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

Of the three products reviewed in this package, Omnitures SiteCatalyst 10 has probably seen the least obvious improvements. Of course, when we reviewed SiteCatalyst 8 two years ago, it already had many of the features—such as visual path analysis—that competing products are just now starting to add.

And while the improvements in SiteCatalyst 10 might not be immediately obvious, they are important, especially when analyzing e-commerce Web sites and incorporating data from sources other than the Web pages.

Using SiteCatalyst 10s new Data Sources Manager, we could pull in data from sources such as Web server log files, ad servers, CRM (customer relationship management) systems and survey applications. Although this feature proved useful for extending our view into site usage and its relationships, we would like to see something that worked more in real time.

In addition, the Data Sources Manager pulls its data sources through standard FTP. Given the sensitivity of some of that data, we think SiteCatalyst 10 should have a secure FTP option.

SiteCatalyst 10 includes several new deep-analysis options. Among these is an interesting value metrics option that assigns value scores to multiple items in a page or campaign, providing information on how items contribute to overall value.

It is also now possible to perform fairly complex analysis of visitor behavior through SiteCatalyst 10s highly customizable segmentation options.

We could also view keywords used by referring search engines, making it possible to see if there was a relationship between searches and search engines. In addition, for Web sites organized into specific hierarchies, such as by topic, it is now possible to track traffic by site hierarchy.

Among the hosted applications many new analysis options and features, we especially liked one that made it possible to assign a unique number to event actions while allowing us to specify that certain user actions, such as refreshes or hitting the back button, should not be recounted.

For a service, SiteCatalyst also offers welcome security options, such as the ability to limit access to specific IP addresses and the option to specify which domains can receive report e-mail.

SiteCatalysts pricing begins at $20,000 per year, based on an annual contract, and increases with page-view volume.

Labs Director Jim Rapoza can be contacted at jim_rapoza@ziffdavis.com.

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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 RapozaÔÇÖs 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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