Analytics APIs Will Be Our Bridge to Intelligence
Eric Peterson has a kick ass post titled “The Coming Bifurcation in Web Analytics Tools.”
In it he defines the bifurcation issue:
“I believe that we are about to see an increasing number of companies in the coming year drop their paid vendor’s “basic solution” in favor of Google Analytics and, at the same time, seriously consider adding their vendor’s high-end offering.”
Though he does not highlight it, he also mentions what I believe will eventually bridge this predicted bifurcation. That is, the ability to leverage the Analytics API to create more robust and relevant tool sets, not only for workflow and insights, but most importantly for action. He does mention ShufflePoint as an example of a company building off the Google Analytics API and while being a killer workflow add-on it barely scratches the surface of what can be done via an analytics API.
So, I firmly believe that the bifurcation Eric writes about will be temporary. In addition to cost, the API is GA's big competitive advantage in the enterprise. Google is positioned well and experienced for this future. Over the next few years third parties insanely focused on adding value to "numbers" will create added layers of data intelligence to the core analytics data much the same way bid management and MVT companies added actionable intelligence to the core Search data over the last 5 years.
Though I understand their protectionist mindset, I've been disappointed that Omniture has held back API access to their customers through tokens and the like (though I believe they recently have opened up higher degrees of access to their Genesis partners). I think at some point over the next 12-24 months and as a direct result of Eric’s prediction coming true, they will have no choice but to fully open their API. This will really usher in the next wave of analytics and add serious value to an already insanely valuable medium.