Google analytics is a great free behavioural analysis tool that is perfectly suited to the needs of small and medium sized businesses, and is even used by some unicorn level companies.
However, Google analytics is not perfect and when you want to use GA data in depth, you will find many limitations.
- GA's API does not provide raw data at event level or hit level, only aggregated data; this can be solved by purchasing GA360 and bigquery solutions, but it costs at least $15w per year
- GA data has retention and sampling limits, as per rules: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/7667196?hl=zh-Hans
- Free means your data is used to train Google's ad serving
- dimension and metrics limits, probably API limits of 7 dimensions and 10 metrics
Overall, it means that you don't own the data collected by GA, you can only consume the reports. Sometimes we need to use behavioural data in depth, for example in scenarios such as the following.
- Customised reporting logic
- Integration with existing data platforms, such as taking behavioural data and using it for recommendation systems and search systems
- Developing a CRM system based on behavioural data, such as sending SMS messages to users who have clicked on a product.
I have recently been planning to develop an alternative to Google Analytics to try and solve the problems mentioned above.
The shape of the product is basically established, directly using the GA4 sdk and then configuring the transport_url to achieve the replacement, providing a simple visualisation + custom queries, or docking metabase yourself.
Open source and SaaS versions are available.
Compared to the advantages of local deployment, data is permanently stored in their own servers, do not need to be subject to the GA retention time and sampling rules, and provides the original data, GA, if you get the original data you need to use a paid service, GA360 such, $150k per year, and export to bigquery is also a paid service.
Advantages over other open source Google Analytics alternatives.
Research the existing open source products, such as plausible and umani, are more than 5k star open source projects; are only to provide the basic model of the function, these and GA than still very much worse; such as e-commerce analysis, custom events, multiple subsites, custom dimensions and metrics and other features are not provided.