Companies are finally investing in analysts and developing better strategies to get the most from their business performance and analytics tools, according to research published by Econsultancy and Lynchpin today.

Spending on internal staff now commands more than half (53%) of web analytics budget, up from 42% last year.

Technology spending now accounts for less than a third (30%) of companies’ web analytics budgets, down from 38% last year and 45% in 2008. Spending on consulting and services makes up approximately 17% of budget.

The survey-based research also found that almost half (48%) of companies surveyed are planning to increase the number of employees they have dedicated to web data analysis. Only a fifth (22%) of companies do not have any employees dedicated to web analytics. Last year nearly half of companies (46%) were without any dedicated web analysts.

The third annual Online Measurement and Strategy Report, published by Econsultancy in association with analytics consultancy Lynchpin, is based on a survey of more than 600 companies and agencies carried out in March and April 2010.

Lynchpin Managing Director Andrew Hood said: “A recurring theme of previous survey results has been that getting value from analytics is just as much about people as technology. It's good to see that now starting to play out in terms of increasing investment in analysts from a skills and headcount perspective, but budgets and resourcing are still holding this back.”

Omniture continues to dominate the paid-for web analytics market, with 39% of companies paying for web analytics saying they use this vendor’s technology.

The vast majority of companies surveyed (87%) are using Google Analytics. The proportion of companies using this tool exclusively (38%) is significantly up from 23% last year and 14% in 2008.

Econsultancy’s UK Research Director Linus Gregoriadis said: “Partly because of the commoditisation of web analytics and Google’s free product, the main web analytics vendors have expanded their service offerings to include a broader array of business performance tools including multivariate testing and optimisation tools.”

The vast majority of companies (73%) are using some sort of measuring tool to measure their online reputation and social media activity, while only 27% are not measuring this at all. Just over half (51%) of companies surveyed have paid for media planning and competitor analysis services.

Hood said: “This year, a clear message is that analytics is no longer just about what is happening on your website. The growth in social media monitoring is hardly surprising given the growth of this channel, but the increasing usage of competitor analysis and feedback tools highlights the practical need to understand the bigger picture.”

Gregoriadis added: “An online measurement strategy increasingly needs to encompass a lot more than just ‘traditional’ web analytics, including areas such as mobile analytics, competitor intelligence and social media monitoring.”

Other research findings:

-) Two-thirds of companies (65%) have paid for online survey technology, while just over half (51%) have paid for media planning and competitor analysis services. Despite the increased importance of the mobile channel, only 12% of companies are paying for mobile analytics tools.

-) A quarter of companies (26%) are using multivariate testing (MVT) and optimisation tools, and this is the best-performing business tool from a return on investment perspective. Two thirds of companies (66%) using MVT report a definite bottom-line improvement to business performance.

-) Lack of budget and resources is the most significant barrier to an effective online measurement strategy, according to 57% of companies surveyed. This is now more of a problem than last year, increasing by 12% from 45% in 2009. The biggest factor cited as a barrier by agencies is still the lack of understanding by clients, although this is now less widely seen as a problem compared to last year.

The full Econsultancy / Lynchpin Online Measurement and Strategy Report 2010 is available for download at:

http://econsultancy.com/reports/online-measurement-and-strategy-report

Email or call Linus Gregoriadis for a complimentary copy of the report and / or further information.

Email: linus.gregoriadis@econsultancy.com

Tel: + 44 (0) 207 269 1465 or + 44 (0) 7956 5645713.

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.

http://econsultancy.com

About Lynchpin

Lynchpin is an independent online analytics consultancy delivering understanding and insight for companies like The Guardian, British Standards Institute and Turner Broadcasting.

With five 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.

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: 1:23PM on 8th June 2010