Google Supercharges Enterprise Analytics

Google on Tuesday announced a suite of analytics products for marketers.

The Google Analytics 360 Suite is a set of integrated data and marketing analytics products designed to give enterprise-class marketers the ability to reach consumers with the right message at the right moment, according to Paul Muret, Google’s vice president of analytics, display and video products.

The “products are unified, providing a consistent user experience and cross-product data integrations, plus services,” he noted. “It’s a complete measurement platform.”

Powerful Tool Set

The suite, which Google said offers easy-to-use tools that enable sharing of data and insights throughout an organization, includes the following:

  • Google Audience Center 360, a data management platform that helps marketers understand customers and find more like them across channels, devices and campaigns, with native integration with Google, DoubleClick and third-party data providers;
  • Google Optimize 360 (beta), a website testing and personalization product;
  • Google Data Studio 360 (beta), a data analysis and visualization product that integrates data across all suite products and other data sources;
  • Google Tag Manager 360, which offers a way to gather site information and APIs to increase data accuracy and streamline workflows;
  • Google Analytics 360, formerly known as GA Premium, which will serve as the measurement centerpiece of the suite by analyzing customer data from all touchpoints and integrating with Google’s ad products; and
  • Google Attribution 360, formerly known as Adometry, which has been rebuilt from the ground up to help marketers analyze performance across all channels, devices and systems.

Watch Out, Competitors

The suite has a number of strengths, said Lang Smith, founder ofCloud Signalytics.

It allows marketers to analyze all their data in one convenient place, get a big-picture view of their customers, share data easily with others in an organization, and work with other Google products, he told the E-Commerce Times.

On the other hand, the offering has limited dashboard customization and a user interface that’s difficult to navigate for beginners and doesn’t offer targeted solutions to problems, Smith said.

The suite will challenge others in the market, said Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT.

“The suite’s personalization toolset should allow Google to enter markets where specialty firms like Optimizely have long held sway,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

“In short,” he continued, “there’s a lot for existing and prospective Google customers to like and a lot for competitors to dislike.”

Vendor Lock-In

While the suite provides a comprehensive solution, it also offers something less attractive, observed Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

“Unfortunately, providing a comprehensive offering also tends to lock a company more tightly into Google’s walled garden, and often firms don’t like to be locked in to any one company,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

“In addition, it is Web-only, and often campaigns cross over both Internet and traditional media types and performance needs to be compared across those types to better determine effectiveness and how marketing dollars should be spent,” Enderle said.

“Google is good at offering free suites of tools because they want you to become attached to them and then start paying for them,” noted Leon Rbibo, president ofThe Pearl Source.

Consumer Benefits

The Pearl Source tried to use alternatives to Google Analytics, but “they were a disaster,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

“The data from one of the platforms completely conflicted with what we were showing in Google Analytics,” Rbibo said. “It negated our ability to use the platform. We had to cancel the contract.”

The data from the competing platform showed that a test site was doing exceptionally well, but according to Google’s data tracking, it wasn’t doing well at all, he said.

“In fact, sales seem to line up with what Google was showing,” Rbibo noted.

Although the Google suite is a marketing tool, it can have some benefits for consumers, too.

“Customers don’t enjoy being bombarded with useless offers that contribute nothing to their life,” said Smith of Cloud Signalytics.

“As a customer myself,” he continued, “if I could receive offers for only the products or services I wanted and no offers from the ones I didn’t need then, yes, that’s a huge benefit.”

John Mello is a freelance technology writer and contributor to Chief Security Officer magazine. You can connect with him on Google+.

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