A New Analytics Vendor Power Rankings

If you've been keeping up with our industry, you have probably seen the Forrester Wave: Web Analytics, Q2 2014 report.  I'm not going to get into some of the shocking results and flaws in the research, as you can see by their chart below – their empirical research leaves much to be desired. So in response, I want to have a little fun and introduce to you my own ranking system. 
For those longstanding subscribers to my newsletter, you know that I have been a lifelong WWE fan. So as a way to best explain the landscape today, I am debuting the Bill Bruno WWE Analytics Vendor Power Rankings, or WWE AVPR for short.  
Disclaimer: my vendor list will appear in alphabetical order and the criteria for my rankings are based upon our experiences while helping real clients....with a little bit of humor where applicable. If I lead with "no offense," will you promise to not get offended? wink
Vendor: Adobe 
WWE Superstar: John Cena
I can't think of a better comparison for Adobe than the "Face of the WWE."  Similar to Cena, the people that have been in the industry for a while are annoyed that Adobe is still on top. For those of you that don’t follow WWE, John Cena has been in the WWE for over a decade and continues to engage the younger generation just like the youngsters in our industry run around with their red shirts on proclaiming love for Adobe. John Cena is known for his '5 moves of doom' and Adobe has '6 moves of doom' in their Marketing Cloud:
Experience Manager
Media Optimizer
They are the most complete superstar in the space and while others may challenge them in areas (and occasionally win), Adobe always seems to find themselves winning the title back almost immediately. Quite frankly, the industry isn't ready for a new face just like the WWE can't live without Cena yet.  Love it or hate it, you have to respect them.
Vendor: AT Internet 
WWE Superstar: Bad News Barrett
"I'm afraid I've got some baaaaad news." 
Not only is that the catch phrase for Bad News Barrett as he informs people of their shortcomings and failures, but it's also what I'm about to deliver to AT Internet.  The WWE hasn't had a superstar from outside of the US carry the WWE Title in a long time, and I don't see AT Internet winning the WWE AVPR championship either.  Sure, we love your gimmick and the fans react very well to you; but you just aren’t a 5-tool superstar.  You'll have to stick to some of the lower-tier titles and potentially be a jobber for a couple of the other vendors in an RFP here and there.
Vendor: Google Analytics (Standard and Premium) 
WWE Superstar: Roman Reigns
Google Analytics is the greatest challenger that Adobe has ever faced.  With the addition of Premium, the acquisition of Adometry, the launch of BigQuery and the continued innovation on the platform - we are looking at the first solution that could take the WWE AVPR title away from Adobe and make a long title run much like CM Punk's historic 434 day title reign that started in 2011.  Roman Reigns has been labeled the future "Face of the WWE."  He has all of the talent in the world, but just needs to work on some aspects of his character.  More specifically, he needs to get better on the mic, interact more with the fans, and fine tune his in-ring game.
He's hungry though and seems to improve every week. Similarly, Google Analytics has some gaps to fill in (Testing, Personalization and Data Integration capabilities). They also need to be more vocal about the product roadmap with customers considering the product and work on finding a way to appease the anti-Google crowd to build out stronger global adoption. One thing is clear, with Adobe and Google leading the pack we could have the second coming of the Mega Powers.
Vendor: IBM Analytics 
WWE Superstar: Curtis Axel
IBM Analytics comes from a great pedigree.  It has the IBM brand, reputation and technology stack as the backbone and is the child of Coremetrics and NetInsight.  Similarly, Curtis Axel is the son of WWE Hall of Famer Mr. Perfect, Curt Hennig.  Curtis Axel has all of the tools and talent, but he has yet to prove to the WWE Universe that he can be a top-tier talent. The questions remain: will IBM Analytics ever fill the big shoes left by its predecessors?  Will IBM Analytics exhibit the best qualities from both parents, or will it inherit some of the shortcomings?  
They are strong on the mic when cutting a promo against the other vendors, but at the end of the day you have to be able to set that mic down and put your competition in the "Perfect Plex" for the 3 count.


Vendor: IBM Unica NetInsight 
WWE Superstar: Ultimate Warrior
NetInsight charged onto the scene in 2006 much like the Ultimate Warrior charged into the ring for every single match. His music would hit, the fans would jump out of their seats and throughout the sea of painted faces in the WWE Universe you knew that you were witnessing something special. NetInsight was a special tool in our industry and provided a clear rival to Visual Sciences (now Adobe Insight) at the time as an on-premise solution that actually packed a punch.
NetInsight was a complicated tool, and the user interface made it difficult to understand how to best harness the power just like the Ultimate Warrior used to cut some of the most confusing promos ever. Despite the confusion, the power was evident. Unfortunately, both the Ultimate Warrior and NetInsight have passed away much too soon. RIP to you both, read my farewell to Unica here.
Vendor: Webtrends 
WWE Superstar: Hulk Hogan
Webtrends was the first to validate the web analytics industry, just like Hulk Hogan made Sports Entertainment what it is today. The first Webtrends User Conference was much like Wrestlemania for the industry; people even loved and remember the original colors. Webtrends reinvented themselves with the Streams product launch, much like Hogan when he joined the nWo as "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan.
Unfortunately, while the Webtrends brand is an icon in the industry they simply can't compete in the ring anymore. There is a lot of nostalgia and respect for the vendor, but the injuries over the years have taken its toll. By not keeping up with pace of innovation by other vendors, there just isn't enough gas left in Webtrends tank for one more match.
I feel that this industry takes itself way too seriously sometimes and so I hope that this approach post was entertaining and informative. I welcome your comments - so step into a Slim Jim and throw them out there, brother!  Dig it?  Ooooooooh yeah!
By Bill Bruno
About the Author:

Bill Bruno is the CEO - North America, Ebiquity.

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