Thursday, December 1, 2011

Snoobi - the Finnish web analytics system

Finnish web analytics vendor Snoobi has taken big steps forward when it comes to product and service development. I used to work more with the system years ago, when it still had some major drawbacks. The company has improved since then, developing an interesting business model combining software and services. I had a good chat with Mikko Seppä a couple of weeks ago about Snoobi Analytics’ version number 4 and possible future development. If you want to test it yourself, you can get a free 30-day trial via Here are my thoughts about Snoobi Analytics at the moment, many times benchmarked to Google Analytics. If don't have time to read the whole article, you can jump directly to executive summary.

If you are an analytics ninja, Snoobi has pretty much all the same tools and possibilities as other medium level web analytics systems. I'm not talking about Adobe (Omniture), IBM (Coremetrics) or Webtrends here, which are still more or less heavy weight suites. All the tracking data is in database, as usual. Using Snoobi’s decent API you can do integrations and use the data in other systems as part of your daily business.

If you are doing business to business, Snoobi offers very good lead reports. Basically, you get a list of organizations that visited your website, filtered and rated based on visitor behavior. This means you can create lead lists highlighting the most interesting and interested visitors. Snoobi’s integration with Asiakastieto means you can also pull out more information (such as revenue, business area etc.) and decision-maker data on the companies that have visited your website. Especially Finnish organizations have been covered very well thanks to Snoobi's work with IP identification. You can – and maybe you should – integrate Snoobi Analytics with the CRM used. Snoobi Analytics already offers integration applications for Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.

Nowadays, you can create custom KPI reports where you can easily track changes in important metrics. You can also follow trend graphs and set up minimum and maximum goal limits + alerts for each metric. Snoobi Analytics’ eCommerce report will give you necessary information related to turnover and visitor value by source or keyword. It takes some time to define KPIs and build the reports that you need, but I guess that's pretty much the same process with every tool.
Snoobi is automatically tracking file downloads, email addresses and outgoing links. This is something that usually needs some configuration with Google Analytics. Snoobi also recognizes campaign tags done with the URL building tool for Google Analytics. There will probably be a Snoobi-specific URL tool for campaign tracking in the future. However, there are more important features in development.

Soon you will be able to create very clear dashboards and combine these with the new Command Center. The Command Center includes very nice features for turning data into always-vital actions. You can set up and share tasks with other users and create email notifications. You can link relevant metrics to tasks and make notes. With the Command Center, you can say goodbye to Basecamp or other similar and overlapping project management systems. In good hands, this is a very important part of a web analytics system, and hopefully it makes the data more actionable!

There is another interesting area of development: Facebook reports. Snoobi has stepped into the social media monitoring with these new features. Snoobi pulls the data from Facebook's API and brings relevant data, including Facebook page subscription information, geographical and demographics data, discussions and competitor benchmarks, from Facebook performance into the web analytics tool. With Snoobi Analytics, you can analyze the data from website, you can control your Google Adwords campaigns and monitor the quality of Facebook page conversations. Convenient? And with Snoobi Analytics, customers own the data! Maybe it's just matter of time when we will see same for Twitter (and the rest, e.g. LinkedIn and Google+)?

Alongside the launch of the new version of Snoobi Analytics, Snoobi announced new services. With Snoobi Care, you will gain constant development with a personal web analyst. If you don't want to outsource all, you can use Snoobi On Demand services when needed. If you are more hands-on analyst yourself, or have the dedicated people in your company, you can use Snoobi Education services to jumpstart your analytics and get more advanced training later on. There's also a very handy live customer chat in the tool, which is something included when you are using Snoobi Analytics or Services. If you really want to compete or build an analytics-driven culture, you need to have people in place to work with the data and create insights, information and knowledge for your organization.

Old customers of Snoobi got version number 4 automatically, and 25 other improvements during the year. Snoobi is nowadays HTML5-compliant so the system scales for smaller displays too. Still, I think usability is probably one of the key development areas in the future. The look and feel has improved in couple of years but the overall user experience with Snoobi has to be better in order to compete with bigger vendors.

Like other markets, Snoobi has lot of competition in the whole field of web analytics. But, on the other hand, if you are not willing to pay huge licence fees, take a deeper look at Snoobi Analytics. Depending on your needs and internal resources, you should evaluate and compare Snoobi, the product and services, as an option. It will be interesting to see how the combination of product development and expert services is working for customers. Several studies have shown that there are other things than the tool that make the difference to be successful with analytics or not. For companies outside of Fortune 500, Snoobi may be relevant option in terms of return on investment.