What is the difference between Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics ?
This is the first question every marketer has when getting started on Adobe Analytics. Google Analytics offers a free version- most of the folks know and understand GA. So while learning Adobe Analytics – this comparison becomes unavoidable.
Today we will do a comparison of these tools – without getting into too much details.
We will compare these two tools on the below factors.
- Speed of Implementation
- Ways of Implementation
So, lets jump in !
When compared with Adobe Analytics GA offers limited features. Adobe Analytics has a whole bunch of different features to offer. There are different sub tools in Adobe Analytics. Few tools which stand out include :
Analysis Workbench – which is used to set up a flexible project environment. This is a WoW if you want to slice and dice the data. I dont find this in GA anywhere. Another tool called Attribution IQ is also pretty cool (helps understand attribution as per different models) and can be accessed directly through this Analysis Workspace.
Reports & Analytics – which is the place where custom and out of the box reports can be seen. As you may know this is the bread and butter of any Analytics Solution – needless to say Google Analytics also offers this reporting piece. In my opinion, the Reports provided by Google to do seem more intuitive as compared to those with Adobe.
Data Workbench – This is a premium offering and is used to obtain a 360 degree view of customers
Report Builder – which is used to distribute reports in MS Excel. This is not present in GA
Activity Maps – which gives a view on how different elements of your site are comparing
Segmentation – This is a big plus in Adobe Analytics. You can segment almost everything (Page Names, Audiences, Custom dimensions and metrics etc).
Customization – Adobe offers a whole bunch of different customization’s and settings. You name it and the product can be used in that way. For example : Think about expiration settings for eVars, merchandizing eVars and Props, container flexibility for segments, Page Name setting etc.
Also, the fact that Adobe Analytics is part of Adobe Marketing Cloud – it makes a good combination with other Adobe Solutions like Adobe Campaign, Adobe Target and Adobe Audience Manager. This is also the reason why AA gets chosen.
2. Speed of Implementation
While Adobe Analytics can take days to get implemented on your site – Google Analytics can be enabled in minutes. This is because Adobe Analytics is a costly solution and you will want to do it right. Doing right means ensuring data collected is correct (this means you will prepare the BRDs/ Solution Design References), do an assessment of which tools you would use, define what custom variables to use (these are called eVars and Props in Adobe Analytics) and building a data layer to collect all relevant information smoothly.
This also means that teams will have to spend a lot of time to understand and implement AA – while GA really does the same basic job a lot more quicker. While implementing GA you dont have lot of questions in your head and you are off the ground very quickly.
3. Ways of Implementation
Conceptually both GA and AA have similar methods of implementation.
In GA you can either embed specific tags on site or put a container – if you have multiple tags on your site.
Same is true for Adobe Analytics – You either use the JS file directly or configure DTM or Launch codes on your site. DTM is the equivalent of GTM – however it is now obsolete and you should be using Launch. Conceptually, DTM and Launch are same but Launch is built with a different philosophy and hence has better user interface (more on this later).
As you can see – on account of above factors : Adobe Analytics becomes an excellent choice for enterprise customers. I think especially for Retail & Travel customers Adobe Analytics can be a game changer. Let’s take a very common use case – cart abandonment. If a user abandons cart while purchase – you can create a segment is AA and send this over to Campaign. These segments can then be targeted to send an marketing email. Wow !! Note – A lot will go under the hood to integrate AA + Customer data to send emails.
Google Analytics is an excellent solution for small and medium scale businesses. I love the fact that how quickly GA that can tell me about my audience, their behavior and conversion without any serious efforts from my side.
So, to sum it up. Adobe Analytics is like swimming into an ocean – you need to know where you are going and why (otherwise why bother) and who you will meet along the way to make the journey more meaningful (Integrations etc.) while Google Analytics is like swimming into a river – you know you will find your way somehow and most of the times you swim because many other are doing so as well. No matter , you just love the waters.
Hope this helps ! Let me know your thoughts about these tools.
Note – Google offers Google Marketing Platform and provides integrated marketing solutions too.