Thank you for your question. The answer really depends on the size of
the company that is looking into these options. Small companies will
probably benefit more from Google Analytics, while large companies
will prefer HBX.
Which product is best depends on a few different factors: does the
website owner use Adwords? Google Analytics fits perfectly wtih
Adwords. Does she need custom data that is very specific on a few
particular points? HBX would be better. Huge companies such as FedEx
and ClearChannel use HBX, because they need very customized and very
extensive data. However, for most users and for most small companies,
Google Analytics is fine and will do everything they need to do. It
really depends on the size of the company we're talking about.
The most obvious difference between these systems is that Google
Analytics is free. For many, that is a huge advantage. Google
Analytics is certainly the most extensive and complex free analytics
tool, and in fact, it used to be a paid system called Urchin. HBX, on
the other hand, can cost $15,000 a year and as a result, it is only
used by large companies that can afford this solution.
If you use Adwords or you particularly like Google's clean interface,
it is a plus that Google Analytics has these features and fits in
extremely well with Adwords. Instead of checking two different sites,
one can look at their Adwords and website data all together. Google
Analytics also usually lags behind by 12 hours or so with its data.
Another disadvantage of Analytics is that while it is free, you must
subscribe to it and you have to be invited to subscribe. Some people
have complained of long waits before being invited to use the service.
This is most likely because the service is free and so popular. HBX
does not have this problem; since it's a paid service, a business
could start using it immediately upon beginning payment for the
HBX is much more powerful and more expensive. With HBX, one can set
up custom targets to track certain data relating to goals that you set
for the page, they have a plugin with Excel called ReportBuilder that
is great for converting your information into Excel format, they can
be integrated with pay-per-click advertising, and use Ajax. For
companies that really want specific information on their pages, HBX is
able to set up custom reports, custom analysis, and the ability to
track specific details that the customer may want. Google Analytics is
not nearly as customizable. Because of this and because of the
integration that HBX relies on for its data, it can gives more
specific information on e-commerce statistics to businesses than
Google Analytics can. HBX also runs a very helpful user forum for
their customers (Google runs one for Analytics in Google Groups).
Both of the systems use site overlay, which integrates them more
within a site. Here is Google's explanation of site overlay:
Google Analytics-- Site Overlay
visitors. Both of the services use Funnels, which track the user
through the series of webpages that they visited. HBX's use of
Funnels can be customized much more for complex sites. Both services
have dashboard interfaces to try to focus on what parts of a site are
working for visitors and which aren't.
HBX offers everything that Google Analytics does, with the exception
of the perfect integration with Adwords. HBX also offers plugins that
allow a user to recreate complicated sets of data in Excel (Google
offers download of data into Excel, but not in as extensive a way as
HBX does) and import data into a browser to check on specific pages.
HBX also offers a level of customer support that Google Analytics is
not able to offer due to its free nature.
One aspect that could be interesting in regards to HBX is the fact
that their parent company, WebSideStory, just bought Visual Sciences,
another analytics company which is said to have very unique technology
compared to other companies in this field. Since they are now owned
by the same company, the two products might be integrated or
incorporated into each other, which could be advantageous for an HBX
Google Analytics and HBX Analytics both have been accused of
underreporting traffic. In my research, I found many more instances
in which Google customers complained of this, but that could very well
be that there are simply more free and new users of Google Analytics
than with HBX. Google users are more likely to be individuals with
small businesses rather than large companies like FedEx. They both
are hosted solutions, by Google or WebSideStory.
A good way to see which is right for your company is simply to sign up
for Googl e Analytics and see if it works for your needs. If it
doesn't provide enough detail for you, HBX will most likely be able to
give a higher level of detail and would be your best option.
"Web Analytics: Advanced Stats"
"A Complete Guide To Web Analytics Solutions"
"A Survey of Website Analytics Services"
EWeek Review of HBX
google analytics hbx analytics
hbx google analytics advantages
google analytics site overlay
If you need any additional clarification, let me know and I'll be glad
to assist you.