- WEB STARTUPS
- WEB JOBS
- ALL TOPICS
I get various requests from time to time asking me which analytics applications. So here is my list of the current analytics applications I use on my web sites with a short bit of commentary on each one. They are not listed in any particular order. You can also check out my previous post which offers several free and almost-free analytics options. I don’t believe most Web sites need the insane number of tools I run but each one offers me something unique and, in addition, I like to test as well.
Clicky is currently my favorite analytics application. The interface is excellent, has a Web 2.0 feel to it without going overboard. The best features are the real-time spy and the IP user lookup. The user maps and location information is very detailed giving you insights into where your users are, how they access your site, and what they do on your site.
- The basic account is limited to 1,000 pageviews per day. Most users will want the $2.99 plan.
- There is an affiliate program which earns credits towards free premium memberships.
- Support is great and the site is very user-friendly.
- Clicky is also running an API contest currently. So far I know of one entry at ideAjax which basically is a sweet world map.
eXTReMe Tracking has the absolute best user lookup tools that I have found to-date. If you want to be able to look at individual users and their patterns, eXTReMe Tracking does this very well. The rest of the app is strong, but not the strongest of the tools listed.
- The free account is limited and requires you to place a graphic on your site. The pro account is $4.50 a month.
- The "on the map" feature is the best user mapping tool I have tried. In fact, Dateline NBC used it on a sting operation last year.
- The site does have a short learning curve and the interface layout could be improved.
I have used Google Analytics since they first launched and the new version is very powerful. I don’t love GA but keep it running because it is generally the best comparison from site-to-site.
- Some users report that the Goals options don’t always track correctly
- I am not crazy about Google controlling every aspect of my site including the site traffic.
- Overall, this is the most popular analytics app for three reasons: Google’s trust level, their ability to market it thru the AdWords program and that the app is free.
I like Mint. It is the fastest of the analytics applications listed and it runs on your local server. I used to believe it was better to keep everything on your local server with regards to analytics apps, but today there ASP model apps have really improved their ability to track and not lose data.
- There is no free plan, $30 gets you a license for the current x.y version. Once x is upgraded, the charge is $15.
- There is an excellent support community who can help with support and extending the app.
- Mint offers "Peppers" which are basically add-ons to extend the functionality of the app. Most are built by the Mint community.
Quantcast is the odd man out in this grouping. Quantcast doesn’t provide as much detail as the above and is really used as a ranking and evaluation tool. Sites that use their plugin are called "Quantified Publishers" on the site. Frankly I wish more sites would use this because then it could create more fair comparisons. Quantcast is what Alexa wishes it would be.
I left Complete off the list because I am currently working with them to attempt to rectify the reporting issues on CN. Once they have corrected the issues, I will post my thoughts on Complete. I have not included the "professional" level packages such as Webtrends, Omniture and WebSideStory. Lastly, many web hosting packages provide basic metrics applications. I didn’t include these because I find that they are generally worthless and out-of-date.
What tools are you using? Is it one (or more) of the above? Are there others I should be reviewing/testing?