The short answer I always give is that Google Analytics is like a one size fits all t-shirt, and Adobe Analytics is like a custom-tailored suit. The rest of my answer is not so short.
- The standard reporting interface is usually easier for beginners to learn, but isn’t very flexible when you want to orient the data differently than the default. Same goes for dashboards.
- With Universal Google Analytics there are a lot more implementation options than there were in Classic Google Analytics, including far more ecommerce tracking options, along with custom dimensions and metrics. With enhanced ecommerce you can now track products from product impression to product view to cart to checkout to purchase, where in Classic GA you can only track products on the order confirmation page. With non-Premium Google Analytics you get 20 custom dimensions and 20 custom metrics. With Premium you get 200 custom dimensions and 200 custom metrics. However, the amount of customization and the degree to which you can configure these custom dimensions and metrics are very limited compared to Adobe.
- One of Google Analytics Premium’s selling points is you get unsampled data, but to be clear, you do NOT get unsampled data in the browser-based reporting interface. You simply get an option to download the unsampled data into a .csv or .tsv file.
- With Premium you also get support service, which I believe is Google partnering you up with an official Google Analytics third-party partner.
- The standard reporting interface has always been super flexible. You’ve always been able to drag whichever metrics you want into a report, breakdown line items by other dimensions, and customize the reporting menu to your company’s needs and internal terminology. And now with their new Analysis Workspace interface that launched on 9/17/2015, it is even MORE flexible. Honestly, Analysis Workspace is the most nimble digital analytics interface I’ve ever seen. You can pivot and segment the data quickly and easily, and the load time is extremely fast.Adobe has other ancillary tools like Report Builder which is an Excel add-in, Ad Hoc (formerly known as Discover) with very powerful segmentation features, and Data Workbench (formerly known as Insight) which allows you to pull in other data sources.
- The implementation options are really only limited by your imagination and availability of dev resources to put them into place! In regular Adobe Analytics you have 75 eVars and 100 events, and in Adobe Analytics Premium you get 250 eVars and 1,000 events. Each individual eVar can be customized on which value gets credit for conversions (first click / last click / shared) and how long values get credit for conversions (time-based, session-based, or on the completion of some other event). Similarly with events, they can be configured to be incremented, deduplicated per session, or deduplicated across multiple sessions with the use of some unique ID.Not to mention you can easily create calculated metrics in Admin, too.
- Data is always unsampled.
- Support is usually directly with Adobe’s account team or Adobe Client Care. The account team seems to be far more focused on selling you other tools in the Marketing Cloud than helping you with the ones you’ve got, and Client Care is usually worthless.
I like that Google Analytics gives you more out of the box to start with and there is less need to implement or configure the basic types of reports that are applicable across all sites (pages, campaigns, products, etc.)
On the flip side, I like that Adobe is so customizable and so flexible. This is a blessing and a curse. As others have stated, the quality of Adobe Analytics data is totally dependent on how well it is implemented. Going back to my original analogy, imagine someone who only knows how to sew on a button trying to sew an entire custom-fitted suit from scratch!