The Piwik PRO Analytics Suite: A Compliance-Focused Alternative to Google Analytics That Users Can Host Anywhere

The Piwik Pro Analytics Suite

TL; DR: The Piwik PRO Analytics Suite delivers analytics, data activation, content personalization, and tag management tools that empower organizations to research and improve customer journeys. The product serves as an alternative to Google Analytics designed around compliance, security, and data privacy. Now, with the Piwik PRO Core plan, the company is offering a free product that gives everyone the ability to dive into the world of data analytics in a privacy-friendly way.

Big data may be the new gold, but it must be handled with extreme caution, particularly in data-sensitive industries like finance, healthcare, and the government sector.

Between Europe’s GDPR, California’s CCPA, and Brazil’s LGPD, privacy laws are popping up across the globe — and they will continue to emerge as governments seek to protect the sensitive personal information of citizens.

But while most of today’s web analytics platforms feature similar feature sets, they don’t share an equal commitment to data protection.

The Piwik PRO Analytics Suite stands out in that regard, helping users collect and process data requests and consents in line with user privacy rights worldwide.

Piotr Korzeniowski, COO, Piwik

Piotr Korzeniowski, COO, gave us an in-depth look at the Piwik PRO Analytics Suite, which can be hosted on-premises or in the cloud.

“We prioritize gathering user consent as the first step of the customer journey,” said Piotr Korzeniowski, COO at Piwik PRO. “When you put consent first and use compliance-centric tools, you gain the trust of the end user. After you receive consent, everything falls into place. You’re able to onboard crucial information for your business that can ultimately make your website or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product more seamless.”

Users can host the solution on-premises, in hybrid environments, or in the cloud while adhering to strict privacy, security, and data ownership regulations. Enterprises can also tailor their analytics, tag management, content personalization, and data activation tools to suit individual needs.

At the end of the day, Piwik PRO empowers users to prioritize the customer experience all the way from trusted, permission-based data collection to data-driven product improvements.

From Open-Source Support to an Enterprise-Grade Proprietary Platform

Piwik PRO was founded in September 2013 amid an established web analytics market. Google acquired the web statistics program provider Urchin Software Corp. in April 2005, forming Google Analytics. In a similar move, Adobe acquired Omniture, an online marketing and web analytics business, in 2009.

“By the time we launched Piwik PRO, the market for web analytics was quite mature in that the biggest companies in the space were already present,” Piotr said. “You could say that we were a little bit late to the party, but I think it turned out for the best.”

Piwik PRO’s founders started the company based on Piwik, an open-source solution for real-time analytics.

“Piwik was launched in 2007, and one of our founders was an early contributor to that project,” Piotr said. “By 2014, the open-source project was installed on more than 1 million websites worldwide, mainly in Europe and Germany. There were so many support inquiries that the team needed to create a revenue stream around maintenance and support services.”

With that, Piwik PRO was born. By 2017, however, the company’s developers were itching to refactor the legacy platform and build something of their own. The result, the proprietary Piwik PRO Analytics Suite, is now the company’s primary offering.

“We were able to migrate almost all of our customers from the open-source project to our proprietary platform,” Piotr said. “We retained backward compatibility with the open-source tool to migrate the data and then transformed into a software vendor rather than a service company.”

Designed Around Compliance, Security Policies, and Privacy Regulations

The Piwik PRO team has evolved its analytics suite over the years to maintain competitiveness amid changing regulations and trends.

One of those trends revolves around third-party data. Faced with increased privacy regulations and concerns over large-scale data breaches, companies like Apple and Google have begun to restrict the use of third-party cookies. These cookies are placed on a website by someone who does not own the site, such as an advertiser or social media company, in an attempt to collect user data.

This invasive technique’s downfall has forced marketers to rely on first-party data, or information gathered directly from users or audiences. And harnessing scalable, regulation-friendly first-party data is what Piwik PRO does best.

“We go with the flow of the trends we see in terms of data ownership and gathering first-party data,” Piotr said. “We focus on building features that abide by the privacy laws around data collection, storage, and processing arising in different regions across the world. This helps because the majority of the solutions on the market don’t help with being compliant with those laws.”

The Piwik PRO team also keeps interoperability in mind. The aim is to ensure the analytics suite works in sync with other systems and software stacks so users can effectively achieve their goals — whether the focus is delivery of healthcare, financial services, or any other use case.

“The interoperability of the platform helps us a lot, as does the ability to host the platform anywhere,” Piotr said. “For instance, many of Google’s datacenters are in the U.S. From a European perspective, this is sometimes a no-go, especially if you deal with sensitive information. That’s why we give our customers the flexibility to host on their own servers, on bare metal, or in the cloud region of choice.”

Piwik PRO Core: A Free, Trust-Building Analytics Suite

The Piwik PRO team recently expanded access to its analytics suite with Piwik PRO Core, a plan designed to democratize the ability to create ambitious, trustworthy analytics projects. After growing the company in the open-source space, offering free public signups for the platform is a way that the Piwik PRO team can give back to the community.

The free version of Piwik PRO Analytics Suite, available for early access via a waiting list, was created for users with any level of analytics experience. The plan includes the Consent Manager, integrated with the Analytics and Tag Manager modules, ensuring that data collection and sharing can only occur with proper consent.

Piwik PRO Core

Piwik PRO Core gives users free access to an analytics suite focused on user consent.

The company will continue selling its full-fledged Piwik PRO Enterprise plan, which provides enhanced support, increased data retention periods, and the choice between cloud and on-premises hosting. SharePoint analytics integration, single sign-on (SSO), and white labeling are available via the Enterprise plan only.

In addition, the Core plan includes three out of four available Piwik PRO Analytics Suite modules — Analytics, Tag Manager, and Consent Manager — while the Enterprise plan also includes a Customer Data Platform module.

“The Customer Data Platform module will be something that we will leave for ourselves as an upsell opportunity down the road, but rest assured everything else will remain free,” Piotr said. “We don’t want to monetize this data, and we don’t have any advertiser behind us that would like to pop in or to hold that information to help advertisers. We just wanted to provide a free, compliant alternative to this Google-driven web analytics world.”

Upcoming Priorities: Interoperability and Security

In addition to a continued focus on Piwik PRO Core, Piotr said the company is looking to expand its helpful integrations with software stacks in the healthcare and financial services industries.

“We want to help them integrate everything in one place in a compliant manner,” he said. “We want to make it easy to analyze data from different sources and make it available throughout the client’s stack via two-interoperability.”

Of course, the company will continue focusing on security and reliability.

“Those are our core offerings, so we don’t want to drop the ball — they will always be the top priority,” Piotr said.