customer experience, In Web Analytics Ranking World, Another Choice Emerges

Who's got the best web analytics software?

Forrester Research stands by these guys in its Wave for web analytics released in May. Forrester's not the only one ranking analytics. Or ranking anything, as we just learned this week with Gleanster Research.

The latest to flex its ranking muscles is TrustRadius, an Austin, Texas-based forum for professionals to share "candid insights about business software."

And TrustRadius feels it has 230 good reasons for being a trusted source for analytics rankings --  the 230 reviews by analytics software users that ultimately led to the crowdsourcing firm's TrustMaps™ for Digital Analytics software.

"It's performed by market segment -- company size -- others are one size fits all," Vinay Bhagat, CEO of TrustRadius, told CMSWire when asked what makes his company's ranking style unique. "It's based upon real user information vs. a survey of vendors, a typical analyst approach. Analysts generally do a very poor job of collecting real user feedback. Their surveys are long feature checklists, and are often driven by historical relationships with vendors."

Transparency Examined

So we have here two sides of the rankings spectrum, it seems: crowdsourced versus analyst. We've explored each here, and the latter made big news here last month. The major analysts in the space here, of course, are Forrester Research and Gartner Research, which produce rankings in Waves and Magic Quadrants, respectively.

Bhagat did not call out Forrester or Gartner specifically in his previous comments, but he did here. "It's transparent," Bhagat told CMSWire about his team's methodology. "Nobody understands just how Waves and Quadrants are calculated. We are 100 percent transparent in our methodology and the number of data points from real customers."

Asked about transparency in its Wave, Forrester's David Truog, vice president of research quality, told CMSWire in direct response to Bhagat's comment that the Wave methodology is transparent. 

"For each Wave, after we develop our criteria for evaluating product vendors or service providers in a particular category, we solicit feedback from them about these criteria," Truog said. "We then adjust the criteria based on any feedback we believe justifies a change. Next, we collect data about what they offer in each of the areas covered by the criteria. We then assign scores for every criterion, to each offering. The scores are based on scales we develop that reflect Forrester's opinion about and analysis of what matters most in the category for each criterion."

In this process, Truog said some providers disagree with Forrester's responses to their feedback about the criteria -- and there are disagreements with each other's feedback, too. Some also disagree with Forrester's scales.

"However, these two areas of potential disagreement do not amount to a lack of transparency," Truog said. "They reflect differences of opinion about the definition of the category and about what businesses need from providers' offerings in the category."

Reached by CMSWire to discuss Gartner's transparency in its Magic Quadrant, Gartner spokesperson Andrew Spender cited the firm's research methodologies

TrustRadius' Analytics Leaders

The "who's got the best rankings model" debate aside, TrustRadius released today its analytics winners. 

Top Rated Digital Analytics Software infographic

The best digital analytics software for enterprises based on user ratings and market segment adoption are:  

  • Adobe Analytics: the most widely used paid tool amongst enterprises, according to TrustRadius
  • Google Analytics Premium
  • Google Analytics (free)  

Strong performers are:

  • AT Internet
  • comScore Digital Analytix
  • Piwik

The best digital analytics software for mid-size companies are:    

  • Adobe Analytics
  • Google Analytics (free)  

Strong performers with high user satisfaction but lower mid-size segment adoption are: