The GPAT scholarship increased from 2019

A major goal of ACONA is to make content-based data analyzes independent of the data source. Why? If you can also use your own solutions or open source products as a data source, you are independent of third-party providers and still receive intelligent "insights" for optimizing the content or the website.

This is of particular relevance after the ECJ has declared the Privacy Shield to be invalid ("#SchremsII") and data exchange with providers from the USA such as Google and Facebook is problematic in many cases.

In addition, there is a problem with data completeness, especially since browsers are increasingly placing data protection in the foreground and rightly so, and ad blockers are being used more and more. We sometimes see with our customers that up to 30% of the conversions do not even show up in the tracking. And should an opt-in be necessary, which should usually be the case as soon as cookies with personal data are set, you can expect that the data will only contain a fraction of the traffic.

If ACONA is used with its own data source, you have full data sovereignty, receive greater legal security and, in normal cases, also increase the data quality.

But what alternative data sources are there now?

Matomo, operated by itself or via a host in Europe

Matomo (formerly Piwik) is the best known open source alternative to Google Analytics: https://matomo.org/. You can install the software on your own server without any problems, which means that in this case no external data processor can access the visitor data and a data processing contract is no longer necessary. However, there are also providers who host Matomo.

If Matomo is configured accordingly (tracking without cookies, anonymization of IPs, no storage of personal data, ...), the mandatory opt-in should also be omitted: https://matomo.org/faq/new-to-piwik/ how-do-i-use-matomo-analytics-without-consent-or-cookie-banner / That would of course be a big advantage compared to conventional solutions. However, there are also opinions that due to the additional "device fingerprinting" an opt-in is still necessary.

Matomo with server logs as a data source

Matomo can also be operated in such a way that the data can be read directly from the server log. In this case, an opt-in is certainly no longer relevant. Instructions are available here: https://matomo.org/docs/log-analytics-tool-how-to/

This has the disadvantage that visitor identification beyond individual devices and browsers is not possible and certain key figures such as "Returning Visitor" can no longer be meaningfully evaluated. On the other hand, you really have all access to the system, regardless of browser settings, opt-ins / opt-outs or ad blockers. The data should also be sufficient for basic evaluations.

Server-side tools and CMS plugins

For example https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-statistics/

Open source tools to evaluate server logs are also the well-known awstats or https://goaccess.io/

More open source alternatives to Google Analytics

Further open source alternatives to Google Analytics are https://www.goatcounter.com/ or https://www.offen.dev/. Offen.dev in particular sounds very interesting, as the data is stored here in encrypted form.

For ACONA, we are working on a data import for Matomo in a first step. However, the system will be designed in such a way that further data sources can be integrated at any time if the appropriate interfaces are available.

Do you have any other examples that should be mentioned here? Let us know and leave us a comment.

This blog post was also published here.