Digital Analytix by comScore – A Major Shake-up in the Analytics Tool Landscape


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Ever since eMetrics, I’ve been meaning to write about comScore’s U.S. introduction of their new Web analytics tool: Digital Analytix. It’s the most significant change in the Web analytics tool landscape since the introduction of Google Analytics.

What makes Digital Analytix important? Let’s start with what it’s not. It’s not another me-tool analytics offering with the same reports and the same faux GA interface that we now see everywhere. It’s not a low-end, free tool for the masses. It’s not a half-baked product with some cool ideas that’s missing core pieces that no enterprise will do without.

Here’s what it is:
1. A powerful enterprise analytics tool that provides access to granular event and visitor level data
2. A unique integration of behavioral and demographic data that provides a terrific platform for Digital Database Marketing
3. A proven enterprise product with a large EU client-base including a couple of the highest-volume Web sites in the world
4. A parent company (public) with deep experience in Digital Analytics and high-volume data processing

The Digital Analytix product plugs many of the holes that have driven Web analysts crazy these last few years.

  • Cardinality limits on variables? None.
  • Custom Variables? Unlimited.
  • Segmentation? Unlimited.
  • Segment Creation? Nestable.
  • Reprocessing data? Not necessary.
  • API? Rest-based and included in all contracts.
  • Latency? Near real-time.
  • Mobile? SDKs for iOS, Android, Blackberry.
  • Excel Integration? Check.
  • Numeric Fields not just Text? Check.
  • Multiple Attribution Models? First, Last, Linear, Increasing, Engagement, etc..

For a first rev in the United States, this is a remarkably complete product. There are, of course, other complete products on the enterprise market. Adobe, IBM and Webtrends all offer complete solutions. What distinguishes Digital Analytix is the power of the underlying engine that builds all the reports from granular data. It’s that single advantage that makes possible the really impressive analytics features of the product: unlimited segmentation and unlimited custom variables without reprocessing in real-time.

There are other advantages to the comScore product, some completely unique. The tight integration of demographic data (age and gender right now) into the tool provides an audience view that simply doesn’t exist in any other solution. For tagging, comScore is relying (at least in part) on their existing tagging infrastructure. That means that most media properties are ALREADY tagged for Digital Analytix. That’s a huge advantage but it’s one that only existing comScore clients (mostly media) will have.

They are also providing a single UI (ala NetInsight) that can plausibly support both self-service users, power-users and real analysts.

What’s not to like? There are a few things. I think the UI has a few rough edges – especially if you compare it to something as beautiful as Webtrends’ Analytics 10. It’s closer in spirit SiteCatalyst or NetInsight than Webtrends, though right now it packs more punch than any of them.

My biggest concern, though, would be query performance at scale. Just how fast is their Atomix technology and how well will it scale when comScore starts adding serious numbers of clients? I don’t know. In a product that delivers this much functionality, query latency is bound to be a potential issue and only time and testing will provide a definitive answer. Similar issues will inevitably exist with ALL re-platformed solutions – it’s almost impossible to deliver consistently cube-like performance without cubes.

That means that query latency is going to be a critical differentiator in the new world of Web analytics. Unfortunately, query latency won’t be easy to compare except in real-world situations, and it may change rapidly as vendors add clients and infrastructure.

With comScore’s Digital Analytix, Omniture and Webtrends both re-platforming, and IBM due to bring out a unified platform soon, this may turn out to be a pivotal year in our industry; a year when the crippling limitations of obsolete data architectures are finally banished. At least right now, it’s the new kid on the block with the clear lead.

Which goes hand in hand with the larger theme I’ve been writing about; the convergence of Database Marketing and Digital Analytics requires and is driven by these new capabilities. Granular access to visit and event-level data is the key to effective segmentation, targeting and personalization.

If you’re short-listing enterprise analytics tools, Digital Analytix deserves to be on the list right now. At Version 1, it has a number of truly important – perhaps essential – features that simply don’t exist in other current solutions on the market and it delivers those features without any gaping holes that might disqualify it at most organizations.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Gary Angel
Gary is the CEO of Digital Mortar. DM is the leading platform for in-store customer journey analytics. It provides near real-time reporting and analysis of how stores performed including full in-store funnel analysis, segmented customer journey analysis, staff evaluation and optimization, and compliance reporting. Prior to founding Digital Mortar, Gary led Ernst & Young's Digital Analytics practice. His previous company, Semphonic, was acquired by EY in 2013.


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