Gartner: web analytics usage will grow in 2010

Gartner logoGartner released last month the results of its EXP (Gartner Executive Program) survey, covering responses from 1,586 CIOs representing more than $126 billion in corporate and public-sector IT spending across 41 countries and 27 industries.

Two ‘Top Ten‘ lists emerged from that survey, outlining Technology and Business Priorities for 2010, and the #3 Business Priority is Increasing the use of (web) analytics. Web analytics are an important tool for any organization, and can help identify and maintain a competitive advantage and optimize the customer’s online experience. From Gartner:

CIOs see 2010 as an opportunity to accelerate IT’s transition from a support function to strategic contributor focused on innovation and competitive advantage’.


Gartner EXP’s CIO survey findings show that, in the near term, business expectations and CIO strategies appear stable, with a continued focus on business process improvement, cost reduction and analytics.

The Top 10 Business Priorities for 2010, according to Gartner:

  1. Improving business processes
  2. Cutting costs
  3. Increasing the use of analytics
  4. Improving enterprise effectiveness
  5. Attracting new customers
  6. Managing change initiatives
  7. Innovation in products and services creation
  8. More effective targeting
  9. Consolidating business operations
  10. Growing customer relationships

Shortly after the release of the research, opened a poll (closed now) asking ‘How useful is your web analytics data‘. They wanted to know, before anything else, what companies who use analytics are doing with the data they have: Only 31% indicated that the data drives a lot of their decisions, while 27% indicated that they don’t feel the data is being used well at all. Having an analytics solution is only the beginning.

Key challenges in web analytics

In July 2009 Bill Gassman from Gartner released a report entitled Key Challenges in Web Analytics. In the report, Bill outlines key findings and recommendations every company should adopt, when facing a strategic web analytics initiative. According to Bill, web analytics is more than selecting the right solution (free/commercial, on-premise/SaaS) but also hiring and empowering a web analyst that can use the tool (and the authority given by the initiative) and make informed decisions, based on the analytics data.

The key findings:

  • The potential for measurable improvement varies with the purpose of the site. Investments in analytics should match the potential for gain.
  • Free product offerings are tempting, and a good learning tool, but strategic initiatives with an opportunity for large gains in site yield should choose commercial products.
  • Web analysts are hard to find and retain, yet are a critical element in a successful initiative and must be supported by business management.


  • When calculating the return on investment (ROI) for a Web analytics initiative, treat it as an attributing factor within a customer-centric Web strategy. Without Web analytics, yield gain will be suboptimal, but other parts of the process, such as content management, campaigns and site design, also contribute to the gain.
  • Narrow a shortlist of Web analytics vendor choices to those that answer the big question, which is software as a service (SaaS) or on premises, then concentrate on price, support and “ecosystem” partners.
  • Give the role of Web analyst authority and responsibility, then find someone that can use it.

The report is available for download [PDF] at (no registration required).

Gartner EXP Worldwide survey – Business and Technology Priorities for 2010
CMSwire poll – how useful is your web analytics data
Gartner – key challenges in web analytics 2009

Mobile & Media Consultant. I help startup companies launch products to the consumer market. Reach out: dvir.reznik [at]



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