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Google Analytics Premium. Is it worth it?

Google Analytics Premium has been around for a while, but if you haven’t seen, Google Analytics has a premium package for business (or personal) customers that provides you with extra features, more data and 24/7 support, for the small flat rate of $150,000 per year.

Let’s talk about how Google Analytics Premium isn’t worth $150,000 flat per year.

Google Analytics Premium title card

Google launched Analytics Premium on the 29th of September 2011 in a blog post titled Introducing Google Analytics Premium. With the four key summary points given:

  • Extra processing power – increased data collection, more custom variables and downloadable, unsampled reports
  • Advanced analysis – attribution modelling tools that allow you to test different models for assigning credit conversions
  • Service and support – experts to guide customized installation, and dedicated account management on call – all backed by 24/7 support
  • Guarantees – service level agreements for data collection, processing and reporting

Looking at the summary, the things that entice me really, are the extra processing power, more custom variables and the advanced analysis. Service and support along with guarantees, are fine, but not really a deal breaker for me.

Two other benefits not list here is that with Google Analytics Premium, you own the data you collect as opposed to the free version of Google Analytics and a tighter and more detailed integration with DoubleClick advertising.

The feature comparison (page removed, Feb 2014. The ‘new’ page is called Google Analytics Premium capabilities, but no comparison is provided) page seems to be of Google Analytics circa 2011. Data freshness: 24+ hours for free, 4 hours for premium – this seems to be out of date, I’d dare say GA premium would be near instant if the free version has maybe an hour lag on full datasets.

But at $150,000 it just doesn’t seem worth it. At this price point I’d want at least some additional features, perhaps:

  • The ability to analyse data down into hours and minutes across everything (audiences/sources/content/events). Currently you can only seem to do it for audiences;
  • The ability to track an individual anonymized user, this may seem like a intrusion of privacy, but can provide some invaluable;
  • Heat maps, scroll maps and Click maps (like Crazy Egg);
  • Form analytics (similar to Clicktale);
  • A mobile app.

If only two of these points were offered I’d think they’d see a much higher uptake of Google Analytics Premium. You could potentially make these features much more accessible to small/medium businesses at lower price points as bolt on packages. While I understand Google doesn’t like to be seen monetizing features or products (Google Maps for example), I think Google Analytics is at a point where they could get away with charging a small monthly fee for more granular functionality. Why? Because it’s a business service. The average consumer of Google products doesn’t use or need web analytics. Those that do, know they are getting a very good deal for next to nothing – besides sharing all the information with Google. I understand sharing information is probably more valuable in eyes of Google than a monthly/yearly subscription to Google Analytics (evidenced by reports that Google pays Apple up to $1 Billion dollars a year for iOS search referrals), but I think if it was only say $5 -$10, you wouldn’t lose too many clients. Despite the aforementioned, this doesn’t seem to be something we’ll see anytime soon.

So it seems Google have their eye on the Enterprise level businesses. At this sort of price range you can get quite a few nice suites including support, implementation and ownership of data from products such as Adobe SiteCatalyst, ApptegicWoopra and Mixpanel.

I haven’t gone into the finer details of Google Analytics Premium, nor did I do a feature by feature comparison and this isn’t a stab at Google Analytics Certified Partners, to me, it feels like the package is incomplete, and it very well could be. Maybe I’m wrong or missing something, If so please let me know :)

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