Angelfish Blog

Articles and News About Digital Analytics

Google Analytics + Angelfish = Data Privacy

It’s no surprise that Google Analytics is used by a staggering number of websites around the world. Google Analytics has lots of advanced reports, looks great, and it’s free. But for all the features Google Analytics has, it doesn’t give a complete snapshot of website activity.

There are a few reasons for this:

  • Terms of Service (ToS): The Google Analytics ToS states that Personally Identifiable Information (PII) cannot be stored in Google Analytics. This includes IP Addresses, usernames, customer information, or anything that can be used to identify an end user.
  • Data Sampling: Free Google Analytics accounts have data collection and reporting thresholds. Busy websites frequently exceed this threshold – have you ever seen the “this report is based on X% of visits” message in Google Analytics?
  • Tracking Method: Google Analytics relies on JavaScript to track visitors. If the Javascript file doesn’t load or the tracking request is blocked, visitor activity won’t show up in Google Analytics.

There’s also a lot of great information that Google Analytics doesn’t show you, like direct file downloads, stolen bandwidth, and full visitor clickpaths.

The best way to overcome these limitations is to use another web analytics product in addition to Google Analytics. Prior to 2013, organizations would use Urchin Software with Google Analytics to get a full snapshot of site activity. Now that Urchin has been canceled, we recommend using Angelfish Software for this same solution.

Angelfish is a web analytics software application – you install it on a server, in a private cloud, or on your desktop. Angelfish ensures data privacy because data doesn’t leave your network without your approval. Angelfish will also process the tracking request made by Google Analytics!

Angelfish will show you things that Google Analytics doesn’t show you, like:

  • IP Addresses
  • New mobile devices
  • Hidden visitors
  • Stolen bandwidth
  • Direct file downloads
  • Crawler traffic
  • Site and page errors
  • Full visitor clickpaths
  • Individual visitor information

Many organizations use Angelfish Software to enhance the data provided by Google Analytics. Angelfish provides full data privacy and shows IP addresses, usernames, site errors, stolen bandwidth, and much more.