BEST PRACTICE: Using online analytics

Should marketers be investing in paid-for analytics or do the free tools suffice? We investigate

Online analytics: for marketers it was initially seen as a panacea - at last, all the data you require at your fingertips to help make better informed decisions. Yet, talk to many marketers and you'll hear a familiar cry - with so much data, how do you sort the wheat from the chaff?

This is one of many questions facing marketers at a time when online analytics is at what many believe to be a critical stage in its evolution. A stage where, according to Summit Media's managing director, Hedley Aylott, website analytics has become a 'commodity', hence the expectations on analytics providers has increased due to the free availability of the continually improving Google Analytics. In this changing landscape, argues Aylott, businesses, "no longer want just data - they expect recommendation and insight that can be exploited to increase performance."