Web analytics growing fast

Web analytics vendor NetIQ Corp. in San Jose, California, has a new version of CommerceTrends, its Web analysis tool.

The product also has a new name, WebTrends IS (Intelligence Suite). New features include a report designer from Vancouver-based Crystal Decisions Inc. and new software to take some of the pain out of moving Web data to a data warehouse.

NetIQ has also partnered with data mining vendor Quadstone Inc. in Edinburgh, Scotland, to co-market a version of Quadstone's software that is integrated with WebTrends IS.

Dan Vesset, an analyst at IDC in Framingham, Massachusetts, said the news pushes NetIQ up the food chain. "They started out in the low end of the market," Vesset said. "But these new enhancements, particularly the sophisticated analysis that Quadstone adds, broaden their appeal."

NetIQ will embed Crystal Decision's Crystal Reports in Web Trends IS, giving users more power to design and generate reports from Web data.

The new data handling enhancements address one of the fundamental issues of Web data analysis. "Web traffic generates gigabytes of log file data," said Barry Parshall, group product manager at NetIQ. "We have a new engine that parses these log files, extracts the relevant information, and puts it into the data warehouse in a meaningful way. It is five times faster than our previous log file processing engine."

Parshall also said the new release includes predefined relational tables in the data warehouse that make it easier to integrate data from other systems such as CRM (customer relationship management) applications.

The partnership with Quadstone began one year ago. "We started working then to integrate our two products," Parshall said. "It is fairly complex to move data into the Quadstone system."

Vesset said the Web analytics market is currently very small but growing fast. "Software licenses and maintenance will probably be about US$127 million for 2001," Vesset said. "But we are projecting a compounded annualized growth rate of 32 percent over the next four years."

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