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Thanks for finding the time to write up this assessment! Is your understanding that comScore is looking to be a viable *alternative* to Sitecatalyst/Webtrends/Coremetrics, or are they seeing the product as being more of a supplement? I get that the idea of using their panel data (That's where the demographics will come from, right? It'll be sampled demographic data based on traffic to the site from their panel, no?) as a way to segment traffic is incredibly powerful. But...will it work? I get a little nervous about their *lack* of institutional experience with comprehensive behavioral data (both data capture and meaningful analysis of that data) -- is that a legitimate concern?

And, are they seeing Digital Analytix as a tool primarily geared towards media sites, or is the thinking that it would make sense for large brand sites, too?

When they rolled this out at eMetrics, they irked me a little bit in their delivery, as it seemed like they were already over-promising (unless they have VOC and media tagging built in, they're not *really* getting any site to a "single tag" -- their misfortune to be presenting shortly after Larry Freed did!). The fact that you're providing a (qualified) hearty endorsement makes me think I ought to swallow my sour grapes and give it a look.


I think it's clear that Digital Analytix is meant to be a full competitor to other analytics solutions. Unlike solutions like Clicktale (for example) or even GA, which companies routinely and with good reason choose to run in conjunction with enterprise solutions, I think that comScore's product is too heavy duty (probably too pricey) and far to duplicative to be in that class.

Interestingly, the demographic data doesn't come from panel data - I initially thought that too. But it's third-party sourced (I assume to provide better coverage) and validated with the panel.

Is Digital Analytix primarily geared toward media sites? I'd be surprised if that isn't the way the market works - mostly since comScore has such strong connections in that space. But I didn't see anything in the tool that made me think it wasn't general purpose. In Europe it's used by a quite a wide variety of site types and without any particular media bias.

Indeed, there are some aspects of the tool that make me think it might be better suited to other industries - where the ability to do visitor-level and non-aggregated analysis is even more prevalent than in media.

I definitely think it's worth a look. Every tool I've worked with has some strengths and weaknesses - and these often only become apparent when you've been deeply hands on with the tool. But I think the basic functional set in Digital Analytix is pretty darn attractive.

Hmmm...points 1-4 sound exactly like a product I know very well. I noticed the very close similarities at eMetrics also. ;)

Sorry, I have to jump in here. The four points you describe above sound a lot like what's available in Yahoo Web Analytics right now....

1. A powerful enterprise analytics tool that provides access to granular event and visitor level data (enterprise tool processing raw un-aggregated data in real-time)

2. A unique integration of behavioral and demographic data that provides a terrific platform for Digital Database Marketing (demo/geo, behavioral, interest group data based on Yahoo's worldwide 680M monthly unique visitor user base...great for publishers)

3. A proven enterprise product with a large EU client-base including a couple of the highest-volume Web sites in the world (been around since 2000 when it was IndexTools with a large EU client base)

4. A parent company (public) with deep experience in Digital Analytics and high-volume data processing (processes data and insights for one of the highest volume websites in the world)

Tack on endless segmentation creation, assisted attribution reporting, lots of custom fields (variables) and custom actions (events) all for free if you're a Yahoo client or free if you get it through a consultant network partner.

Yes, I know this is sales pitchy but it's more about educating the industry about what other tools currently exist with these types of features. I too saw this being introduced at eMetrics and was amazed at the similarities.

This "new" tool has existed for years under the name of Sitestat by the company nedstat but was recently bought and rebranded under the comscore name.

I have been using it for about 3 years now long before comscore were sniffing about. Since comscore purchased the application not much seems to have changed with the core functionality (except a much needed rejuvenation of the UI)

As a hardcore user of the product I'm afraid I don't share your overwhelming confidence in the product. The problem is that for years I have had misgivings about the data that comes out of it (which is obviously a big deal). The data has never been "clean" and never feels absolute: You can run the same report two different ways and get completely different stats!

Visits recorded as being direct entry or SEO can also be made to show up in a referred traffic segment. Referred traffic can include the domain of the site being measured (referred traffic to itself?)

The segmentation feature is very powerful, but its major flaw is that it is visitor based rather than based on the more normalised visits model used by GA etc, which makes any measurements based on these segments a little hit and miss.

The report builder is a relatively new feature for the product and again is a very useful tool but is missing some major features that make it annoying to use: For example time periods of measurement have to be explicitly set in each report which means you may need separate daily, weekly and monthly reports for the same metric, rather than just being able to change the time interval in the report itself (like their canned reports seem to do!)

Sitestat/Digital Analytix also takes a lot of effort to setup properly; its not a simple copy and paste solution as each page needs to be tagged with a hierarchical directory/page structure that if you get wrong can be a real headache to test and fix.

If you run many sites that are similar in nature the cross-site reporting feature is brilliant, it can really help identify problems (or solutions) on a network of sites of a similar architecture (like media sites)

Other positives? Excel integration is a time-saver, the API can be useful for getting traffic data in a data warehouse pretty painlessly.

Other major problems are a lack of admin areas for control over IP address filters or user accounts (you need to contact them to have control over these)

The fact that I always keep going back to GA as backup to either check the stats being spurted out of the Digital Analytix package or to do things that it doesn't seem to looks like a damning verdict to me.

Contrary to my comment above Digial Analytix has just released an update to their package that now includes the user admin features perviously missing. The feature set of this package is extremely detailed and allows you to control permission on a user and role basis including control of site permissions, role functions and shared folder permissions.

There is a very neat templating system so you can easily create new users or roles with a pre-definded set of permissions.

Top stuff.

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