Recently I had a chance to work with Omniture’s SiteCatalyst. At first, it looked like another analytics tool, much lesser in capability to Google Analytics. But with time as I explored more and more of the features and its power to drill down and generate reports, I could not stop myself from compiling yet another comparison of the two tools.


One big advantage of GA is that it is free for roughly 5 million page views per month. What this translates to is that it is good enough for a user like you and me. Omniture on the other hand requires some investment, which as we see ahead, is worth while.

Javascript Reliability

Google Analytics uses Javascript to track its visitors and their navigation paths. This becomes a trouble for browsers that do not have Javascript support, or when Javscript has been explicitly disabled by the user (for 3rd party scripts). As with me, I generally keep 3rd party Javscripts blocked to prevent annoying popups.

UI Intuitiveness

Google Analytics UI is one of the most clean and intuitive UI I have ever seen. Its ease of use allows users of all experiences to derive usable information. As a normal user, one can easily get all information on number of visits, their geographical segmentation and popular pages and search engines. All in one screen.

Advanced Analytics and Segmentation

The power and level of detail you can obtain in SiteCatalyst reports is far superior to Google Analytics. Omniture’s pathing, segmentation and conversion modules make GA feel like a new born baby when comes to analytics.

GA offers only 2/4 custom variables whereas with Omniture you have bundles of them. This would be of much more interest to sites that have millions of user’s and hundreds of different sections each catering to different needs.


GA just wants you to copy some Javascript code and paste it on your page. Simple. Though it has its own drawbacks. You need to load the script on each page and make sure that each page has the code. In case you miss the code on a page, you miss tracking it.

Google offers a cookie for 30 days, whereas Omniture can offer cookies for upto 15 years. This makes sure that with SC you will never miss a returning visitor.

Integration Support

Omniture’s SiteCatalyst support mobile integration, integration with Flash, Flex and AIR applications which definitely is not available with Google Analytics.

Reporting Time

GA has this downside of aggregating data once a day. For most of the user’s this will suffice, but when you are launching a short term campaign, or there is an important event, this makes you loose all hope. Even, you can’t check the effect of changing a few settings before the next day.

Omniture on the other hand gives you real time statistics. Thus, you would never miss on data. Also, you can tweak all your settings and see how it changes the user-behavior pattern.

Customer Support

Omniture has a dedicated customer support team, whereas with Google Analytics you probably would have to rely on the GA group support.


As I see it, Omniture’s SiteCatalyst packs much more power than Google’s offering, but at a premium which is worth it. Though, it would be easier to see a server-side solution that integrates with your code as a sieve (aka Java Filter) and does all that you want to do. Someday, I am sure such a solution would exist.