Sunday, January 17, 2010

Web Analytics research in Finland

First things first. My sister Terhi Mertanen came back to Finnish national team and was selected to Olympic games in Vancouver. Congratulations sis! You can follow her on Twitter (@terhimertanen) during the Olympics although there are instructions from Finnish Olympic Committee what you can and what you cannot tweet or blog.

"Web Analytics goes to Olympic games." Jiri Brazda
And now to business stuff. According to a research by TNS Gallup web analytics has become a whole new branch of business in Finland. This research is proving many gut feelings that I've had working in the field for several years. Naviatech, Snoobi and Kwantic were involved in this research by planning and sponsoring it. Unfortunately we can't fully deliver or publish this research so if you're interested getting it, you have to contact Mr. Kalle Ahokas from TNS Gallup.

Popularity of different kind of web analytics products and services has grown substantially during the last couple of years in Finland.
"87 % of mid size and large companies are using some web analytics system. Web Analytics is supporting companies' online services."

However companies are struggling with doing business decisions based on the web analytics data. That's why you need to have an analyst who is actually transforming the data to useful information.

An analyst or consultant has to know the business in order to produce insights and concrete, easy to act suggestions. If you're just producing / sending / receiving / reading reports without any actions, you're probably not getting any real benefits out of web analytics!

Many companies already perceive web analytics as a constant process instead of executing a one-time project. There are challenges for getting the real benefits and creating an analytics driven culture. And still, many companies are trying to do all by themselves.

It seems that bigger companies are more willing to use consultants than smaller ones. Companies are in different stages of using web analytics and there is increasing demand of implementing and training. Ville Wikström from TNS Gallup summerise it on Twitter:
"Web Analytics devides companies: those who don't know what's it all about don't want to hear about it and those who know about it, want more."
According to study Google Analytics is the most used web analytics system in Finland with market share of 61 %. It was little bit surprising and strange that large companies are using free Google Analytics more than small companies. If you need basic training to start, this Google Analytics training by FC Sovelto and Naviatech (yes, I'm the trainer) is one option to start.

Web Analytics market, vendors and consultants, is very fragmented. Therefor you should spend some time to choose your partner, e.g. you can require that your consultant has certification. You can check my Google Analytics certification here and contact me if you need any help with web analytics in your organization.

Web Analytics is not easy, but it's not impossible either. According to Kalle Ahokas the survey’s results illustrate that end-users in Finland are moving towards a more systematic approach in their use of web analytics. At present the most important objective for the companies is to increase the amount of visitors on their web sites, yet increasingly companies also pay attention to measuring KPI’s regularly.

It also seems that many companies have accepted that they may need different analytics tools for different purposes. In fact, 34 % of Finnish companies already use more than one web analytics solution to track online behaviour.