Google Analytics 360 vs Adobe Analytics Cloud

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This post does a quick comparative analysis of Adobe Analytics Cloud vs Google Analytics 360!

When it comes to implementing a paid web analytics tool, most businesses are scrambled between two – the Google Analytics 360 (formerly Google Analytics Premium) and Adobe Analytics Cloud (formerly, Adobe (Omniture) SiteCatalyst). That’s not surprising! These two tools are immensely popular in the web analytics realm and serve as the go-to analytics tools for a vast majority of companies around the globe!

Well, if you have been dabbling with web analytics for a while, you are probably aware that Google Analytics comes in two flavors – the Free (Standard) and Google Analytics 360 (previously known as Google Analytics Premium). And you may also know that Adobe Analytics Cloud gives you the option of three paid plansSelect, Prime, and Ultimate (previously Adobe Analytics Standard and Premium) depending on your online marketing and analytics needs.

But since there is no comparison between the Google Analytics free version and the almighty Adobe Analytics Cloud, we’ll only do a quick comparative review of the paid versions, i.e. between the Adobe Analytics Cloud andGoogle Analytics 360. Nonetheless, each tool has its own pros and cons, a few of which have been discussed in this post.

But you may ask, why go for a paid version of Google Analytics when you have a free version? Here’s why. The free version only offers basic analytics capabilities which will significantly limit you from acquiring new customers, increasing sales volume, and attracting repeat business. Such critical business goals can only be accomplished by leveraging an enterprise-level analytics tool. Unlike a free tool, a premium tool offers powerful analytics capabilities that provide unlimited and insightful analytics data, which you can work upon to enhance your analytics ROI.

Nevertheless, the analytics data requirements for every business are different, so are their analytics tool requirements. Hence, it is imperative to choose a tool that matches your business needs. By choosing the most appropriate tool, you will have a regular supply of insightful analytics data that will help you make the right decision at the right time on a consistent basis!

So without further ado, let’s analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each tool, which should help determine whether Google Analytics 360 or Adobe Analytics Cloud is the perfect web analytics tool for your company!

Targeted Customers of Google Analytics 360 and Adobe Analytics Cloud

Adobe Analytics Cloud vs Google Analytics 360

Who are these tools targeted at?

Both these analytics tools are targeted at websites with high traffic volume and very specific analytics goals. But Adobe Analytics Cloud is specifically targeted at very large enterprises with highly customized analytics requirements.

How much do they cost? – Google Analytics 360 will cost you a flat annual fee of $150,000. This figure may sound expensive from the perspective of a small or medium-sized business, but it is well worth the investment if you have a site with high traffic volume. However, the cost of acquiring Adobe Analytics Cloud can vary anywhere between $30,000 and $350,000+ per year, depending on your traffic volume, the service level, and other specific requirements you have for your company.

But essentially, both tools are charging you for the server calls/hits that you avail, which is limited to 1 billion hits for Google Analytics 360. But for Adobe Analytics Cloud, the hit limit will vary as per your plan/price. To know how much it would cost to implement Adobe Analytics Cloud, you must call them for a quote.

Are these tools easy to implement? – Implementing Google Analytics 360 on your site is extremely easy. No programming or IT knowledge is required to carry out this task. To incorporate Google Analytics 360, all you have to do is copy and paste the Analytics 360 JavaScript on to your site and start monitoring your analytics data right off the bat.

The best part is that (if you are using the free version of Google Analytics), you can continue using the same old Google Analytics tracking code (of the free version) for Google Analytics 360 as well. The interface and reports also remain the same. However, you need to put in some additional effort to maintain the tags and the implementation!


Implementing Google Analytics 360 and Adobe Analytics Cloud

Unlike Google Analytics 360, implementing the Adobe Analytics Cloud tool is not an easy task. It requires the services of a trained professional with specialized developmental knowledge to plan, customize, execute, and keep an eye on the implementation.

But due to the high level of customization, the metrics data collected by Adobe Analytics Cloud will be highly valuable and tailored to your specific business needs than the data accumulated by Google Analytics 360. But unlike GA 360, it is much demanding to maintain the Adobe Analytics tagging and implementation.


Do they provide a robust reporting functionality? – You can generate a whole range of simple and complex reports using the Google Analytics 360 tool. Although the interface can get a bit overwhelming, the way it is structured makes reporting a lot easier for most users.

GA 360 generates two types of reports – sampled and Unsampled – based on the traffic volume that your site receives.Reporting Functionality of Adobe Analytics Cloud and Google Analytics 360

Sampled data is automatically collected for reports when the session volume crosses 100 million. But Unsampled reports are not accessible to all GA 360 users due to the immense processing load that it puts on their servers. Unlike sampled reports, Unsampled reports don’t have any session limit. And the maximum number of rows that you can generate using an Unsampled report is a whopping 3 million. However, to access and generate Unsampled reports on GA 360, your account must have Collaborative permissions.

If you are more used to the Google Analytics reporting interface, getting familiar with the Adobe Analytics Cloud reporting tool can be a tad confusing in the beginning. But once you get used to the Adobe Analytics Analysis Workspace (AW) (their powerful drag-and-drop report builder), generating ad-hoc reports and creating semi-interactive dashboards will be absolutely effortless.

So as far as the reporting functionality goes, it’s a tie between the two, as both the tools are highly intuitive and potent in terms of creating and displaying reports!

What are their overall strengths and weaknesses?

Let’s start off by analyzing some of the strengths of the Adobe Analytics Cloud tool.

Adobe Analytics Cloud allows you to closely track your digital marketing campaigns and their performances, recognize and create different types of data segments for remarketing, offer a customized shopping experience to your site visitors, and works with bare-minimum data latency, particularly during the periods of peak traffic activity and lets you do a lot more.

Adobe Analytics Cloud can also connect to a wide range of native and 3rd party tools to easily bring in 3rd party data to the tool. All in all, it offers more richness and versatility than Google Analytics 360 in terms of functionality and analytics capabilities.


Strengths and Weaknesses of Adobe Analytics Cloud and Google Analytics 360

Google Analytics 360 also has its strengths and stands head and shoulders above Adobe Analytics Cloud in other areas. It provides intuitive reporting and analysis interface, seamless integration with Google Media solutions, easy access to Click-Stream data using BigQuery, and powerful data-driven attribution features.

It also offers seamless and robust integration with Google’s DoubleClick products, Google Adwords, and Google Search Console.

Nonetheless, integration with 3rd party tools and bringing in 3rd party data is a hassle with Google Analytics 360. Although Google provides the measurement protocol API to accomplish the integration, it will not be an easy, one-click integration. However, Google Analytics 360 offers a decent funnels feature, but its pathing functionality is painfully inferior.

Adobe Analytics Cloud tool also comes with its own set of shortfalls that it needs to work upon. It fails to provide a hassle-free and intuitive interface for creating and analyzing reports. Its mobile app tracking feature needs enhancement and fine-tuning. And the tool also needs to improve its attribution modeling and cross-device measurement capabilities.

In the above comparative analysis, we can infer that no tool is comprehensive and flawless. Each one has its own pros and cons. In fact, each tool is designed with different analytics capabilities and audiences in mind. Hence, it all comes down to selecting the right platform for your business.

That’s where comparative reviews like these will come in handy. You can refer to these tips when you are researching for a new tool or switching to a different one.

Both Adobe Analytics Cloud and Google Analytics 360 are futuristic analytics platforms in their own right and capable of meeting specific analytics tracking needs of the future.  But each one is designed to cater to different enterprise sizes and budgets.

If Google Analytics 360 is targeted at small and mid-range companies, Adobe Analytics Cloud is aimed at large enterprises that can afford huge implementation and maintenance costs.

But one thing is for sure; both Adobe Analytics Cloud and Google Analytics 360 will receive innovative features and improvements and continue to evolve as superior analytics tools in the coming years. And it rests assured that Google and Adobe will compete to make their tools more fine-tuned, powerful, and user-friendly for its target customers.

Now let me ask this. Out of these two, which tool best suits your budget and analytics requirements? And what has been your experience with analytics tracking tools in general? Please do let us know through a comment below.