The internet age has spawned the necessity for businesses to adopt various forms of analytics to remain competitive. One of the leading analytics solutions from Google Analytics is in the midst of a major shift – from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4. While this may look like a straightforward change, there are some considerations and impacts that data privacy savvy customers need to be aware of before making the switch. As an alternative option you still have Matomo.
Since its inception, Google Analytics has been using Universal Analytics as its backbone. However, as with all technology, it is always evolving to be more advanced and better suited for the needs of the data-driven world. Google has recognized this and is transitioning from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4.
The primary advantage of using Google Analytics 4 over Universal Analytics is that it is able to collect much more granular data. Specifically, data from events on an app or website can be collected for individual user activity. Additionally, Google Analytics 4 enables multi-device analysis, allowing businesses to better understand the complete journey of a user on any device.
Though Google Analytics 4 provides more data and the ability to provide customers with more targeted marketing, it also comes with some potential privacy risks. Since GA4 collects data from every action on a website, it is possible for Google to track individuals and use this data in their own algorithms to better target ads. This raises some privacy concerns due to Google’s data collection policies.
For data privacy savvy customers, an alternative is to switch to an open-source analytics solution such as Matomo. With Matomo, you can maintain complete control of your data and keep it securely stored on your own servers. As a result, there is no risk of the data being used by third-parties or for nefarious means. Additionally, Matomo provides access to data on individual users and actions on the website.
Features of Matomo Analytics include:
• Custom Reports: This allows you to create your own reports to better analyze user trends and make more informed decisions.
• Real-Time Reports: This feature gives you the ability to monitor user activity in real-time so you can quickly respond to any potential issues.
• Low Resource Requirement: Compared to other analytics solutions, Matomo requires very little server resources which helps keep your costs down.
• E-commerce Tracking: Matomo gives you the ability to track the performance of your e-commerce website down to the individual user.
• Built-in Security: Matomo data is securely stored and can only be accessed by authorized users.
When it comes to making the switch to Google Analytics 4, data privacy savvy customers can consider Matomo as a viable alternative. While it does not offer the same data granularity and analysis capabilities as Google Analytics 4, it does provide much needed peace of mind by enabling full control of your data.