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Making the Grade

I thought Bruce Boardman's "Inside Information" was a nicely written, well-researched article. We consult with large companies on how to use Web analytics data to improve online conversion, retention and channel migration. Often our clients ask us what we think of the available tools. This article puts to paper many of our own opinions on the relative strengths of the products reviewed.

The only issue I take with Boardman's methodology is the idea that pricing should account for only 20 percent of the overall score. For most of our clients, including Fortune 500 companies, 30 percent or more is the norm. Changing Boardman's weighting would realign the top three products tested but still leave his comments on them valid and insightful.

Grant Hosford
Director, Business Development
[email protected]

Bruce Boardman replies: Pricing is difficult in product reviews, as vendors aren't always straight with us. Sometimes we get inflated prices designed to protect sales channels, in other instances, lowball prices are submitted in the hope of bettering the report card score. Our readers invariably negotiate their own best deals, and we trust that if they're quoted a price higher than what we reported, they'll gain leverage by bringing our review to the vendor's attention.

To mitigate possible error, we avoid weighing vendor pricing too heavily. But knowing that pricing is often more important than our published report card suggests, we offer an Interactive Report Card® online, at, to let readers customize the results.

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