Switch to Google Analytics – here’s what you need to know – Watch Engine Watch


Google has dominated the data analysis market for so long that it might seem daunting to replace it. You may have reservations about an alternate platform because you were conditioned to think there was no other tool that would suit Universal Analytics.

We are here to reassure marketers that this is not the case – replacement has never been easier. Especially since Google recently announced it will withdraw its Universal Analytics platform.

If you’ve succeeded here, you’ve probably already done research on the pitfalls and limitations of Universal Analytics ’successor, Google Analytics 4. If not, it’s worth reading»Google Analytics 4: Disadvantages and Limitations – Is It Worth It?.

You’ve probably noticed the list of problems with Google Analytics 4 and are thinking about jumping on board. This may be due to data quality or limitations, lack of privacy-friendly features, or transparency in data handling.

As a marketer or analyst, you need to make an informed decision and choose a platform whose feature set meets your organization’s needs for data processing at the user level, while building visitor trust. This article will help you relieve some of the cognitive dissonances you may be experiencing. Let’s get into this:

Which is better, a free plan or a paid one?

It all depends on the trade-offs and limitations you can accept depending on your project. Here are some key differences:

Free plan

Free web analytics platforms always have limitations – be it reduced performance, lack of solid privacy features or sampled data. Nevertheless, a free web analytics platform can help you manage your projects successfully.

Some platforms provide easy upgrades from free to paid and more advanced versions. They also allow you to keep settings, data, tags, etc., so you don’t have to start collecting data from scratch. Others just lift the restrictions and raise the price.

Paid alternatives

Paid alternatives go beyond the limits of their free predecessors and offer more options for data collection and analysis. This includes analytical platform capacity, data protection and extensive customer support.

For many organizations, standard data protection in public clouds is sufficient. However, those operating in jurisdictions with strict data privacy regulations or strictly regulated industries such as finance or healthcare may need private cloud or local roaming. This is when a paid plan would be needed.

Piwik PRO offers a free and paid plan so that different types of organizations can get a service tailored to their needs.

Which is better, public, private cloud or cloud with own host?

Storing data on internal servers was once the gold standard for the safe and secure execution of analytics. Although cloud analytics platforms are steadily gaining market share.

Here’s how they differ:

Public cloud

Public cloud is the most widespread model on the market. Storage space is shared by all organizations that rent the environment from the same company. Public clouds are recommended for small and medium-sized organizations, as they are more cost-effective and faster to deploy than other options.

The disadvantage of public clouds is the storage of data on external servers. The provider is responsible for data security. While this may come in handy, it limits how you can protect your data.

Some companies have to comply with strict internal data protocols or data residence regulations. With Piwik PRO, marketers can choose from four cloud hosting options – Germany, the Netherlands, the US and Singapore.

Private cloud

The second type of deployment is via private cloud. This model is often referred to as the “enterprise cloud” or “organizational cloud” because it is built exclusively for one organization. Businesses that want or need to separate their data from other cloud users who choose private cloud. This gives them the convenience of using a public cloud with better data security.

The downside of the private cloud is that the costs are significantly higher than the public one because it requires the construction of new infrastructure. In addition, the time to install a private cloud is usually longer than with a public cloud. For example, with Piwik PRO, technical integration for private cloud clients takes about two weeks.

Local (standalone hosting)

In the local model, the infrastructure is built and managed by a company or organization, with employees having physical access to all resources. The Company stores data on its own servers or servers that it leases or leases from third parties.

Storing data at a selected location and full physical access to the infrastructure enable companies to securely process personal data. However, the costs associated with a local solution are significant, and building and running your own data center is a long and complex process.

Myths and facts about the replacement of analytical platforms

Despite advances in alternative platforms, some organizations are reluctant to move away from Google Analytics. To help dispel common fears and raise awareness of other platforms, there are common misconceptions about replacement:

I will lose historical data

That is a fact but not for long. Some alternatives were developed by data importers after the abandonment of Universal Analytics.

Alternatives are not integrated with Google

This is a myth. The alternatives are designed to work seamlessly with other Google solutions and partner products.

I miss some reporting options

That is wrong. Each alternative has unique reporting capabilities, and some are highly flexible and allow for more transformations and data exports than Universal Analytics.

Universal Analytics makes it easier to run campaigns

This is the truth. There is deep integration with Google Analytics and Google Ads / Google Marketing Platform, which allows access to a comprehensive set of data.

I will lose my position in Google Search

This is a myth. Alternative customers do not report a lower ranking in Google Search. Make your site fast, mobile friendly, popular (with links) and complete metadata.

Where should I go from here?

As the importance of regulatory compliance grows, marketers should consider analysis platforms that offer a full range of privacy features.

Our purpose with Piwik PRO Analytics Suite has always been to provide customers with powerful analytics capabilities along with key privacy and security features.

Although we can’t tell you exactly which platform is right for your organization, we can help you with your research.

To learn more about Alternative Google Analytics or get more information about Piwik PRO Analytics Suite, visit piwik.pro.


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