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Cover image for Stop donating your customers' data to Google Analytics

Stop donating your customers' data to Google Analytics

goatandsheep profile image Kemal Ahmed ・2 min read

In 2020, with better alternatives available, using Google Analytics (GA) to track your web usage is nothing short of donating data to a multinational corporation. Aside from only letting you sample 25% of your traffic, GA is a free ticket for them to sell your customers' data to their advertising partners.

Compared to AWS Pinpoint, which is even HIPAA compliant, GA works by asking you to add a tracker to your website that cross examines your customers' habits across all the websites they use to find out everything about them.

And if you think that's okay, you should take your head out of the sand because consumers are demanding it. Please tell me how many of your users like the large cookie agreement popups that they have to dismiss...I-I mean read and accept just to consume your content. Agreements that you're forced to have them agree to because you're using cookie-based trackers like GA.

Tracker blockers are increasing in popularity so consumers can protect themselves against this tracking, reducing the effectiveness of your analytics.

Even if you want to be selling your customers' data, data is the new oil and GA is Deepwater Horizon. As in raking it in, but also about to catch fire and sink. Tools like Pinpoint on the other hand keep the data in your closed system and even allows you to attach more extensive analytics like Kinesis. To train machine learning models on data you've collected would require you to create pipelines between data centres. It's a single click:

Alt Text

Currently, AWS Pinpoint requires you to import Amplify to your project. If you're looking for a tracking-tag solution like for Google Analytics, it's now that simple:

<script
    data-id-pool="us-east-1:abcd1234-abcd-1234-5678-abcd12345678"
    data-pinpoint-id="1234abcd5678abcd7890abcd1234"
    id="aws-web-analytics"
    src="https://goatandsheep.github.io/aws-web-analytics/dist/aws-web-analytics.js"
    type="text/javascript"
></script>

This is thanks to an analytics package I built that uses Amplify to connect to AWS Pinpoint. If you're interested in contributing, please visit the project repo.

Discussion

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animalgonzales profile image
anthony gonzales ❄️

lol stop using GA and use AWS

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mmcc profile image
Matt McClure

Thanks for the writeup! For the commenters that are also concerned about AWS, there's always Fathom. It's open source if folks want to run it themselves, but there's also a reasonably price hosted version.

Definitely not as flexible as the AWS Pinpoint strategy, but it's a nice middleground for folks that want some basic traffic analytics without GA.

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garrett profile image
Garrett

Self hosted is the only way I would go with something like this.

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nicewaytodoit profile image
Aleksandar Ristevski

So, what is the point of this post exactly "Stop giving data to Google" and start "giving data to Amazon"?!

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genster profile image
Ryan Cole

The difference is huge. Aws does not siphon off customer data. Google's entire biz is built on doing just that. GA is free because your data gets sold off to advertisers. Aws is paid because it's an actual service for YOU.

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crazypython profile image
James

I would use an alternative service. I help run a popular ad-based MMO game, and all the current solutions would eat too much into margins.

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mindfulshadow profile image
choobie™

Another good option IMO is Matomo, which allows you to self-host and maintain control of the data

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lukewrites profile image
Luke Petschauer

I use clicky and think it's pretty good. It's got a reasonable privacy policy for users.