Reporting vs. Analysis article by Adobe Omniture

Adobe Omniture’s Brent Dykes recently published a great article titled “Reporting vs. Analysis: What’s the Difference?” on the differences between reporting and analyzing web analytics data. He clearly defines these differences based on their purpose, tasks, outputs, delivery and value. As others have done before him he recommends to make a switch from the current reporting focussed web analytics usage based on information to a more  analysis based usage providing insights.

Some lines from his article: “Reporting translates raw data into information. Analysis transforms data and information into insights.”, “reporting shows you what is happening while analysis focuses on explaining why it is happening and what you can do about it.”

Whitepaper WAA Nederland

The Online Media Taskforce of the Web Analytics Association Netherlands published a whitepaper on online measurement discrepencies and how to deal with them. The whitepaper is titled “Waarom komen mijn bezoekers niet overeen met mijn bezoekers?” and is available in Dutch from their website. During the presentation at the Web Analytics Wednesday Frans Appels from the WAA also announced that the whitepaper will be made available in English at a later point in time.

Google updates Site Overlay to In-Page Analytics

Google has released an update to their previous Site Overlay feature within Google Analytics and now calls it In-Page Analytics.  Like with the old Site Overlay feature Google puts a layer on top of your website showing you the usage of various elements within a specific page. This new version should be more robust (like actually working ;-)) and allows for more detailed analysis by applying filters and the usage of segments. It also shows a quick glance of the metrics of the page on the left side and the number of clicks below ‘the fold’.

13 October – Web Analytics Wednesday, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Wednesday October 13th will be the date for the next Web Analytics Wednesday in the Netherlands. Admission is free and there will be two items on the agenda.

  1. WAA Taskforce Online Media on their whitepaper “Waarom komen mijn bezoekers niet overeen met mijn bezoekers”.
  2. Matthew Niederberger, TUI: Voice Of The Customer on how Arke creates visitor insights using Kampyle and how to setup a quick ‘guerillia’ optimization research using free tools.


16:00 Reception
16:15 Taskforce Online Media
17:00 Matthew Niederberger
17:45 Drinks (offered by LBi Lost Boys)


LBi Lost Boys
Joop Geesinkweg 209
1096 AV Amsterdam


Admission is free, but please send an e-mail to and let them know you are coming.

End-To-End Measurement in Google Analytics

Consider the following. You own a website and want to track your visitors from the moment they enter the website up until the moment they actually convert into a customer. Normally you would do this by either setting up Goals and Funnels or by using the E-Commerce module within Google Analytics. This works perfectly fine if your visitors actually become customers once they complete the process.

But what if the process doesn’t end at your website?

What if the nature of your business doesn’t allow users to complete their purchase online? They might simply send in a form for a price quotation or fill out a call me back form. How can you measure those?

Measuring non direct conversions

Several web analytics products provide solutions to this problem by allowing you to import data from your back-end system. This is ideal because you can analyze, in detail, what a visitor did on your website in the same way as you would analyze a full online conversion. All data on sources, behavior and trends are available so you can do pretty much anything you want. Unfortunately Google Analytics doesn’t allow you to import data into their system (except for Google Adwords), bummer…

Making the connection between your back-end system and Google Analytics

Since it is not possible to import data into Google Analytics, it’s key to extract the data from Google Analytics and be able to match this data to individual conversions in your back-end system. Extracting data from Google Analytics isn’t that hard using the API so I won’t go into detail on that here, but how are you able to make a connection between the data in the two systems?

Creating the connection

Google Analytics allows for Custom Variables to be set (Custom Variable documentation), these custom variables allow you to create a connection between the data in Google Analytics and the data in your back-end system. By creating a unique identifier for each visit (like a hash tag or something) you can post that variable both into a Custom Variable and into a hidden field within your price quotation form. By storing this hidden field in your back-end system you can later export all individual transactions including their unique visit id hash tag.

You can also request all data from the Google Analytics API by segmenting on that specific identifier. Allowing you to get a complete insight into what the user has done during their visit and how they got to your website. This can be especially interesting to analyze your traffic sources and used keywords and compare the difference between sources driving price quotations and sources driving actual conversions.

Diagram of End-to-End Measurement in Google Analytics

New owner Web Analytics Facts

Dear readers,

My name is Martijn Verstrepen. After nearly a year of silence things are going to change here at Web Analytics Facts. Jethro has indicated that he could no longer find the time to actively blog and that he was looking for a successor. Therefore I have offered Jethro to take over Web Analytics Facts and bring new life to this weblog.

Starting October 1st I will be posting articles to this weblog on a regular basis. These new articles will be focused on web analytics best practices, tips & trics and industry news. I would very much love to actively discuss these articles in the comments and I am always interested in hearing suggestions for topics, improvements and enhancements to this weblog. You can reach me at

In the coming days I will try to publish my first article and a small biography of myself for those of you interested in knowing more about me.

I would like to thank Jethro for all his hard work on and dedication to this weblog and wish him all the best with his future endeavors.

Kind regards,

Martijn Verstrepen

Google Analytics illegal in Germany?!

Are you joking? No, read this article on Techcrunch.

Achtung! Several federal and regional government officials in Germany are trying to put a ban on Google Analytics, the search giant’s free software product that allows website owners and publishers to get detailed statistics about the number, whereabouts and search behavior of their visitors. More.

What do you think about this development?

Design for Conversion (DfC) mobile edition 2009

Hi, how are you? How is your conversion doing nowadays?

Design for Conversion is a highly interactive conference aiming to collectively (as one big family) deepen our knowledge of Persuasive Technology, Experience Design and Evidence Based Marketing, and how these disciplines can learn from each other. With heavy doses of design thinking, cognitive psychology and statistical knowledge we are very serious in taking up a worldwide conversion challenge.

For who? We actively invite database marketers, e-commerce managers, interaction designers, marketers, information architects, copy writers, usability engineers and business intelligence experts to join our conference.

Interesting event to attend! Registrate here. Have fun.

Adobe (to) Acquires Omniture

It was inevitable: Omniture acquired by another company. It’s not Google or Microsoft or Oracle. No, it’s Adobe!

Combined Company Will Deliver Comprehensive Solutions for Creation, Delivery and Optimization of Content and Applications.

Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) and Omniture, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMTR) today announced the two companies have entered into a definitive agrement for Adobe to acquire Omniture in a transaction valued at approximately $1.8 billion on a fully diluted equity-value basis. Under the terms of the agreement, Adobe will commence a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Omniture for $21.50 per share in cash.


Forrester Wave, Web Analytics Q3 2009

In Forrester’s new Web Analytics Wave you can find the evaluation of 8 vendors: Omniture, Unica, Coremetrics, Webtrends, Nedstat (new!), Yahoo! Web Analytics (new!), AT Internet (Xiti – new!) and of course Google Analytics.

Their summary says:

In Forrester’s evaluation of eight Web analytics vendors, we reviewed 105 criteria that exposed a tight Leader board because of each vendor’s ability to process copious amounts of data and offer robust customization capabilities. Leaders in this field include US companies Omniture, Coremetrics, Unica, and Webtrends, with Netherlands-based Nedstat holding its own. Google Analytics advanced to Strong Performer with demonstrated capabilities for the enterprise market, and AT Internet and Yahoo! Web Analytics ranked as Contenders. Through this detailed evaluation and report, we seek to identify Web analytics solutions that meet the needs of large enterprises as they grow, mature, and plan their evolving Web analytics strategies.

How is this Wave related to the one from two years ago? I found (sorry, no working link found) a good pic to give some insights. How will the landscape be in 2011 according to YOU?