Written by Lauren Gherardi
At this point, I’m sure you’re familiar with Google Analytics to some extent. It’s a free service that provides pretty much everything you need to know about your website’s users. You can even get data in real time. There are a few other highly rated free programs out there that offer some different features from Google analytics. To name a few, Clicky, Piwik, Open Web, but what are we really getting here? Allow me to explore some of the differences and similarities between these programs.
OPEN WEB ANALYTICS
To start off all of these programs have a free version that will do almost everything Google Analytics will do for you. Open Web Analytics is a software program you have to install on your computer. It does almost everything that Google Analytics does save a few a minor differences. With Open Web you can have unlimited data storage, you can track an unlimited amount of websites, you track where people click on your sites and access clickable heat maps.
These may all sound great from an agency standpoint, but do you see all of your clients wanting these ultra detailed features?
Piwik is another analytics software that you host on your own server. Ultimately you are in control of your own data and all your visitors’ info is safe under Piwik’s privacy features. That means that they won’t sell visitors’ info to a third party site. If you visit Piwik’s website you’ll see a whole list of features, that are honestly not much different from what you get in Google Analytics. Google Analytics definitely wins in ease of use and data clarity over Piwik. Many of the new features on the website are also only available in Piwik pro.
So why are we gonna pay for more features when we can get most of them for free?
Last but not least we have Clicky. Another very highly rated analytics program. They are probably the most detailed of all the analytics programs that offer a free version. This can be good and bad. Good for people with very high traffic sites that may want specifics (they track details about every visitor to your site). Bad for people who don’t understand what they are looking at when it comes to their site data. They have several different heat map settings. Even one where you can view the heat map on your actual site. Also, they don’t use flash so it’s easily accessible on mobile or tablet. This all sounds great, but again it comes down to thinking about what is important to our clients. Not everyone cares about this tremendous amount of detail.
Analytics programs as whole can offer mind-numbing amounts of graphs, percentages, and charts. After doing this research and writing up our monthly reports for our clients we realized one thing. These programs are great and each has a considerable amount of features in the free versions, but we still need something clean, simple, and straightforward. We wanted to take this information and make a more simplified version for our clients. They would still get all the relevant data that they need, it will just be in a very noncomplex format and will be easily accessible on mobile as well as desktop. This program will benefit all users. There will be a little more detail accessible to those who are interested and less for those who don’t need it. They can click through the app and be taken directly to the info they need. This is our solution to make everyone’s lives easier and give our clients exactly what they need at their fingertips.
Here are a couple of our style tiles for what we are working on for your viewing pleasure