The e-Consultancy (I am not associated with them) has created a very thorough report comparing 12 web analytics tools marketed in the UK and sorted by price range:
– Webtrends (NetIQ)
– Site Intelligence
Some of these tools are web-based, like WebSideStory, others offer both a web-based and desktop version like ClickTracks. While the report focuses on the UK market, the US web analytics market is virtually identical and I think the conclusions of the report are valid regardless of the country.
A free 2 chapter sample of the report explaining the methodology used in the survey and covering two vendors (ClickTracks and Clickstream) is available for free, while the full report can be purchased online from e-Consultancy.com.
Personally, I have used WebTrends since 1999 and ClickTracks since 2002 and I have to full-heartedly say that ClickTracks is the winner! It is the only tool that in additional to all log file analysis reports you might want, gives you a thorough path analysis integrated with an actual web browser for full replication of your clients’ behavior on the web site. In addition, it features the best shopping card tracking and pay-per-click campaign analysis I have seen! You can get your free trial version of ClickTracks!
If you really want to do your web analytics analysis cheaply, I would recommend the single most used web log analysis tool — the free Analog, available at http://www.analog.cx. It was featured as one of the tools used by the BBC News website (some serious web traffic!) in a marvelous do-it-yourself book called “Practical Web Traffic Analysis” which you can purchase on Amazon!