Outlook 2006: Web Analytics Key to Understanding Efforts OnlineI expect 2006 to be a banner year for the Web analytics market based on factors including the likelihood that Google Analytics will drive interest in the subject and raise the bar for entry-level Web data analysis.
Though still not widely available, the functionality in Google Analytics is worth a look by anyone interested in doing more to measure the success of their Web sites. Also, traditional advertisers' interest in emerging online channels will continue to drive the need for accurate measurement.
Privacy and data accuracy will remain hot-button issues, and I predict that at least one major analytics provider will be called out by the media and court of public opinion over the widespread use of tracking cookies.
Because cookie issues aren't going away, site owners are encouraged to quantify the problem while moving aggressively to a solution based on first-party cookies.
I expect several consolidation events to occur or begin this year, further emphasizing the need to work with established vendors or companies providing compelling technology. Picking analytics solutions based on the lowest cost is a poor choice.
Site owners who recognize the need to invest in Web analytics technology to support their understanding of how their Web marketing and site efforts drive their overall business are poised to do well.