What Is Digital Analytics?

Gordon Choi
Gordon Choi


More than 64% of all the websites in the world are currently using at least one web analytics tools. Of the websites that have any web analytics tools, more than 82% of them use Google Analytics. Reference:

    • http://w3techs.com/technologies/overview/traffic_analysis/all

Web Analytics & Mobile App Analytics

Analytics Tools include web analytics and mobile app analytics.

Web Analytics – Tracks websites’ data.

Mobile App Analytics – Tracks mobile apps’ data (including iOS apps, Android apps and sometimes more).

This is the Big List of 200+ analytics tools which are currently available in the world.

Web Analytics Examples:

      • Google Analytics (Global, Free & Paid) – https://www.google.com/analytics
      • Adobe Analytics (Global, Paid)
      • Piwik (Global, Open Source) – https://piwik.org
      • Open Web Analytics (Global, Open Source) – http://www.openwebanalytics.com/
      • Baidu Tongji (China, Free)
      • CNZZ Tongji (China, Free)
      • 99Click (China, Paid)
      • Growing IO (China, Paid)
      • Zhuge IO (China, Paid)

Mobile App Analytics Examples:

      • Google Analytics (Global, Free & Paid)
      • Piwik (Global, Open Source)
      • App Annie (Global, Paid)
      • AppsFlyer (Global, Paid)
      • Talking Data (China, Paid)
      • Umeng (China, Paid)

Analytics: Free, Paid, Open Source, Local & Global

Different analytics tools are different.

Free – Some analytics tools (e.g. Google Analytics) is free to use without any cost.

Paid – Some analytics tools (e.g. Adobe Analytics) must be paid to use. Some vendors have developed the paid analytics tools for commercial use, and provide services to businesses who use the paid analytics tools.

Open source – Some analytics tools (i.e. Piwik) were developed by an online community of developers. They have made the analytics tools and the source codes available for free. However to use it, you will have to do it all by yourself: Install the web analytics, setup the web servers (or cloud solutions), and create and backup the database.

Local (e.g. China) – Some analytics tools (e.g. Baidu Tongji) were developed and are suitable for some specific markets / countries.

Global – Some analytics tools (e.g. Google Analytics) are universal and suit all the markets in the world.

Analytics Tools

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the mostly used web analytics tool in the world.

      • Google Analytics provides both web analytics and mobile app analytics for free. It also has a paid version, Google Analytics Premium.
      • With web analytics, it tracks websites’ data through using a JavaScript-based tracking code be added to each web page.
      • With mobile app analytics, it tracks both iOS apps (with the iOS SDK) and And the Android SDK). SDKs must be implemented into the mobile apps.

When you are using the free version of Google Analytics for your website, your data are sent to and store in Google’s servers. This means you are not require to take care of the storage of your data. Google Analytics can process your data into reports very quickly (or in some cases quite immediately).

You have no control on how to store your data with the free version, so often you may get reports with sampled data. Having a large amount of sampled data in your reports can hinder the ability of your detailed data analysis.



Piwik is an open source analytics platform and is a free software. Piwik started as only a web analytics tool, but subsequently has also become a mobile analytics tool with SDKs available for iOS apps and Android apps.

The upside of Piwik is:

      • You will be able to store your website’s full data in the machine (or cloud solution) of your choice.

The downside of Piwik is:

      • You will have to do-it-yourself (DIY) when installing Piwik, setting up and backing up Piwik’s database, and setting up and managing the web server (and/or cloud solution) that is running your Piwik setup.

Open Web Analytics

Open Web Analytics (OWA) is another open source web analytics tool which is similar to Piwik.

Adobe Analytics

Adobe Analytics was originally Omniture Site Catalyst. It is a very powerful web analytics tool which has been developed for commercial use.

Complicated tracking setup is available for your websites from Adobe Analytics. The proper setup will definitely require the expertise of Adobe’s implementation engineers to take you through the design and implementation of the entire tracking solution process.

Baidu Tongji

Baidu Tongji is Chinese search engine Baidu’s version of web analytics tool. Baidu Tongji has made basic reports available which include your website’s sessions, page views, conversions (if you have it setup), etc. It lacks advanced features/reports such as advanced segmentation, custom reports, custom dimensions and metrics, calculated metrics, etc.

Baidu provides two versions of Baidu Tongji.

      • The first version is available only to Baidu’s advertisers who have paid search accounts. By default, Baidu’s paid search data has been made available in this version. If you’re a Baidu paid search advertiser, make sure youorrect version of Baidu Tongji account.
      • The second version is available to anyone who has registered Baidu Tongji through a typical Baidu account (which is free). No Baidu paid search data/report is available in this version.

The user interface of Baidu Tongji is only in Simplified Chinese language.

Next Chapters

Content on Gordon Choi’s Analytics Book is licensed under the CC Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 International license.

Gordon Choi’s Other Books:
The China Mobile SEO Book
Mobile Website Book

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