Analytics Solutions- Omniture vs Google Updated

Updated 4-30-2012

  google analytics omniture logo
Free: Reliance upon Communities

Premium version provides access to staff via the phone

Strong Support network
Dedicated Account manager and other resources

Communities, Forums

User Interface

Intuitive, easy for new users

Advanced and Customizable but takes some training

Campaign Tracking

4 variables

A relational table with limitless variables that can be used for categorizing

Security Google owns the data Data belongs to you
Cookies Customizable, First party cookie Customizable, First and Third Party cookie

20 events update

more info on comparison

80 Custom events option to purchase more

more info on comparison

Custom Variables more info on comparison

80 with option to purchase more

more info on comparison

Unique Visitor

Absolute Unique
Calculatation technique of uniques

Hourly, Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Yearly
Calculatation technique of uniques, 2nd article

Data Integration API API 
Open Data Sources architecture for importing offline metrics
Integration with Vendors (Genesis, additional cost)
Excel Integration Reporting Reporting
Excel Client- allows manipulation and interaction with data in Excel
SEM Integration

Adwords reporting integration
Automated Adwords bidding

Automation through Marketing Channel report
(Bidding automation through Search Center product at additional cost) 


Customizable dashboard not quite as robust

Many Customizable dashboards options
User control and sharing

Google Analytics and Aobe Omniture SiteCatalyst are both distinguished solutions for web analytics insight.  They can provide business intelligence to determine return on investment and the ability to employ powerful optimization strategies.  Each solution has strengths and weaknesses.  

This article was originally written to address Google Analytics' free version, but Google has since produced a premium paid for version.  SiteCatalyst has also gone through changes like an acquisition by tech giant Adobe.  The product itself is now on version 15.  The date at the top of the article states when I have updated to reflect the changing environment.  

I look to experts like Avinash Kaushik and Justin Cutroni for information on Google as well as Brett Error at the yearly Omniture Summit for product specific information.  If you have budget vendors like Forrester and Gartner can provide much further detailed product information.  

Google's Premium product offering has brought the two sytems much closer for comparison purposes.  GA has an intuitive user interface, instant segmentation, and SEM integration.  The user interface is easy to use.  New users and those that are new to analytics in general can easily begin using the platform.  It is apparent much attention is paid to user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). 

Omniture excels with customization, data classification, and integration.  Rich customization, designed to fit any set of requirements, allow SiteCatalyst to achieve superior levels of robust functionality.  Classifications allow relational data points for exponential reporting options that can be changed retroactively.  Data manipulation through excel client, access to raw data through Data Warehouse (additional cost), and importing data through Data sources allow for immense integration abilities.  There are also numerous companies that offer pre-packaged integrations.


Before making a choice of analytics packages one must look into the resources available to dedicate to the solution and measurement requirements well defined up front. The most important question to ask is, "Do I have enough resources dedicated to assessing and improving my site(s)?" This is where money can be wasted on an underutilized resource. An internal resource or external contractor/agency is needed for SiteCatalyst or Google Analytics Premium to truly be effective, ideally at least one dedicated web analyst.

A blend of reporting platforms is ideal for arming an enterprise with the insight needed to most effectively optimize.


Brian Clifton's Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics, Third Edition

Note* both products continually update their feature sets. This will be regularly updated.



Here are a few more items to consider: Unlimited PathingAnother important thing to note is that SiteCatalyst allows you to enable all pathing reports on any variable, not just pages.  This can be very powerful. UniquesGA can to "Absolute Uniques" which SiteCatalyst cannot.  SiteCatalyst can show "Uniques" on any variable which GA cannot. 3rd Party IntegrationsThis may be another category to compare the two solutions.  GA has an App Gallery, while SiteCatalyst has many Genesis integrations. Offline DataOne of the cool features that SiteCatalyst has that GA does not (to my knowledge) is the abiilty to connect offline data to onlien data (Transaction ID -  This can be very important to businesses that do not sell online. AlertsI would give the edge to GA in the area of proactive alerts via the Intelligence feature, but SiteCatalyst alerts can be powerful in different ways...

SiteCatalyst actually has up to 80 custom events on top of e-commerce events.Although SearchCenter is an extra cost, it should be noted that it allows you to integrate with much more than AdWords, including Yahoo, Bing, MIVA, LookSmart, Ask, Baidu, etc. A new integration with Facebook was released as well just last week.

One of the biggest bullets in this list is that Google owns the data versus I own the data.  A bit of investigation shows that - for $3000 you can still purchase the latest version of Urchin (the engine behind google analytics) - and still own the data - even while being fully compatible (page params) with Google Analytics...

Hello, Please update the Google Analytics portion.. its very out of date.I work in Google Analytics and my company is taking over a website with Omniture running. We are trying to decide if we should remove it and keep with our company's standard analytics solution -GA or keep Omniture. From reading your article, its clear the GA section needs to be updated.Customer Support- Phone, if you are a Partner, oh and the forums are quick to reply with actual Googlers.Cookies -180 daysCampaign Tracking- best idea here to to work with page tracking/event tracking. That opens up the options with simple code insert.Mobile- has device, etcEvents- 20 on top of e-commerce basics (sales view sku product title etc)Unique Visitor- every metric has unique totals.Data Integration - look at Intelligence for this... its there.Dashboard- fully customizable, has been for some time (over 1 year)Multi-media- common feature.Thank youA

Apologies for allowing this article to contain information that does not follow the highest standard of accuracy and reliability that we are trying to uphold.  This article will be converted into a wiki in order to encourage collaboration for keeping the content up to date.  There is a current search for assistance in maintenance and creation of content.  Please contact if you or someone you know shares a passion for research and development of online solutions and or business intelligence.

An update has been made to address the issues brought up in the post by 'A.'  Work is still being done to create wiki functionality to encourage collaboration.  Fortunately for all of us these organizations are always updating the product offerings and functionality.  This presents an issue to ensure that this data is as accurate as possible.  We are devoted to making sure we provide information that will help others.

Adobe Omniture has increased the amount of conversion variables and events available:- 30 traffic variables (props)- 30 Conversion variables (eVars)- 80 Custom events

Well, to learn Google Analytics it's easy. You can learn from blogs, youtube video tutorials and even from Lynda video tutorials. It gets better and better. I tried at least 10 different analytics systems and... Google is the best and now it has a new interface too! Costicanu

I find it hard to see why the proprietary analytics applications are useful when considering the number of tools made available by Google.

thanks a lot for keeping us informed! i just wish i found this post a little earlier all the links are going to come in handy