New releases in Web site analytics software and services highlight a resurgent market once thought to be subsumed by customer relationship management and business intelligence software vendors.
On Monday, NetIQ Corp. will debut its WebTrends Intelligence Suite, the next iteration of the former CommerceTrends product. It is the highest end of the companys product line, featuring a new report design tool and pre-designed data warehouse tables.
At the same time, digiMine Inc. will release the first of its digiMine Advisors suite of managed services, a Web site analysis service called Conversion Advisor.
Both are poised to take advantage of a market expected to grow from $160 million this year to $463 million by 2005, according to International Data Corp.
Formerly known as CommerceTrends when WebTrends was a separate company, WebTrends Intelligence Suite is used to measure user experience, marketing effectiveness, e-commerce performance and online customer service effectiveness.
Rodney Howeedy, director of database management for Firstdoor.com, a content site for human resources management professionals, said less is actually more in this new release. Howeedy noted that the OLAP Manager cubes have been reduced to about 40 from more than 80 in previous versions.
"You were sort of overwhelmed with the amount of options you had," said Howeedy, in Kennesaw, Ga. "It would take you a while to go through them all, and a lot of times, they seemed sort of abstract. Im glad they pared the number down."
New features in this release include the WebTrends Report Designer, based on Crystal Decisions Crystal Reports technology, for custom report design of marketing, service or support data. There also is pre-designed tables in the WebTrends Warehouse data warehouse to ease data integration with other customer-facing applications, such as CRM.
Data from these tables can be used to build e-mail marketing campaigns or knowledge bases of Web activity for call center agents.
"The new data tables look like they let you parse information down to a lower level," said Howeedy, who has evaluated the new version, but isnt using it yet. "Ill be interested in seeing them. It looks like they let you break the data out further and define content groups with more specifics."
Performance has also been improved so that WebTrends Intelligence Suite can process visitor data up to five times faster than CommerceTrends could, said NetIQ officials, in San Jose, Calif. Howeedy said he hasnt yet benchmarked the new version against what hes currently using, which is Commerce Trends 3.5.
In addition to Warehouse, Report Designer and OLAP Manager, the suite includes WebTrends for Content Management Systems, for integration with content management applications, and WebTrends Reporting Center, for more than 350 pre-designed reports.
Separately, NetIQ also will announce a move into predictive Web analytics, thanks to an integration partnership with Quadstone PLC. The new product, known as Quadstone for WebTrends, provides an interface between Quadstones Quadstone System and WebTrends Intelligence Suite so that data can pass between the two products.
In this way, users can apply Quadstones predictive models to Web-Trends data and get a sense of how visitors might respond to site changes, personalization and marketing campaigns, NetIQ officials said.
For those customers who dont want to manage the Web analytics software themselves, digiMine, of Bellevue, Wash., offers Conversion Advisor, which is a managed service providing both analytic measurement and targeted product recommendations.
Its the first of four services in the digiMine Advisors line. Forthcoming services include: Retention Advisor, which will help marketing managers identify "at risk" customers to market to; Product Advisor, to help product managers and merchandisers target their products and services to the most appropriate customers; and Content Advisor, to enable Web site managers to present their online content and services to the most appropriate site visitors.
WebTrends Intelligence Suite is available now, with pricing starting at $30,000. NetIQ has not yet determined pricing for Quadstone for WebTrends.
Pricing for digiMine Conversion Advisor starts at $10,000 per month.