Web analytics providers that offer predictive analytics, support for mobile applications, reach of partner programs and the ability to support customer implementation rank among the best, according to Forrester Research.

Forrester named the best of the best in this space in a Wave report released this week

Adobe, AT Internet, IBM and Webtrends lead the pack with strong web analytics offerings and strategies for the enterprise, according to the Forrester Wave for web analytics. 

Google is a “strong performer” that offers a premium product that’s gaining support for easy-to-use features. 

SAS Institute is a “contender,” offering a customer-intelligence-based alternative.

Adobe, Webtrends, IBM Still Lead

This was Forrester’s first Wave for web analytics since 2011. Adobe, IBM and Webtrends also were tabbed as leaders then. Back in 2011, IBM, Adobe, Webtrends and comScore were seen as leaders. AT Internet and Google were 2011 “strong performers,” and Yahoo came in as a “contender."

Demands have changed since 2011, however. According to Forrester Wave author James McCormick, enterprise users have demanded greater support for multichannel tracking, reporting and data management. Meanwhile, they need to balance increasingly strict requirements for data privacy and portability.

customer experience, Why These Six Web Analytics Providers Lead the Pack

“The relative performance of the vendors in this year’s evaluation reflects the ability of their web analytics technology and services approaches to strike the optimal balance between these conflicting needs,” McCormick wrote. “With this in mind, users should evaluate vendors based on their ability to support an organization’s current and future digital intelligence requirements.”

Adobe ‘Dominates’

Adobe has the largest number of enterprise web analytics clients, according to Forrester. In fact, it “dominates.”

Adobe recently packaged SiteCatalyst with Discover, Genesis, Data Warehouse, Report Builder, Dynamic Tag Management and Insight into a combined Adobe Analytics Premium offering, a component of the Adobe Marketing Cloud.

“The recent acquisition of Satellite to boost its tag management capabilities, and the large team it maintains to support the product, demonstrates Adobe’s high level of commitment to this space,” McCormick wrote. “Adobe has set high expectations with its vision of making sophisticated analytics available and valuable to all marketers.”

Adobe must make advanced analytics more accessible to business users, according to Forrester.

IBM: Sharp Focus

Web analytics is a “key tenet” of IBM’s digital and customer analytics capabilities, which support cross-channel engagement tracking through all of IBM’s marketing, commerce and customer experience platforms.

“Based on the acquired Coremetrics platform,” McCormick wrote, “the vendor has continued to strengthen digital analytics by continuing to build out core analytics and data collection capabilities, supporting stronger integration of behavioral analytics, eCommerce platforms and the newly acquired Xtify mobile analytics solution.”

Some web analytics customers feel the licensing model makes it difficult to invest more on it, McCormick wrote, and the messaging to their specific needs is diluted within a broader enterprise communication. 

Webtrends: Emphasis on Innovation

Webtrends emphasizes product innovation, customer support and partnerships ecosystem.

“Web analytics is core to Webtrends’ business, as well as its strategy to help customers deliver optimized digital customer experiences across multiple channels,” according to McCormick. “Webtrends has continued to strengthen its core offering, improving existing capabilities and developing new ones like its real-time data streaming service.”

The company also invests in integrations with other tools: online testing, and via technology and agency partnerships.

Learning Opportunities

“To maintain its position as one of the Leaders,” McCormick wrote, “Webtrends must continue to develop new, high-value capabilities and partnerships that will provide clear differentiation in a mature and competitive market.”

AT Internet: Small, but Growing

AT Internet may be the smallest by overall revenue of the vendors in the Forrester Wave, but it’s focused on technical innovation through recent and successful fundraising efforts.

“Web analytics makes up the majority of the vendor’s business and is the basis for its digital intelligence strategy, which is built on data collection, data aggregation, data mining and distribution and performance initiatives,” McCormick wrote.

AT Internet dives mostly into markets in Europe, Russia, Latin America and Southeast Asia.

“To maintain its momentum,” McCormick wrote, “AT Internet must continue to make itself globally relevant by growing its footprint within existing and new markets, and focusing efforts on making advanced analytics more accessible to the business user.”

Google: Gaining Steam

Google’s premium product helps it gain momentum among enterprise web analytics users. It’s now available for business users globally.

Google Premium provides limited use of its cloud data warehousing platform at no extra fee, building out cross-platform connections with other Google products (such as Google Display Network, AdWords, etc.), and providing tag management capabilities, according to Forrester.

“To build on its early success, Google must continue to develop enterprise features and functions, find a way of handling personally identifiable information data directly, and grow its professional and managed services offering,” McCormick wrote.

SAS Institute: Digital Investments

SAS is building its digital ecosystem and has “renewed investment” in its digital development team.

“The team’s focal point,” McCormick wrote, “is on delivering digital intelligence solutions versus web analytics, and SAS considers its existing customer analytics strength to be a key differentiator in the market.”

McCormick said analytics teams will find Adaptive Customer Experience (ACE) “compelling, not least because the product leverages SAS’s Visual Analytics module, which existing customers will be familiar with.”

SAS needs to shift the requirements of the ACE product, McCormick added, to cater more to the needs of the web analytics professional.

Title image by Dikiiy (Shutterstock).