Site Analysis Gets Expert Treatment

By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2004-06-07 Print this article Print

Webtrends, HBX, SiteCatalyst can offer compelling data on Web site use, visitors.

Given that every enterprise has at least a Web site and that most also have an intranet, portal or e-commerce presence, one would think that Web analysis tools would be higher on more organizations must-have lists.

For the most part, however, these products have been overlooked. Even among companies that have them, site analysis tools are often underused because companies dont realize the vital information they could be missing and the major improvements they could make to their online platforms via better use of analysis products.

Click here to read Jim Rapozas column, "With Data Analysis, Less Isnt More."
However, for companies that do choose to leverage Web analysis tools to improve their online businesses, the times could not be better. Most major vendors in this market have improved their offerings significantly, and all can provide a business with highly detailed, understandable, accessible, real-time Web analysis data.

For this review, eWEEK Labs looked at three top products in the Web analysis arena: NetIQ Corp.s WebTrends 7, which is available as a service and as an installable application, and two service-provider-only products, WebSideStory Inc.s HBX On-Demand Web Analytics and Omniture Inc.s SiteCatalyst 10.

All the products we evaluated had excellent analysis and reporting capabilities that let us view Web site information in almost any way we wanted, using graphical path analysis tools, tight integration with Microsoft Corp.s Excel or real-time reports.

The efficacy of these products depends more on a companys Web site complexity and traffic utilization than on a companys size. All three would work well for larger, more complex sites, but smaller, simpler sites might prefer the low-end versions of WebTrends available from NetIQ.

Click here to read the review of WebTrends 7. Click here to read the review of HBX On-Demand Web Analytics. Click here to read the review of SiteCatalyst 10. Next page: Methods of Web site analysis.

Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr Rapoza's current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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