Four Alternatives To Google Analytics You Should Consider

by on July 1, 2013 · 8 comments

alternatives to Google Analytics

When it comes to web analytics, Google is king of the hill. Its analytics platform provides a broad and deep set of features that will tell a site owner everything they could possibly want to know about their online presence. So, why would you consider an alternative?

  • Simplicity — Google’s “everything including the kitchen sink” approach to analytics is awesome if you need that level of detail, but for many people it’s overkill. The comprehensive feature set comes at the cost of a complexity that many smaller site runners don’t want to deal with. Often, a less feature-rich service, that gives only the most commonly needed data, is more practical.

  • Privacy — If you use Google Analytics, Google has access to all your data. For some people that’s not a problem; the data Google has access to is a reasonable exchange for the service they provide. But, some people would rather keep their data private.

  • Ownership — In addition to Google having access to all their data, users of Google Analytics are also at the mercy of Google for its storage and safe keeping. Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of depending on a third party for the storage and security of business critical information.

We’re going to look at four alternative analytics platforms that each address some of these issues.

Self-Hosted Alternatives

Self-hosted analytics platforms allow users to keep all their data secure. The price of that privacy is that self-hosted solutions require a server; they aren’t cloud services and need to be set up and configured on the user’s own hosting. That’s not a particularly arduous task, especially for someone who is already running a site, but it’s something to be aware of.

Piwik
Piwik is an advanced, free, open source analytics platform. It incorporates many of the same features as Google Analytics, including realtime data, a customizable dashboard, eCommerce analytics, and campaign tracking.

If you’re a WordPress user, you can use the WP-Piwik plugin to integrate Piwik analytics with your administrator dashboard.

Mint
Unlike Piwik, Mint is not free, but it offers a simplified self-hosted analytics tool that provides most of the information the average site owner needs in an intuitive and attractive interface. If there are features you need that aren’t in the default installation, there’s a plugin store that provides a wide range of added functionality.

Cloud Services

Chartbeat
Chartbeat is a cloud-based analytics platform that concentrates on providing realtime data in a simple, elegant interface. If you need to know what’s happening on your site over the longterm, Chartbeat’s not for you, but if you need to know what’s going on right now, give it a go. There’s a 30-day free trial available.

KISSmetrics
You’ve almost certainly heard of KISSmetrics, they have an awesome blog that’s a must-read for website owners. Their analytics platform concentrates on clearing away the unnecessary clutter and providing straightforward, actionable analytics that you can relate to the people who are using your site.

KISSmetrics is by far the most expensive of the options we’re looking at here, but for a site that generates revenue and needs actionable information to increase that revenue, KISSmetrics is a good option.

Have you tried any of these services? How did they work out for your site? Let us know your experiences in the comments below and feel free to give a shout out to alternative analytics platforms we haven’t mentioned.

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Graeme works as an inbound marketer for Nexcess, a leading provider of Magento and WordPress hosting. Follow Nexcess on Twitter at @nexcess, Like them on Facebook and check out their tech/hosting blog.

Graeme has written 3 articles on Expand2Web

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Aashish Sahni July 12, 2013 at 10:55 am

Ohh.. i knew about analytics only so far. This would really help 🙂 Thanx!!

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Nima H. July 21, 2013 at 12:07 pm

How about Clicky.com?

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Yvonne Herbst August 4, 2013 at 11:18 am

I like the statcounter plugin —

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Nick Brown August 4, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Awstats option that comes with the hosting works just fine for me…

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Lee August 15, 2013 at 4:03 am

I agree with Nick Brown. Awstats has everything you need and comes free with most Cpanel based hosting plans!

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Bob January 9, 2014 at 4:16 pm

I recently tried a free tool called MeetLeads, and it seems to be a good alternative to Google Analytics as it displays the actual visitor info such as companies and contacts.

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XiNiX January 29, 2014 at 2:11 pm

We Have been using eAnalytics ( enalytics.de ) for our website and its been awesome !

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stefan May 6, 2014 at 1:07 am

This is interesting, I thought there was no alternative. I will check the suggestions above (including the ones given by the other readers).

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