6 Common Myths About Analytics Vendors

We’re going to debunk six most common myths about web and mobile analytics products that we hear time and time again from our prospects and current customers.

Best Practices
May 4, 2016
Image of Alicia Shiu
Alicia Shiu
Growth Product Manager
6 Common Myths About Analytics Vendors

Once you’ve made the decision to buy an analytics solution, the next challenge is to figure out which product to buy. Unfortunately, the web and mobile analytics industry is riddled with myths spread by analytics vendors and users alike, clouding new buyers with misinformation. Spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) is a pretty common strategy in sales and marketing, but we’re going to set the record straight today. We’re going to debunk these six most common myths about web and mobile analytics products that we hear time and time again from our prospects and current customers.

  1. You can’t scale
  2. You’re too expensive
  3. Your dashboard performance sucks
  4. You can’t track users over different platforms
  5. No access to raw data
  6. Sharing data insights is too difficult.
    Let’s make sure you’re armed with the right information when you’re starting out the process of purchasing analytics.

Myth 1: You can’t scale

You need an analytics solution that can scale with your product as you add more features, as well with your growing user base. A lot of vendors claim they can scale better than other vendors but the proof is in the pudding. The best way to get to the truth behind the scalability of an analytics vendor, is simply asking different vendors how many events they’re tracking per month, as well as the event volume and number of active users currently had by their biggest customer. This way you have facts and are not relying on hearsay. [Tweet “Assess the #scalability of an #analytics vendor by asking about their event volume.”]

Myth 2: You’re too expensive

Pricing structures obviously vary from vendor to vendor. The best way to compare and understand how your company will be affected by pricing is to project how much you’ll have to spend when you add more users and increase the amount of data you are tracking. Before you jump to the conclusion that certain vendors are more expensive than others, be sure to explicitly _ask _vendors what you’ll be paying at your projected event volumes.

Myth 3: Your dashboard performance sucks

Many vendors spread FUD by stating that their competitors’ dashboard performance is too slow or isn’t up to par compared to theirs. Sometimes the best way to address this is to directly play with the tool you’re interested in and see how it holds up with queries. And don’t just take another company’s word for it, communicate with people who are already customers of the solution you’re considering.

**Myth 4: ****You can’t track users over different platforms **

Now that the vast majority of people are accessing the Internet across multiple devices–desktops, laptops, smartphones, tablets, you name it–it’s more important than ever to make sure to maintain your product’s identity and core user experience across different platforms and devices. If you want to understand how users are interacting with your product across various devices and platforms,** make sure the analytics platform has a good solution in place to track unique users**, not devices. Accurate cross-platform or cross-device tracking effectively solves the problem of merged users_ (more on this in an upcoming blog post)._ The best way to evaluate cross-platform tracking is to simply ask the vendor. Ask if they have a system in place to track unique users across devices or platforms. And ask for examples of current customers for whom segmenting across devices is critical to getting the full picture of their user behavior. [Tweet “For cross-platform functionality, make sure your #analytics solution can track unique users, not devices.”]

Myth 5: No access to raw data

One of the biggest concerns companies have about the “build vs buy” decision for web and mobile analytics is that buying an analytics solution means they will be unable to access their raw data. This access is something we believe every analytics solution should provide, but that few actually do. If running manual SQL queries is still something you want the flexibility to do on your data, Amplitude is one vendor that allows for direct SQL access to your data via Amazon Redshift.

Myth 6: Sharing data insights is too difficult

Every web and mobile analytics vendor claims they are the best at making data “accessible” to the whole company than their competition. In this sense, we are talking about data accessibility in terms of everyone in the company being able to look at the data they want to look at and feeling empowered to answer the analytics questions they want to answer, without having to go through a data science team or an analyst. Ask the vendors you’re looking into how they make data easy for the whole company to access. Does their product allow sharing charts via Slack or email? Can you set up custom dashboards with specific views? Generate email reports? One way we make data accessible to everyone is by enabling every Amplitude customer to share their dashboards via direct links to anyone they want, even if they don’t have an account with us. [Tweet “Buying #analytics? Ask vendors how they enable data access for the whole company”]

Other factors to consider

As you evaluate your web or mobile analytics solutions, we really want to encourage you to ask vendors about the myths listed above. Also be sure to ask about:

1. the product roadmap 2. best practices on how to get started with instrumentation and using the platform. 3. any relevant partnerships or integrations 4. assistance or trainings provided by customer success teams

By keeping these myths in mind, you will have a better understanding of which analytics products are best suited to your needs, without allowing FUD tactics to misguide you.

About the Author
Image of Alicia Shiu
Alicia Shiu
Growth Product Manager
Alicia is a Growth Product Manager at Amplitude, where she works on projects and experiments spanning top of funnel, website optimization, and the new user experience. Prior to Amplitude, she worked on biomedical & neuroscience research (running very different experiments) at Stanford.