Intuit’s Avinash Kaushik started blogging earlier this week. The blog is called Occam’s Razor after William of Ockham’s famous principle: “Entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity.”

Kaushik’s blog has already proven to be a keenly written and enlightening read. In his latest post, Kaushik offers a few suggestions to those spending a boatload on web analytics:

  1. Apply for a free Google Analytics account at GA Sign Up Page
  2. Once you get the code implement Google Analytics on your website in parallel with your favorite expensive analytics tool
  3. Get a comfort level for delta between the two sets of key numbers (you know visitors, conversions, page views etc etc) and create a multiplier (my tool shows visitors 10% higher and page views 10% lower than Google). You will use this multiplier in future to compare year over year trends if you want to.
  4. Cancel the contract with your favorite expensive analytics vendor and take that $50k or $100k or $200k and: 1) Hire a smart analyst for between $50k to whatever maybe your areas great salary 2) Put the rest of the money in your pocket.

Makes a lot of sense when put that way, doesn’t it? You can save a lot of money, just by switching to a free utility like Google Analytics. As Kaushik says, “Your smart analyst will be able to extract just as much value from GA than your old tool, in fact my prediction is that it will be a lot more.”

So, basically, don’t multiple your entities–in this case, your web analytics spend–beyond necessity. Turns out William of Ockham knew a thing or two about web analytics.

Hat tip to Andy Beal