One of the more interesting threads that I read over the last few months was on the Web Analytics Association Yahoo Forum. Called Why do we still need Omniture?, the discussion's starting point was based on how Omniture could differentiate itself in light of Google Analytic's new features.
The ensuing discussion had dozens of posts with most of the focus on reporting features and capabilities.
But it was what didn't get mentioned that caught my attention: no mention of data usage as a differentiator.
Google and Yahoo! use the data it collects from your web site as fuel to develop new products, services, offerings and marketing programs. Omniture and all other fee based vendors do not use the data it collects.
Both Google and Yahoo clearly state how they use the data in their Terms and Conditions. Then again we all know about carefully reading the fine print.
I just find it surprising that folks tend not to mention data usage as a differentiator in the many The World vs. Google Analytics/Yahoo! Analytics discussions or vendor evaluations that occur...maybe "free" makes that ok.