Open source vs proprietary analytics solution

30 July 2020

Digital analytics, born in the mid-’90s has been an indispensable online marketing requisite to understand users’ behavior, optimize content and budget spend and provide actionable insights. Today’s digital analytics platforms are tracking all sorts of data being grouped into four major categories, including metrics, events, logs, and traces, or M.E.L.T for short.

The abundance of trackable data, the amount of storage required to collect it and the high demand for the processing power gave rise to the blooming SaaS digital analytics companies which over time gained more popularity due to the variety of solutions they offered. However, such services inherit major drawbacks such as loss of data ownership and access to raw data as well as compromised data resolution, in some cases.

The emergence of inexpensive cloud platforms and democratization of cloud computing, along with strict GDPR compliance enforcement has been determining incentives to look for novel digital analytics solutions such as open-source analytics. Data ownership, facile GDPR compliance, personal data insight, raw data processing are the prominent advantages of open-source solutions. As the possessor of the raw data, the users decide what metrics they need and how much resources they invest, which can be as much as a few hundred dollars per month; far less than any proprietary digital analytics software.

Migration to open-source is the right choice if:

  • It is important to remain in control of the processing pipeline as the first party.
  • Consolidation with other data sources such as CRM is of a certain value.
  • Deep degree of raw data manipulation is required.
  • Real-time data processing and storage plays a role.
  • Customized database schema is of preference.
  • The balance between traffic, infrastructure and cost need to be maintained.
  • Analytics SDKs in different programming languages is useful.
  • No time, storage or resolution limitation is acceptable.
  • Unified personal data across devices, platforms, sessions and locations is crucial.

Proprietary solutions such as Google analytics and Adobe analytics will continue to live as they remain the best choice for a large part of the users who seek a plug and play service with low need for maintenance. however the unparalleled flexibility that open-source digital analytics offers make it’s thriving inevitable.

Back to top