Many businesses and startups alike immediately look at google analytics for the ability to track their users and gauge the success of their website. Often not being aware of alternatives such as Fathom Analytics
Realistically, the only thing we look at during this stage, is the number of users, location and devices to understand if our users are mobile or desktop first.
Unfortunately, google analytics captures a lot more than this from your website visitors and the sacrifices from a privacy perspective can jeopardise your brand.
Security and privacy is such an integral part of what we do at mappd that we switched over a more security and privacy focused solution – we thought it would also be an interesting topic to explore for others concerned about their analytics capabilities and have put together a comparison guide looking at both solutions and the pro’s and con’s
Why use privacy focused tools?
We are seeing more and more tools that are privacy focus and putting security first, however adoption for these services are still a minority.
We are advocates for using secure alternatives to day to day products and services as this supports our ethos of giving people control and visability over what happens with their data – more importantly we do not believe that people should be forced to sacrifice their privacy due to having no alternatives.
Here are some of the top reasons for using privacy friendly tools;
Not enough businesses understand that privacy and security gives you a competitive advantage. If a user has the option between two similar services but one promotes security, it is likely that it will be chosen.
It’s important now more than ever to make your security and privacy practices public to give users a reason to trust your brand.
Clean UI and customer experiences
Users do not like having cookie banners and preferences getting in the way of their experience, but we have to provide them in order to be compliant with various laws and regulations. If you don’t use any cookies, you don’t need to have the banners and can subsequently offer a better user experience.
Easier to manage
Less data stored, means less data to manage. There are a number of regulations which give requirements around how to manage and capture data correctly. Privacy focused tools often remove or reduce the amount of data captured which gives you lower overheads.
The reality is that a lot of tools had been created without consider privacy in the first place. If google started again with privacy in mind, they probably wouldn’t do it in the way they do.
Why do we use analytics tools?
Analytics tools are great for showing us information that we want to see – the key thing here is only seeing what you need to, unfortunately analytics in general tends to overwhelm you with excessive amounts of data that is’t really needed.
For our specific example, and something that applies to a lot of organisations, startups and bloggers, we want to keep track of how many people visit our website, which pages are most popular, device types and location.
It’s important to ensure that you are capturing data points for a reason, so we justify ours with the below;
Fathom Analytics vs Google Analytics, the comparison
Here are some comparison notes between Fathom and Google Analytics. in summary Google have a lot more features however for 90% of use cases they are rarely used and are outweighed by the clunky and complicated UI.
- Incredibly simple
- Clean UI and design
- Privacy friendly
- Open Source
- Self hosting options
- No cookies
- Unlimited websites
- Paid plans for hosted
- Complex features
- Lots of pages and difficult UI
- Intrusive and lack of privacy
- Closed source
- Stuck within Google Ecosystem
- Analytics cookies
- Unlimited websites
- Free at the cost of your data
Should I use Google Analytics in 2020?
We truly believe that 2020 and beyond will be the years where privacy and security becomes expected from users. As a result of this, not being transparent can have a significant impact on the trust of your brand and it’s never been so important to consider more private options.
In addition to this, technology stacks and services are becoming more complicated by the day and often suffer from feature bloat, making them difficult to optimise which affects your focus.
Private often means more simple, simplicity ties in with better experiences and better experiences ultimately mean better business.
It’s a no brainer? Start looking for privacy and security first products now to make the most of the benefits – share you’re favourites in the comments!
You can visit Fathom and take a look on their site for more details