As more and more consumers start shopping online, and marketers rely more on interactive online marketing channels, spending on web analytics technology will rise to US$953 million by 2014, up from $431 million this year, reveals a Forrester Research report released this year.

The report also states that also driving demand for web analytics is an increasing demand for accountability in marketing campaigns and the emergence of a new crop of web analytics applications that provide more analysis of specific business operations. In fact, the study states that spending on web analytics will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17% from 2008 to 2014. It adds that 78% of web analytics market share is held by free analytics applications, and that 37% of companies that use commercial web analytics applications also use free analytics tools.

In the study, Forrester observes that many companies lack the personnel needed to get value out of their analytics technology.

Elaborating, Forrester notes that the spread of analytics tools has outpaced the training of analytics professionals, making it hard for many companies to effectively use analytics. “Many adopters of web analytics technologies underutilize their tools, fail to recognize ROI, or simply don’t apply the data,” the report says. “Web analytics is a tool that must be applied in the correct manner for it to be productive.”