The proliferation of data from a growing suite of marketing and business performance tools is making it harder than ever for companies to develop integrated reporting systems, according to research published today.

Research by Econsultancy and Lynchpin has found that businesses are struggling to adopt a joined-up approach to data collection and analysis, which incorporates both online and offline data.

Only 41% of companies say they have common key performance indicators (KPIs) for web and non-web data, and just 22% of companies have a framework for analysing customer journeys that cross online and offline.

The proportion of companies who say they have ‘a company-wide strategy in place that ties data collection and analysis to business objectives’ now stands at 22%, down from 25% last year.

Only 28% of respondents say that web analytics ‘definitely drive actionable recommendations that make a difference to their organisation’, a drop from 31% last year.

The fourth annual Online Measurement and Strategy Report, published by Econsultancy in association with analytics consultancy Lynchpin, is based on a survey of more than 800 companies and agencies carried out in March and April 2011.

Lynchpin Managing Director, Andrew Hood, said: “Volumes of data are continually increasing, and it is hard for businesses to make sense of it because of the complexity. When there is so much information available from such a variety of sources, it becomes a real challenge to define and agree consistent, robust top-level metrics.”

Econsultancy’s Research Director Linus Gregoriadis added: “The research shows that businesses are more likely to be using a range of marketing tools, including on-site feedback technology, mobile analytics and social media monitoring software. The increase in available data is outpacing the speed with which businesses can translate information into actionable insights.”

The research found that companies are increasing reliant on Google Analytics, though many companies still prefer to use their other paid-for analytics vendor for a range of reporting requirements.

The proportion of companies using Google exclusively for web analytics now stands at 44%, up from 38% in 2010 and only 23% in 2009.

Only 13% of responding companies don’t use Google Analytics, while 42% continue to use Google and a paid-for analytics tool simultaneously.

Hood added: “Many companies are using Google for some reporting requirements and another web analytics vendor for other tactical needs. As well as exposing some of the weaknesses of the paid-for vendors, this makes it increasingly difficult to get to a common version of the truth.”

Other research findings:

-) Those companies using both Google Analytics and a paid-for analytics tool are more likely to use the free Google tool for pay-per-click optimisation, site search usage and campaign tracking. But companies surveyed are more likely to use their other, paid-for vendor for reporting requirements including traffic and conversion KPIs, conversion optimisation, navigation analysis, management reporting, content influence, video tracking, and cross-sell analysis.

-) Companies plan to bolster their resourcing of data analysis for both in-house staff and outsourced analysis. Companies are more likely than last year to be increasing budgets for consulting and other third-party services relating to web analytics. Those outsourcing analytics functions are most likely to do so for analysis and optimisation (52%), strategic consultancy (47%) and implementation support (41%).

-) The number of companies interested in measuring their online reputation and social media activity continues to grow. The proportion of companies who say they analyse reputation, buzz and social media metrics has significantly increased. Over half of companies (55%) are now analysing this type of data, compared to 45% of responding organisations in 2010.

The full Econsultancy / Lynchpin Online Measurement and Strategy Report 2011 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@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 web analytics consultancy. Since 2005, we've been unlocking the power of data to help our clients meet their online objectives. Lynchpin works with Turner Broadcasting, Experian Interactive, Cadbury and Lloyds Banking Group amongst others.

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: 11:10AM on 23rd June 2011