June 9, 2009

Companies have invested more web analytics budget on internal staff over the past year but are still struggling to make the data meaningful and useful for shaping digital strategy, according to research released today.

The Online Measurement and Strategy Report 2009, published by Econsultancy in partnership with Lynchpin, found that there has been a shift away from spending on technology to spending on internal staff, with companies now spending more of this budget on human resources than on software and licences.

The proportion of budget for internal staff has increased from 36% to 42% of total web analytics spend while spending on technology has decreased from 45% to 38%.

But the research also found that just one in five companies (22%) has an internal strategy that ‘ties data collection and analysis to business objectives’ and only 27% say their web analytics definitely drive actionable insights, showing very little improvement since last year.

The decrease in spending on technology comes at a time when more companies are using free tools such as Google Analytics. The research found that 80% of companies are now using Google for analytics compared to 66% last year, although many of these companies are also using paid-for tools.

The research contains good and bad news for web analytics vendors. Less than half of responding organisations said they are getting return on investment from their paid-for analytics tool, but businesses using paid-for tools are more likely to change something frequently as a result of insights than those using Google Analytics.

The research, which follows a similar study last year, is based on a survey of more than 800 digital marketers working in-house for companies or for vendors and agencies.

Companies are putting an emphasis on information requirements which relate directly to hard business goals.

Linus Gregoriadis, research director at Econsultancy, said: “Companies are focusing on analytics which help them improve both customer acquisition and customer retention. They are prioritising information requirements which relate directly to business efficiency.”

He added: “There has been a shift from spending on technology to spending on internal staff but there are still too few companies with an internal strategy that ties web data to business objectives.”

Andrew Hood, managing director at web analytics consultancy Lynchpin, said: “While the technology gets more and more sophisticated (and arguably more accessible from a cost perspective), the challenges in interpreting and actioning the data only get bigger.

“Resource is still a massive issue, and while companies are looking to increase spend on people there looks to be an underlying skills shortage operating against this.”

The full Econsultancy / Lynchpin Online Measurement and Strategy Report 2009 is available for download here:


Journalists and bloggers can email or call Linus Gregoriadis for a complimentary copy of the report and / or further information.

Email: Linus AT econsultancy.com

Tel: + 44 (0) 207 269 1465

Please note: Econsultancy will be running a Breakfast Briefing on 9th July 2009 to help companies get the most out of Google Analytics.


About Econsultancy

Econsultancy is the leading source of independent advice and insight on digital marketing and e-commerce. Our reports, events, online resources and training programmes help a community of over 80,000 registered marketers make better decisions, build business cases, find the best suppliers, look smart in meetings and accelerate their careers.

Join Econsultancy today to learn what’s happening in digital marketing – and what works.

Call us to find out more on +44 (0)20 7269 1450 or contact us online.


About Lynchpin

Lynchpin is an independent online analytics consultancy delivering understanding and insight for companies like HMV, The Guardian and M&S Money.

With 5 years' experience of all the leading analytics platforms and methodologies, we work as part of your team to ensure your organisation has the right resources on hand at the right time.

For information on getting the most out of your web analytics tools, download our free best practice guide from


To find out more about how we can help, please visit our website at http://www.lynchpin.com or contact Steve Dalgleish on +44 845 838 1136 / steve.dalgleish@lynchpin.com

Published on: 2:00PM on 9th June 2009