for your business?

Let us know using the comment box below.