What Everybody Should Know About Facebook Analytics – A Comparison of the Top 4 Services

The key to picking a good analytics tool is to first ask yourself about your goals. What is it that you are trying to learn and how will you use that learning to adjust your course of action? Data collection can become overwhelming and if its not actionable: in fact, too much information may plunge you into a state of analysis paralysis. I wanted to know which analytics service would give me the information I need to actually make profitable decisions, and therefore I recently sat down and analyzed four key analytics offerings: Kontagent, Mixpanel, KISSMetrics and Google Analytics. More after the jump.

Kontagent

Kontagent is a social analytics and marketing automation suite, providing deep social data visualization and analysis that delivers actionable insights delivered via a hosted, on-demand service.

What’s in it

Kontagent offers a user-friendly dashboard that details information about traffic (sources), virality (k factor, info on invites), engagement (page views), retention (stickiness, returning users), revenue (conversions) and user demographic data.

Kontagent is primarily for Facebook’s platform and are plugging into Facebook Connect as well to give them wider access to the open web.

Pricing

Free to use provided the developer accepts data sharing which is aggregated by Kontagent to allow companies to benchmark their own performance in various areas against others in the network. There’s also an option of buying a pre-paid version that doesn’t include data sharing component.

Mixpanel

Mixpanel is a real-time analytics service that helps improve web apps by tracking user interactions and engagements.

What’s in it

Developers can track almost anything they want to track, from virility to engagement to revenue and their most recent addition of a funnel tracking system makes their solution a compelling one.

Specifically:
– Real-time Analytics
– Extreme custom event tracking
– Funnel Analysis
– Macro-level A/B testing
– REST API that works for any platform

Mixpanel has a control panel interface and a native flash library as well that appeals to many developers. Mixpanel also has a broader appeal than Kontagent (Kontagent is exclusively tracking Facebook apps and Facebook Connect).

Mixpanel is great for tracking arbitrary events on a real-time basis, so you can be aware of any action someone takes. This can help you validate the presence or removal of features that may or may not be used by your users. Its weakness, however is that it’s not a good tool for analyzing traffic sources to your site – something Google Analytics excels at. Also Mixpanel’s setup process is a bit tedious as it requires custom integration along each point you want tracked and it doesn’t have the mobility KISSMetrics offers in modifying/removing funnels.

Pricing

Mixpanel offers pricing per data points. There are 6 pricing models, ranging $0 for free to $1000 for Premium and beyond. Installers can get a deep high volume discount if there are over 50,000,000 data points. Data points are counted overtime an event is tracked with Mixpanel.

KISSMetrics

KISSMetrics is an analytics tool that provides online businesses the technology to measure what’s happening and tune their user experience.



What’s in it

KISSMetrics strength lies in funnel analysis. Its user centric approach allows you to track people and their behavior along each step of the funnel while creating funnels on the fly. This breakdown provides a segmented view of your audience to help you understand what works and what doesn’t.

KISSMetrics setup process is simpler than others but its reporting interface is limited to things like funnels and not much useful for the heaps of data that tools like Kontagent provide.

Pricing

KISSmetrics offers 1 million events to be tracked for $149 per month, 5 million for $399 a month and 10 million for $699 per month. All plans come with unlimited reports, A/B testing and integration with Google Analytics so you can know more about your traffic sources and take advantage of other benefits that come with it.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is Google’s flagship analytics tool installed by millions of sites. Google Analytics shows page by page information about your site – ranging from traffic to engagement metrics such as time spent on site etc. It also knows which keywords were used when searching for your site/app and more.

What’s in it

Google Analytics is not suitable for real-time data the way the other tools are but it has a fairly good funnel tracking system that’s not as proper as KISSMetrics but more accurate than Mixpanel’s.

Google Analytics’ event tracking capabilities are a bit tedious although it does have Goals that help you measure success. Its setup process is also simple, atlas for just measuring traffic- just plugin some Javascript in the header or footer of your page and you’re set.

Pricing

Google Analytics is free but limited to 5 million pageviews a month unless the installer has an active Google AdWords account. Google Analytics also comes fully integrated with AdWords front-end so you can track AdWords ROI.

Conclusion

To go back to the original point, picking the right analytics tools (or combinations) is a matter of knowing which goals one wants to achieve. Mixpanel is great for event trackink, Google Analytics is great for traffic, KISSMetrics is great for funnels and Kontagent is great for getting visualizations and filtering but specific to Facebook.