Web analytics vs. design

When web analysts talk to designers or information architects there is often a problem: The web analysts will come up with ideas that go totally against the designers thoughts. Here some thoughts of the Design Research blog about web analytics:

"Web analytics are not equivalent to a jewelry store clerk gathering subtle, nuanced information about a person visiting their store. They are the equivalent of a blindfolded, deaf jewelry store clerk who uses a complex system of tapping to communicate with store visitors, who may or may not know the unique tapping language of that particular clerk."

and further...

"Interaction designers must base critical user experience decisions on the results of qualitative research, rich with “thick description,” and subtle cues. Basing such decisions on Web analytics would remove the all insight into users’ actual intentions."

Is web analytics going to far? Should it be limited to

" - Measuring appreciable increases in specific, observable goals, such as form completion

- As a final test after a battery of in-person, qualitative usability tests

- As an infrastructure monitoring tool

- As a lead generation or campaign effectiveness tool"?