Checklist: 10 Top Issues to Check When Selecting the Enterprise Analytics Platform
Author Ewa Bałazińska
Author Ewa Bałazińska
Choosing an enterprise analytics tool is a critical process: whichever platform you choose, you will be stuck with it for a while. Web analytics implementation is definitely a long-term project, with high organizational and financial costs. That’s why it’s good to pause and reflect before making any commitment.
At this stage you probably have already documented your organizational requirements, reviewed some of the many tools available on the market, and narrowed down your options to just two contenders. But which one should you choose? Which one will be better suited to your business needs?
There’s never an easy answer to this question. In this really great post Bryan Eisenberg outlines questions that will help you evaluate and map your organizational needs. But we want to go a step further and focus specifically on the very final part of the software selection process. We mean the moment when you’ve done the trials and demos, both contenders seem suitable and you need some help making the ultimate decision.
That’s why we prepared this set of 10 issues that every business owner should consider before making the final enterprise-level analytics software decision. Partly inspired by the approach outlined in this post by Bernard Segarra, we expanded it with practical and in-depth questions. If you’re stuck, you can use our checklist to compare how your test-driven tools perform and which of them better caters to your needs.
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If you’d like to compare the specifications of the 5 most popular web analytics out there, download our free Web Analytics Vendor Comparison sheet. We have detailed over 40 functionalities for you to see the key differences between these enterprise analytics tools.
Read on for discussion of each of these criteria and a list of questions to help you choose the perfect tool. You can also check our infographic and learn main fields you should consider. It is fully applicable to any organizations, even if they’re not enterprise-level entities.
If you are serious about growing your business, then you need solid and reliable insights. Issues such as data sampling, referral spam and adblocks can seriously impact your data accuracy, so it’s best to rule them out as soon as possible. It is also useful to have access not just to aggregated data, but insights on individual users as well.
When speaking of business, especially on the enterprise-level, you will most likely need a tool that can provide you with insights on different aspects of your activities: web, intranets, e-commerce, server logs. Depending on the nature of your industry, you’ll need different sets of metrics and reports. Most probably you have your KPIs selected, so now it’s time to double check if they are available in the tool you’re interested in:
Analytics software in a business environment usually has to function as a part of a bigger digital set-up. Therefore it’s essential to ensure that your chosen platform can integrate with the tools you already use. Another thing is steering away from vendor lock-in, that is, making sure even if for some reason you need to change your tool, you’ll still be able to migrate your data easily, without losing any of your history.
If you rely heavily on analytics data, then you want to make sure your tool is up and running at all times. Should any issue crop up, you will want to have it sorted out as soon as possible. Free tools usually come with self-help guides and tutorials, but when we’re talking business we need to consider premium services and support. This is what you need to consider to make sure you get enterprise-ready analytics platform:
Choosing between Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and self-hosting may be a big, if not the biggest, decision for your organization. The majority of software is now delivered over the cloud, and this is understandable when considering cost, ease and convenience. Yet for certain types of businesses or organizations SaaS may simply not be an option – think of governments or banks.
Doing business in certain parts of the world, such as the European Union, means that your software needs to comply with the local regulations. This especially refers to data collection and privacy protection of your users. Speaking of the EU, a new set of stricter privacy regulations is due to come into force in 2018. When the General Data Protection Regulation takes effect in the EU, problems with privacy compliance may cost as much as €20 million in fines.
Considering the multi-year commitment you’re making, it is key to be sure that the continuity of your tool and services will be guaranteed. Of course, it is unlikely that companies such as Google Analytics will vanish from one day to the next, leaving clients without support or software updates. Yet bear in mind that certain tools get discontinued (as has happened to the self-hosted platform Urchin), so it’s useful to have an alternative plan up your sleeve. For instance, investing in open-source solutions means that your software will be able to live long after the relationship with the original vendor has ended.
Since implementation of an enterprise analytics solution is a long-term commitment, you should definitely check the costs of the tool, maintenance and upgrades you might incur. It’s also useful to know in advance what happens to your data should you exceed your prescribed allowance.
While individual bloggers may not worry about data ownership, this is one of key issues faced by medium to large enterprises that rely on information processing of some form. It relates to exercising legal rights and control over a given set of data, including the ability to create, edit, modify, share, and restrict access. Performance metrics are crucial, but ownership of the data that informs intelligence is just as critical, as the absence of it could hurt your business.
Enterprise analytics solutions must think about convenience of end-users. It’s important to ensure the platform will be properly used and taken advantage of. The easier it is for users to adjust the dashboard and reports to their particular needs, the higher the chances that the tool will be appreciated in your organization.
Searching for a web analytics tool for your business is no easy task. The broad range of tracking software options available on the market is both a blessing and a curse. Use our checklist once you’ve narrowed the search down to the final pair of contenders to make your decision easier. Keeping this set of criteria in mind will help you not only choose the right tool for your needs, but also prevent potential problems in the future. Good luck hunting!
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