- 35% of free analytics users reort only an ad=hoc use of the tool, as opposed to less than 20% who used a paid for solution.
- 42% of companies using a free solution have no human resources dedicated to analytics, as compared with only 18% of companies with a paid for solution.
- 64% of people ussing a free solution have less than 2 years experience, as compared with 32% of those using paid solutions.
For those of you who are less familiar with web analytics, the premise here is that getting a high ROI on the use of web analytics involves an investment of people time. These powerful tools really begin to deliver when you use them to uncover the way that users are interacting with your site, and dig into a lot of details. For better, or for worse, this is an inherently custom process, because the needs of every site are different. Ultimately, according to Eric Peterson, CEO of WebAnalyticsDemystified successful "web analytics is hard".
Eric also emphasized that he also encountered users of free analytics that were making the people investment, and that it was possible to be just as successful with free analytics as paid, but that "it comes down to commitment". It should be noted that Eric uses Google Analytics on the WebAnalyticsDemystified web site.
Ultimately, these results make sense to me. For people who are just beginning to dabble in analytics, and are not really sure how to get the most out of it at this point in time, picking a free solution makes sense. Once a company has committed to investing cash in a solution, they are clearly more likely to have a different mindset about what they are doing. But the study makes for interesting reading, and provides insight into the state of the analytics market.
The results in the study were based on a survey of 856 web analytics users and consultants conducted in March of 2007.