London, 16 May 2008:

Companies are typically failing to adopt a coherent strategy which ties in web analytics data with business objectives, according to research published this week by E-consultancy and Lynchpin.

Less than a fifth of companies (18%) have an internal strategy that ties data collection and analysis to business objectives. More than half (56%) of responding organisations said they are “working on this”, while a further 22% say that they don’t have such a strategy.

Many companies are also under-investing in internal web analytics staff, according to the Online Measurement and Strategy Report published by E-consultancy this week in association with analytics consultancy Lynchpin.

The research also found that only a quarter of company respondents (25%) say that their web analytics “definitely” provide actionable insights, with a further 56% saying that this is only sometimes the case.

Spending on technology accounts for 45% of company spending on web analytics compared to 18% for consulting and services and a further 36% on internal staff.

Linus Gregoriadis, head of research at E-consultancy, said: “Respected analytics experts advise that the amount spent on technology should only really be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to analytics investment.

“Our research shows that many organisations are under-investing in internal analytics staff and failing to implement a coherent measurement strategy which can help them turn their data into something of real value to their business.”

The majority of company respondents (58%) say that half or less of their web analytics data is useful for driving decision-making. More than a third (38%) say that 30% or less of their data is useful.

The most widespread use of web analytics tools is for reporting traffic figures, the research found. Almost nine out of ten responding organisations (88%) said that this is an “important use” of web analytics.

The next most important function of analytics is to help understanding of customer behaviour, deemed to be an important use by 70% of company respondents.

Andrew Hood, managing director of Lynchpin, said: “Analytics’ reputation is in tatters. Millions have been invested by large corporations around the world in analytics software that does not give business the answers it promised.

“Today, there is a massive disconnect between the analytics market and what business needs. It is vital that the analytics sector address this issue and provide the business consultancy and online strategy needed to unlock the potential of analytics software.”

More than 700 companies took part in the survey including 434 “client-side” respondents and 229 supplier-side companies (including agencies, consultancies and analytics vendors).

Journalists

A version of this report is available to journalists and bloggers. Please email for details.

Other key findings

-) The vast majority of both company and agency respondents believe that a common currency is needed for web metrics. Exactly three-quarters (75%) of company respondents and 69% of agency respondents think that this is necessary.

-) From the perspective of client-side respondents, lack of budget and resources is seen as the most widespread barrier to an effective online measurement strategy, with 41% of organisations citing this as a major barrier.

-) Some 43% of organisations do not have any dedicated web analysts.

-) About a third or responding organisations are spending less than £5,000 a year on web analytics. A fifth (21%) of companies are spending at least £50,000 a year.

-) Two thirds of those organisations surveyed (66%) are using the free Google Analytics tool, which makes it far and away the most widely used web analytics tool.

Report URL
http://www.e-consultancy.com/publications/online-measurement-and-strategy-report-2008/

Media contacts:
Linus Gregoriadis, Head of Research, E-consultancy
(e: linus AT e-consultancy.com t: 0207 681 4051 / 07956 564713)

Chris Lake, Editor-in-Chief, E-consultancy.com
(e: chris AT e-consultancy.com t: 0207 681 4052)

About E-consultancy

E-consultancy.com, an online publisher of best practice internet marketing reports, research and how-to guides, was named Publisher of the Year at the 2006 AOP Awards. Since moving to a paid content model, it has since amassed thousands of paying subscribers, more than 65,000 registered users and 150,000+ unique user sessions per month. Subscribers pay from £195 per year to access exclusive and practical content.

http://www.e-consultancy.com/about/

About Lynchpin (Research Sponsor)

Lynchpin provides its clients with strategic consultancy, training and technical services to help them make the most of online data.

Lynchpin takes a top-down approach to web analytics, ensuring that reporting and analysis is genuinely aligned with real business objectives. We help organisations build and implement effective analytics strategies that make the most of their investment in analytics technology.

For more information, please visit our website or contact Steve Dalgleish on +44 845 838 1136 / steve.dalgleish@lynchpin.com.

http://www.lynchpin.com/

Published on: 12:00AM on 16th May 2008