Piwik

Piwik is a software that can be used to perform web analyses. The web-based open source solution is an alternative to Google Analytics.

Functions of Piwik

Piwik is used to analyze websites. Site operators can use the service to find out how many users are using their sites. Typical evaluation options are for example:

  • Analysis of key user data (e. g. country of origin, operating system, browser used)
  • Number of page impressions
  • Unique Visits
  • Spent time on the website
  • Bounce rate
  • access times
  • returning visitors
  • most visited pages
  • Entrance and exit sides
  • External links
  • Referrer (direct access, search engines, website)
  • Keyword used

In this video, Piwik gives an introduction to their software and features.

Data protection

Piwik is used as an alternative to Google Analytics, because according to the Independent Centre for Data Protection Schleswig-Holstein, it fulfils the conditions to be classed as legally secure. Piwik's security is much higher because all visitor data is stored on a separate server. This means that only the site operator has control over what happens to the stored data.

To ensure that Piwik can be used in accordance with data protection regulations, three prerequisites must be met.

  • Anonymization: The IP addresses of visitors are to be anonymized before they are collected in order to prevent the stored data from being assigned directly to a specific person.
  • Opt-Out: Every user must be able to block data entry – they can download an opt-out cookie to their computer which prevents the data from being captured.
  • Privacy policy: In the privacy policy, the site operator must explain which data is collected by Piwik and how it is used. In addition, you can see how the opt-out works.

Advantages of Piwik

In addition to the improved data protection situation, Piwik offers further advantages:

  • Storage directly on your own server (no misuse by unauthorized third parties)
  • Clear and easy-to-learn user interface
  • Free availability
  • Automatic updates possible
  • Easy installation and integration
  • Assignment of visitors to an IP-based ID for tracking the development of individual behavior
  • Ability to bypass script blockers
  • Display of additional information about the analyses with the help of page overlays in order to be able to recognize correlations more quickly

Significance for online marketing

Piwik is becoming increasingly important as an alternative to Google Analytics. Already more than 1.8 million site operators rely on Piwik as a web analysis tool [1], and this is constantly increasing.

References

  1. Piwik Homepage. Piwik.org. Accessed on 05/29/2014.

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