The first thing Site Catalyst fans will throw at you is the super awesome level of customization that it offers versus Google Analytics. Buzzwords like custom event metrics, site sectioning and hierarchy, and custom variable attribution will make your eyes glaze over. What they are really trying to say is: Site Catalyst can do some crafty things 75 times over that Google will only let you do 20 times over. The #1 reason agencies love Site Catalyst, is reports. Shiny, shiny reports. These can be generated, scheduled and emailed like nobody’s business. The sad thing is that nobody at the hotel is actually looking at these reports. If they are, they are likely are not trained to properly interpret them and deliver insights. You can’t really blame the agencies. They need these reports to justify their existence. (It’s a vicious cycle involving the ROI monster.) The reports and dashboards Google Analytics provides are pretty close to the ones you are going to really use with Site Catalyst. Features like ‘report collaboration’ are completely useless. How about collaborating on insights instead? Dashboards and reports are not going to magically give you those. You will need to take time to understand the numbers and what they are telling you about your marketing efforts. Agencies love to say how Analytics you do not own your data. The fact is that unless your hotel is directly subscribed to Site Catalyst, it’s your agency that owns your data anyway. Not you. So, when you decide to move on from their services, they are taking their world-famous “data warehouse” with them. Now imagine your agency getting abducted by aliens, or just being upset that you fired them. You are not going to be getting direct access to anything past or present from Site Catalyst. Now with Google Analytics, you actually have a fighting chance. Get the full story at Vikram Singh's blog