Microsoft Gatineau – Google Analytics Killer?

by Jason Green on August 27, 2010 · 1 comment

Is Microsoft Gatineau ready to strip Google Analytics of the web analytics throne?

I’ve been using both Microsoft Gatineau and Google Analytics on one of my sites for about 3 months. I think that’s plenty of time for me to give a fair analysis of both packages.

*Note that I am much more experienced with Google Analytics, so that might have some effect on my opinion. However, I’m trying to be as neutral as possible in this review.

1. User Interface / Usability:
Winner: Google Analytics
Why?: Google is king when it comes to user interfaces. (Not starting off so neutral, are we?) When I log into my Google Analytics account, I’m presented with a very useful dashboard. If the information I need isn’t there by default, I can easily add it. On the other hand, Microsoft’s Gatineau gives me a 3-layer calendar that allows me to select a date range by day, week, or month, with a single click. This might be useful if jumping from one date range to another was a frequent activity, but so far, it’s not. This date-range picker takes up 4 inches above the fold on EVERY report! The two inches below that is a description of the report you’re viewing, and below that is the graph for the report you chose. Unfortunately, half of it is below the fold!

Navigation through reports is done through a folder structure.

This isn’t awful, but getting to the next level always requires 2 clicks. One to select the item and display the menu, and another to choose between demographics or diving a level deeper.

2. Useful Information
Winner:Google Analytics
Why?: This would be a tie because they both have all standard web analytics information, except Microsoft makes it so much harder to view the useful information. Sorry to go back to usability, but with the GA dashboard, I can view my most useful information on one screen. With Gatineau, it takes 12 to 20 clicks and 6-10 page loads just to get the same information.

3. Demographics
Winner: Microsoft Gatineau
Why?: Because Google doesn’t have it. However, with this being Gatineau’s claim to fame, I’m unimpressed. Over the past 3 months, I only have demographics information on about 20% of my visitors. Sure this information is useful for some things, but with 80% being unknown, I really don’t know much more than I did before.

Overall Winner: Google Analytics!

Who didn’t see that coming?

I was really hoping to write some good things about Microsoft Gatineau, but until they improve the user interface, I won’t be leaving Google Analytics any time soon. Also note that Gatineau hasn’t been officially released yet. There are some features which haven’t even been activated, such as the emailing or exporting of reports. However, the framework of what’s to come is there, and I have to say, it’s no Google-killer.

I’d love to hear from other Gatineau users. Is there anyone out there that would choose Gatineau over Google Analytics?

Even though GA won this battle, I’d still encourage you try out Microsoft Gatineau and Google Analytics to decide for yourself.

I look forward to your comments.

– Jason Green

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Renolds July 14, 2011 at 1:06 am

I think that I can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt who the winner is in this competition-Drum roll please…..It’s Google Analytics. How can I be so certain? Well, Microsoft admits it and I can prove it. I was recently job hunting and submitting my CV to every tech company I’ve ever wanted to work for when I noticed something quite cheeky. I found my way to Microsoft’s Bing job site, poked me nose around in their source and there it was – Google Analytics API call right in the page source code. THEY DON’T EVEN USE THEIR OWN PRODUCT-HA!

go here, right click and view source- http://www.microsoft-careers.com/content/bing/bing-home/
If you walk up the tree to http://www.microsoft-careers.com/ it’s there too.

Here’s one of a few google references in the source:

At first I wasn’t sure because there is another company name attached to the site, but if you apply to a job you’ll see that it is THE MICROSOFT.

If that ain’t proof, I don’t know what is. Hands down winner is Google.

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