Over the last week, the internet news mill has been buzzing about the hotly anticipated release of Microsoft’s supposed Google Analytics killer – Gatineau. With speculation of a summer beta launch and some sneak peeks of the new interface, the question everyone’s asking is – will it live up to expectations?
It seems the key differentiation between Microsoft Gatineau and Google Analytics is the programs ability to segment web traffic by demographic factors such as age and gender. While demographic segmentation is definitely useful, I’m not sure it’s compelling enough to drag existing users away from Google Analytics.
Source: Dave Naylor
In January 07, Ian Thomas (responsible for bringing the analytics tool to market) indicated that the Gatineau project was based on the technology acquired from Microsoft’s DeepMatrix purchase in 2006. DeepMatrix is a company that has provided web stats solutions since 1992, and according to the announcement on the site, users can expect the Gatineau tool to provide:
- Click and visitor tracking
- Marketing campaign reporting
- Conversion tracking
- Demographic and geographic segmentation
- Paid and natural search analysis
Dave Naylor – who leaked the screenshots adds to this list:
- adCenter integration
- Time on site
- Funnel reporting
- Multi-report dashboards
- Path reporting
- Advanced visualizations
Whilst it sounds interesting, nothing overly ground-breaking. Dave Naylor suggests “Microsoft is going to give you reports and visualisations that you haven’t seen before and data about you visitors like age and gender, seriously you just can’t get that data in any other service.”
What the launch does highlight is that analytics and web traffic knowledge has evolved, even for the novice website owner. While many of us have known the importance of proper web analytics for years, I’m amazed at the number of our clients that use archaic hit counters or have no stats at all. If for no other reason, here’s hoping the launch of Microsoft Gatineau Analytics helps these people get a better understanding of their website success and online marketing effectiveness.
Whether Microsoft Gatineau Analytics is better than Google Analytics, time will tell, but if the screenshots are anything to go by, it’ll be worth checking out. I’m just hoping they replace the project name “Gatineau” with something more relevant. To register for the beta, email Microsoft via firstname.lastname@example.org.