Insightr InSite: Comparing Free Analytics (Visual)


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This presentation is an in-depth review of the features that the leading free web analytics packages (Yahoo & Google) offer. Packed full of insight and screenshots this is the definitive guide to both products. Insightr Consulting is Google Analytics certified and a member of the Yahoo Web Analytics Consultant Network (YWACN). We are offering a Yahoo Web Analytics migration package for anyone who wants to use the very powerful YWA product.

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  • OK, so today marks the day that Yahoo! have decided to close off their Web Analytics product - as of 31st August 2012 there will be no more YWA.

    Please also note that this analysis was done 3 years ago - and the Google Analytics product team have made significant advances in that time - so I would no longer see this document as relevant to today's market.
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  • Google is being run by Indians, managerially and technically. Even though Page and Schmidt are CEO and Executive Chairman of Big G, but still we can’t forget that it was Amit Singhal, an IIT Roorkey Graduate, who re-wrote the whole algorithm of Google Search Engine in 2000 which made Google the best in the industry. Then, Nikesh Arora of BHU-IT is the Chief Business Manager; Vic Goundotra is the man behind the whole Google Plus… and, many many more. Search FAMOUS INDIANS WORKING IN GOOGLE for more details.
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  • I personally prefer Google analytics, great slide by the way.
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  • Good!google&yahoo analytics
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  • Please visit our blog to read more about this document and to get access to a free workbook shared on Google Docs allowing you to perform your own weighted scores analysis of the two products at
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Insightr InSite: Comparing Free Analytics (Visual)

  1. 1. Free Web Analytics ToolsComparison of Google Analytics & Yahoo Web AnalyticsPublished:30October 2009<br />
  2. 2. About this document<br />This document is intended to be a reference to highlight the key differences between the 2 major free web analytics solutions in the market.<br />We have broken the comparison into 27 distinct product components (we feel is representative of most of the solution offerings).<br />It’s impossible to document absolutely every feature, so we acknowledge there may be aspects you disagree with.<br />We have attempted a heuristic score based system to compare the tools based on a medium to high end usage pattern. Please use this as a reference only upon which to base your own scoring.<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE2<br />
  3. 3. Product Comparisons layout<br />Score for Yahoo Analytics<br />Score for Google Analytics<br />Description of component features for Google Analytics<br />Description of component features for Yahoo Analytics<br />Screenshots of component features for Google Analytics<br />Screenshots of component features for Yahoo Analytics<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE3<br />
  4. 4. Account Creation<br />8<br />9<br />Very simple, less than 2 minutes to be up and running.<br />After accepting terms and conditions you are given tracking code<br />Final stage is overview of account page where settings are configured<br />Very simple, but accounts only currently available for Y! advertisers or through a YWA authorised consultant (such as Insightr)<br />Process is structured with email invitations and approvals<br />Code is downloaded from settings page and an admin console offers full configuration<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE4<br />
  5. 5. User Access Management<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE5<br />
  6. 6. User Access Management<br />8<br />4<br />Simple process<br />User manager allows existing user management (security and profile visibility)<br />New user manager requires just an email address (Google Account) and security level<br />Two security levels:<br />Administrator: Can control everything<br />User: Can only view reports (administrator determines which profiles user can view)<br />Simple and automated process<br />User manager allows existing user management (security and profile visibility), also shows last login date<br />New user manager requires name / email (Yahoo Account) then you customise invitation email to user and modify security level<br />User receives email and token to sign up, and gets a thank you email confirmation<br />Four security levels:<br />Administrator: Can control everything<br />Power User: Same as Admin, but cannot delete / change Admin<br />User: Unrestricted access to reporting<br />Restricted User: Selective access to reporting<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE6<br />
  7. 7. Data Collection Process<br />8<br />8<br />Basic tracking code is copy / paste to website<br />Data is only collected for browsers that accept JavaScript<br />Uses 1st Party Cookies<br />Basic code (can be customised) captures page view data based on url and page title<br />Uses object orientated JavaScript based on ‘pageTracker’ object<br />Basic tracking code is copy / paste to website:<br />YWA includes a &lt;noscript&gt; tag which can impact data collection (this can of course be removed if preferred)<br />Uses 1st Party Cookies<br />Basic code (can be customised) captures page view data based on url and page title<br />Uses object orientated JavaScript based on ‘YWATracker’ object<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE7<br />
  8. 8. Tracking Code Customisation<br />9<br />4<br />Comprehensive customisation documentation exists on GA api website<br />5 custom variables (scope: page, session, visitor)<br />Event tracking (3 hierarchical dimensions)<br />eCommerce transaction tracking<br />Comprehensive customisation documentation exists on YWA help website and through pdf based manuals<br />16 fixed dimensions (used for campaigns, internal search, eCommerce, content)<br />38 custom dimensions (scope: page, session, visitor) – expiration can be set based on conversion actions<br />15 custom action tags along with 5 standard action tags (for eCommerce)<br />See:<br />See:<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE8<br />
  9. 9. Data Latency<br />9<br />5<br />Typically less than 30 mins (for large sites), but have seen up to 1 day on small accounts (&lt;100 pv/day)<br />Report below run at 12noon on 22 October:<br />Typically real-time, but can be delayed up to 20 minutes from current experiences<br />Can be validated with “last visitor details” report<br />Report below run at 12noon on 22 October:<br />Note: for both tools we observe different visit counts<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE9<br />
  10. 10. Default ‘dashboard’<br />All Changeable<br />Fixed<br />Changeable<br />Up to maximum of 12 modules<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE10<br />
  11. 11. Default ‘dashboard’<br />5<br />8<br />Visually appealing, big text, basic metrics and bold charts make it more ‘interesting’ for non experts.<br />Functionally limiting – only one dashboard is available: one fixed reportlet and 12 additional reports (not customisable)<br />Export in pdf format (xml also available)<br />Email and scheduling available in pdf (not a 1 page report but full details for all dashboard reports), xml, csv, tsv (garbage data sent – visits only)<br />Default dashboard is weak, highlighting demographics, multi-site rollup by default.<br />Strength is in flexibility, multiple dashboards can be created and fully customised<br />Dashboards cannot be downloaded or emailed / scheduled<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE11<br />
  12. 12. Custom ‘dashboard’<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE12<br />
  13. 13. Custom ‘dashboard’<br />9<br />2<br />Only one dashboard is available<br />This contains one fixed reportlet and 12 additional reports (not customisable)<br />Every report in GA contains an “add to dashboard” button. <br />The dashboard items will be either a map, chart or table.<br />The ordering of the reports can changed<br />Dashboards cannot be shared with other users<br />Dashboards can be exported and emailed / scheduled<br />Multiple dashboards are customisable through a dashboard manager<br />Every report in YWA contains an “add to dashboard” button.<br />Based on the type of report 9 different types of dashboard items are available, dates and comparison periods are customisable<br />Except complex reports such as path analysis reports or scenario analysis are not available<br />The ordering of the reports can changed<br />Dashboards can be shared with other users and duplicated, the dashboard can be set as home screen<br />Dashboards cannot be exported and emailed / scheduled<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE13<br />
  14. 14. Report Navigation<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE14<br />
  15. 15. Report Navigation<br />8<br />7<br />Very simple navigation, bucketed into 6 main sections in the LH nav along with a separate nav section for Custom Reports<br />Each section has a summary landing page, from which more detailed reports can be accessed – this slows down report navigation a little<br />Date control box sets dates for all reports, and includes comparison period showing absolute data with % difference<br />Up to 4 segments can be added to any report, can clutter up data presentation<br />Tabular data has 5 different views, including visualisation elements<br />Report drilldown options are quite limiting<br />Very simple navigation, bucketed into 10 main sections in the LH nav along with a separate nav section for Saved Reports<br />Each section opens up the nav to up to 2 levels of additional reports, no landing pages – for new users finding reports can be challenging<br />Date control box sets dates for all reports, and includes comparison period showing either absolute data or % difference<br />Default reports are quite basic, but every report can be customised and segmented with report wizard and segment manager tools.<br />Every dimension allows full drilldown (subrelations) to every available dimension<br />Multiple charting formats available<br />Tabular data can be colour coded and highlighted <br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE15<br />
  16. 16. Report Saving / Bookmarking<br />8<br />3<br />Not currently available, though a hack is to use the dashboard as a way of accessing your 12 most frequently used reports.<br />Reports can be bookmarked or added to a custom dashboard, as well as saved for quick downloading<br />Saved reports can be downloaded for external analysis without viewing the report<br />Bookmarks can be shared to all users, based on fixed or dynamic dates, based on fixed segments and stored in folders<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE16<br />
  17. 17. Report Filtering<br />9<br />5<br />Filters in GA can only filter on the metrics and dimension that is currently in the report.<br />This makes the GA filter a pure data for the current report, eg to only show low bounce, high traffic pages – this makes the filter faster / easier to use, but less powerful.<br />Filters in YWA can filter on the current metrics available in the report and on any dimension.<br />This makes YWA report filters more of a quick look segmentation tool than a way of filtering the report data – this makes the cross reference filter very powerful but more complex to use.<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE17<br />
  18. 18. Report Distribution / Emailing<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE18<br />
  19. 19. Report Distribution / Emailing<br />8<br />4<br />Every report has an ‘export’ and ‘email’ button in the top navigation<br />If emailing the user gets to select a subject line and description, if downloading the export is immediate<br />5 report formats are available: pdf (vector), csv, csv (for excel), tsv, xml<br />If emailing the report can be one-time or scheduled on a daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly basis<br />Every report has a nav bar with multiple export type buttons, each of these loads up the export report window.<br />The export manager allows a user to either download immediately, or to send the report as an email.<br />4 report formats are available: html, (html format email), pdf (vector), csv, excel<br />In order to schedule a report the user must visit the schedule manager (cannot be done directly from a report).<br />The schedule manager provides customisation for name, description, specific delivery date / time, report format (inc charts and events), email address and bcc address.<br />Scheduled reports can be customised with a company logo.<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE19<br />
  20. 20. Support Network (Twitter)<br />7<br />5<br />GA twitter account is not personal and generally not helpful or responsive – more marketing based<br />YWA twitter account does respond to questions and tries to share tips tricks<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE20<br />
  21. 21. Support Network (Official Websites)<br />6<br />7<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE21<br />
  22. 22. Support Network (Blogs)<br />5<br />9<br />Very few available, but Dennis Mortensen of Yahoo is active in blogging and slidecasting about YWA features and techniques<br />Lots of GAAC’s blog actively about GA offering great advice, including Epikone, VKI Studios and ROI Revolution<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE22<br />
  23. 23. Consultant Network<br />7<br />8<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE23<br />Google offer two levels of certification, one for individuals (Individual certificate) and one for companies (GAAC). <br />There are dozens of GAAC consultancies all around the world.<br />Yahoo offers certification for businesses (YWACN)<br />There are dozens of member companies in Europe / US and a small number based in Singapore (including Insightr)<br />
  24. 24. Campaign Management<br />8<br />5<br />Very basic, users need to develop a process to manage creation of campaign variables that get passed in a url string.<br />Up to 5 campaign parameters (dimensions) can be used<br />ROI / Impressions / Costs can only be incorporated for Google Adwords, via Analytics link<br />Campaigns can be added manually, or uploaded / managed via a bulk manager using Excel.<br />Up to 10 campaign categories (dimensions) can be used<br />Any campaign can have cost / impression data attached for ROI analysis, additionally YWA offers api integration to Yahoo Panama, Google Adwords & MSN Adcenter<br />YWA also supports internal campaigns<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE24<br />
  25. 25. Campaign Attribution<br />9<br />3<br />GA defaults all campaigns to allocate conversion to the last click.<br />There is a possible override to first click using &utm_nooverride=1 that allows the user to allocate to first click, but documentation on this feature is weak and is not recommended.<br />By default all YWA campaign reports are based on “intelligent” attribution (meaning: if a visit was from a campaign, attribute to campaign, otherwise check cookie to see if visitor ever came from a campaign and allocate to original campaign). <br />In reporting it is possible to add cross reference filters that will apply a media attribution window using “Direct” (last touch), “Original” (first touch) or “Intelligent”<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE25<br />
  26. 26. Data Import Services<br />Merchandising Category Upload<br />Bulk Campaign Upload<br />Google Adsense API Connection<br />PPC Search Engine API Connection<br />Google Adwords API Connection<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE26<br />
  27. 27. Data Import Services<br />8<br />2<br />Currently 2 main import services are available<br />Google Adsense<br />Google Adwords<br />Currently 3 main import services are available<br />Merchandising Categories: full classification of sku / product details<br />Campaign Bulk upload: large scale campaign classification via Excel workbook<br />PPC Integration: full api level integration with Yahoo, MSN & Google ppc systems<br />Additional import services available upon request:<br />External Data Sources (EDS): importing of large scale external tables (eg customer / member properties)<br />Admin / Management API: management of account and users through api<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE27<br />
  28. 28. Data Export Services<br />8<br />8<br />GA offers a full data export api, which provides more access to metrics and dimensions than standard web reports.<br />The open source nature of the api has led to a number of developers offering api driven analysis tools (including excel plugins, sql-like query engines and mobile apps)<br />Data is aggregated, so individual visitor behaviour cannot be analysed, nor can the data be modelled <br />YWA offers (upon request) a full data export api which provides access to almost all of the same data held in the web reports.<br />The data api is 2 way, meaning data can be exported and imported into the system, examples of data import would be migrating a pending order to a completed order (eg for banks who process applications after credit checks offline)<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE28<br />
  29. 29. eCommerce Support<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE29<br />
  30. 30. eCommerce Support<br />9<br />4<br />Once eCommerce is enabled in GA, a new tab appears under most reports highlighting conversion<br />Only sales analysis is possible in GA, there is no concept of a basket or cart abandonment.<br />No reconciliation of cancelled or offline converted orders<br />Limited variable scope, all data must be collected via tags on page<br />No basket or cross sell analysis, except through api or at individual order level<br />Because of the nature of ‘standard’ YWA reports, eCommerce conversion data must be added through custom reporting to reports.<br />Full analysis of basket and cart available, including cart conversion funnel analysis<br />Allows reconciliation of cancelled and offline fulfillment through pending tag<br />Multiple product classification managed through mechandising classification, only variable collected on page is product sku<br />Product (or classification based) cross sell analysis possible, as well as full subrelations to all other dimensions stored.<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE30<br />
  31. 31. Visualisation & Data Presentation<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE31<br />
  32. 32. Visualisation & Data Presentation<br />7<br />8<br />Visualisations are visually appealing, making use of Google visualisation api’s (date range, maps, motion charts, sparklines)<br />Standard charts can be broken down by hour, day, week, month depending on report dates<br />All charts use a line chart, which can be used to compare different segments as well as 2 different metrics.<br />All data tables offer pie charts (% of total), performance comparison, compare against averages and detailed sparklines.<br />GA Visualiser is very powerful, but can be confusing to use due to number of metrics that can be shown (blog articles assist here), one problem is there is no way to export visualisations.<br />Visualisations not as ‘pretty’ as GA, but more variations offer flexibility.<br />Standard charts can be broken down by hour, day, week, month depending on report dates<br />4 types of chart visualisation offered: pie, line, bubble, column<br />Line and Bubble offer 2 metric analysis<br />Column offer 3 metric analysis<br />All data tables can be highlighted using colour scheme to highlight top and bottom values based on criteria selected though rules based engine.<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE32<br />
  33. 33. Segmentation of Data<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE33<br />
  34. 34. Segmentation of Data<br />8<br />8<br />GA offers pre-defined segments (such as visitors from paid search, new visitors) to get users started.<br />Up to 100 segments can be created using drag and drop user interface against almost all metrics and dimensions, uses simple AND OR rules engine.<br />Up to a maximum of 4 segments can be applied to a report, segments will use sampling methodology for large samples.<br />Segments are applied as new rows in a report, which sometimes makes the user interface somewhat messy. <br />YWA provides no pre-defined segments<br />Segments are created using AND statements, properties edited using a selection box or a rules engine.<br />Segments are applied to reports as new columns in the format Metric:Segment.<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE34<br />
  35. 35. Visitor Profile Analysis<br />7<br />0<br />None available<br />YWA is connected to the Yahoo! registration database and uses sampling rules to estimate (using confidence intervals) against entire visitor population.<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE35<br />
  36. 36. Conversion / Goal Tracking<br />8<br />7<br />GA offers up to 20 custom goals to be collected, goals are grouped into 4 ‘goal sets’ to assist with analysis of multiple goals<br />Goals are set in the admin interface and are based on either page view data (eg visitor submits form) or on ‘threshold data’ (based on time on site or pages/visit)<br />Goals are reported 1x per session, this can cause problems if for example you set a goal for a video view.<br />YWA offers up to 15 custom action tags along with 5 ‘standard’ action tags (for eCommerce)<br />Action tags are based on JavaScript tags set in the page and can be managed through the admin interface.<br />Action tags are configured as either non-unique (many x per visit) or unique (1x per visit). <br />Action tags can be serialised (de-duplicated) by adding a timestamp (eg for sales tracking)<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE36<br />
  37. 37. Calendar Events & Announcements<br />None available<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE37<br />
  38. 38. Calendar Events & Announcements<br />8<br />0<br />YWA offers a feature that allows you to add calendar event (such as a campaign launch or product announcement)<br />This allows you to compare the impact of calendar events against your data – this is done through a event analysis feature.<br />Calendar events can be private or shared.<br />All reports can have a description / note applied, especially useful for custom reports that have been shared.<br />Additionally, reports can be annotated so that (eg) if there was a spike in traffic you can add a description of why this happened, or suggestions for further analysis.<br />None available<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE38<br />
  39. 39. Auto-alerts<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE39<br />
  40. 40. Auto Alerts<br />5<br />9<br />GA offers two types of alerts, Auto alerts and Custom alerts.<br />Auto alerts are known as “GA Intelligence” and works by analysing 11 dimensions and 18 metrics collected and highlighting on a daily, weekly or monthly basis variations in combinations of dimensions / metrics.<br />The auto alerts have some flexibility with sensitivity adjustment, and the decision making process is tied to a statistical significance bar. Once an alert is reviewed there is an option to auto-create a custom segment for analysis.<br />The custom alerts allow an analyst to create a new alert (with email notifications) based on reporting period, dimension properties and metric variance.<br />YWA offers an alert manager for setting up Custom alerts.<br />The custom alerts allow an analyst to create a new alert (with email notifications) based on<br />Reporting period (comparisons eg month over month) <br />Dimension properties (grouped or individual) <br />Metric variance (above or below threshold)<br />Custom alerts can also be setup be right clicking in any report which will bring up the manager based on the dimension / metric chosen.<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE40<br />
  41. 41. Path, Scenario & Funnel Analysis<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE41<br />
  42. 42. GA offers 1 type of path / scenario analysis and one type of funnel analysis.<br />The path analysis is called “navigation summary” and allows an analyst to explore a particular page on the site breaking down to 4 segments: entrances, previous pages, exits and next pages.<br />The path analysis only allows one page before and after to be analysed.<br />Funnel analysis (with up to 10 levels) is enabled as part of the GA conversion goal setting. This shows a visual representation of steps in a process as well as entry / exit points. <br />There is no funnel analysis available for eCommerce reporting.<br />YWA offers 1 type of path / scenario analysis and two types of funnel analysis<br />The path analyses are mapped out in a hierarchical tree structure, which can be expanded through as many levels of navigation as you wish, and multiple navigation paths can be viewed at the same time.<br />Ad-hoc scenarios allow you to research past visitor behavior based on visitor navigation<br />Pre-defined scenarios are for analysis and exploration of user flows / processes<br />For both types of scenarios there is no limit on the number that can be created<br />Path, Scenario & Funnel Analysis<br />8<br />4<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE42<br />
  43. 43. Custom Report Design<br />9<br />6<br />Almost all metrics and dimensions are available, with limitations on combinations.<br />Up to 5 tabs each containing 10 metrics<br />Up to 5 dimensions, each available through progressive drilldown (drilldown report expands one row for each dimension)<br />Managed through report manager, and can be shared with others through a ‘share url’.<br />All metrics and dimensions are available, no limitations<br />Up to 26 metrics as columns in a single report<br />Up to 9 dimensions and one grouping dimension. Each dimension is available as a drilldown in the same report (see below)<br />Custom reports can be shared and centrally managed for other users.<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE43<br />
  44. 44. Data Drilldown<br />Can drill into multipledimensions in the same report<br />Can only drill into one row at a time<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE44<br />
  45. 45. Data Drilldown<br />9<br />4<br />Up to five levels of drilldown are possible using GA which is managed by clicking on one row of a dimension to explore the drilldown dimension.<br />This limits opportunities for comparing multiple rows in drilldown.<br />Additionally a second flexible drilldown dimension (known as secondary dimension) is available in every report.<br />In custom reports up to 9 dimensions can be explored at the same time<br />This provides considerable scope for very quickly exploring patterns in data without requiring opening up many new reports.<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE45<br />
  46. 46. Scores and evaluation<br />Notice the frequency of “8” score for yahoo, as an attempt to normalise the data since only two products were reviewed<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE46<br />
  47. 47. Scores and Final Evaluation<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE47<br />
  48. 48. What’s next?<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE48<br />
  49. 49. Yahoo web analytics?<br />Interested in Migrating to<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE49<br />
  50. 50. Yahoo Web Analytics Migration Offer<br />DATE October 09<br />PAGE50<br />If you’re interesting Yahoo Web Analytics, Insightr Consulting is offering a GA to YWA migration project comprising:<br />
  51. 51.<br />For more information send us an email:<br />PAGE51<br />DATE October 09<br />