Econsultancy’s Web Analytics Buyer’s Guide is a refreshing signpost in a perplexing world of web analytics tools, tips and traps. Essential for those wanting to understand the industry and critical for those looking to invest.

199 Pages? Holy Web Analytics Buyer’s Guide, Batman! The web analytics market in the UK grew by 9% up from £78 million in 2008 to an estimated value of £85 million by the end of 2009, and 2009 was not a good year for anybody. Any sort of growth in this economy speaks volumes.

Econsultancy’s Web Analytics Buyer’s Guide 2010 clearly shows that people are still interested in finding out if their marketing spend is worth its weight in ducats.

Equally as clearly, data integration remains the holy grail of customer intelligence and actionable insight. Data integration is going to be the next game changer – right after social media metrics – and did you happen to notice mobile marketing sneaking up from behind to bash you on the head?

The 3.3. Return on Investment is my favorite section of the Web Analytics Buyer’s Guide. This is a happy list of reasons to invest in web analytics that begins, “Effective use of web analytics can offer businesses a range of advantages …“  I read it every night before bed and have the nicest dreams.

The SWOT Analysis (Section 4) is spot on and very informative. If you read nothing else, this Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats bit is the most required reading.

As for the rest, how to find the right vendor, how their products and services are priced, how they stack up against each other for features, that’s all just good, solid data collected the old fashioned way and laid out so that anybody looking to invest can do so intelligently.

Now please excuse me while I go back to section 3.3 and have day dreams about using data to make better business decisions.