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1. Web Measurement Basics > 3. Select the Right Vendor

Select the Right Vendor

One of the most important decisions you will make in web measurement is which vendor you’re going to work with, keeping in mind that some are better than others but there is no one “best” vendor for every company’s needs.

The web measurement arena is littered with software and service vendors, some good and some bad, yet all eager to take your money. The vendor selection process is often the most painful step in setting up a web measurement program. Understanding the major differences between types of vendors and seeing a brief synopsis of the top vendors in the market can make this process a little less painful.

Vendors can be categorized along two major axes: delivery type and the data collection mechanism. The delivery type characterizes how you use the vendor’s services, and falls into two broad categories: software, which you install on your own servers, and hosted services, which are maintained by the vendor. The data collection mechanism describes how the vendor collects data, such as web server logfiles [Hack #22] or client-side JavaScript page tags [Hack #28] . Since a handful of vendors are now supporting both data collection mechanisms, and since often delivery type defines which data model you’ll use, we’ll focus on delivery type.


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