To begin our discussion on Snowplow Analytics and its alternatives, it's crucial first to understand the concept of product analytics and its functioning.
Product analytics involves collecting and analyzing user data to understand how they engage with a product. This enables businesses to track, visualize, and analyze user behavior to make informed decisions.
Snowplow is a popular analytics tool, but it has its drawbacks. In this article, we'll dive into Snowplow and showcase a few alternatives that might suit you better.
- What is Snowplow used for?
- Snowplow Pricing
- Snowplow Alternatives
- Things to Look For in an Analytics Tool
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is Snowplow used for?
A product analytics platform called Snowplow helps companies in gathering and monitoring customer data. The software thoroughly explains how clients engage with your product, from the initial contact point to the last transaction.
For example, you can record user behaviors and occurrences on your website or app. You can use this information to understand how customers use your products and help make decisions to enhance the customer experience.
There is an self-hosted option to build and manage your own infra. Paid plans start from $800/month. In this plan you are limited to 80M events. If you need more you must contact the Snowplow staff for the Enterprise plan.
Businesses that want a reliable event data-collecting platform can use Snowplow, but its huge cost can be a significant barrier.
The complexity of Snowplow is yet another significant flaw. Setting it up and configuring it needs technical know-how, which can be challenging for companies without a dedicated engineering team. Hence you might want to check out some alternatives.
Simple Analytics is a robust and user-friendly product analytics alternative to Snowplow. It is a straightforward and affordable analytics tool that prioritizes user privacy, but still has most features in place.
Now let's review a few benefits of using Simple Analytics over Snowplow.
Pros of using Simple Analytics
- Simplified UI - Using tools that are easy to navigate around is always preferred over complex ones. Simple Analytics offers a straightforward user interface that makes analysis easier. Working with it is, therefore, a smooth activity.
- Affordable Pricing- Simple Analytics is exceptionally cost-effective. They offer both product and web analytics tools at a reasonable price. They have plans starting at $9/month. It packs the tools and features from the most expensive tools for a friendly price.
- Automated Event Collection- Another feature that makes Simple Analytics stand out in its product category is automated event collection. While you must manually set additional tags for other tools, Simple Analytics does the job for you. Once you link it to your website, it lets you track the metrics of all action buttons just by hovering over them.
- Mini Websites- As a business with an online presence, you often get featured in the conversation of your users. You might get a mention on Twitter or a feature on a website. While most tools let you know where you got a mention, they don’t deliver the specifics. Simple Analytics stands out here. It gives you the specifics of your feature and helps you track it through a mini website.
Cons of using Simple Analytics
The user interface of Simple Analytics is made to look simple and easy to understand so everyone, be it the founder or marketing teams, can use it easily. A Product Manager may need a few more screens, but that is something that can be quickly built with goals.
Pricing of Simple Analytics
Simple Analytics is one of the most cost-efficient tools available in its segment. The product is perfect for businesses. It caters to companies and has plans for individuals and businesses. Therefore it ensures that the best features are available at a very reasonable price.
The pricing of Simple Analytics starts at a low $9/month, making it a pocket-friendly tool for businesses of all sizes.
Pendo is a product analytics tool that enables product managers to proactively engage with customers and understand how their product is being used. Also, yes, tools like Pendo are better to be used by a PM and not the best choice for solopreneurs or small teams.
It also has many features that help you provide personalized user onboarding and in-app training, which is an added feature of Pendo. Furthermore, these features are available on mobile too
- Provides additional features such as an onboarding tool for SaaS
- Provides detailed product analytics
- Too many features make the UI cluttered
- Expensive tool
Pendo is a software targeted towards enterprises, which also shows up in its pricing. You’ll have to pay $7000/year for up to 2000 monthly active users.
It’s indeed pricey and certainly not recommended if you are just starting. Better to stick to something affordable and simple.
Mixpanel is one of the most popular product analytics tools out there and is used by companies like Netflix and CNN. The founders of Mixpanel believed that metrics like registered users, page views, and app downloads were just vanity metrics and could have been easily inflated. Mixpanel was built to solve this by providing absolute product clarity with their metrics.
It offers many ways to customize for the unique needs of businesses from different industries. With its customizable dashboard, Mixpanel allows its users a lot of room to keep track of their numbers.
- Provides in-depth product analytics
- Custom dashboards and charts can be created
- Using it is hard without dedicated product knowledge
- Expensive for most businesses if all features need to be unlocked
Mixpanel offers a variety of pricing plans to suit different business needs, with options for startups, small businesses, and enterprises. Prices start at $20/month for the Growth plan, which includes unlimited reports and data pipeline add-ons. The Enterprise plan starts at a heavy $833/ month and includes advanced machine learning and predictive analytics features.
Heap is a product analytics tool with features like session replay, heatmap, and user journey. Its primary role is to be the single source of truth for all product-related metrics.
Anyone using Heap can customize it as per their requirements, as it allows users to create custom dashboards and charts. Heap is widely used in the industry for funnel optimization and to improve product adoption.
- Provides data enrichment
- Provides in-depth product analytics
- Can get overwhelming
- Expensive tool to use
Heap is an enterprise-grade software tool with three paid plans, Growth, Pro, and Premier. The pricing isn’t publicly available on their website. However, some review sites say it starts at $3,600/year for 300K sessions/year (25K sessions/month).
Do note that the starting pricing doesn't contain all the features that Heap offers; you’d have to upgrade to a higher plan.
Things to Look For in an Analytics Tool
Selecting a tool for product analytics is a crucial decision. You might ask what could possibly go wrong when choosing one, yet you can miss out on a lot. Therefore, be sure to go through this checklist before making a choice. You're good to go if the tool provides these:
- Ease of Use: Regardless of your chosen product, it must be simple to use. You shouldn’t spend your precious time on a complex web analytics tool that takes time and experience to get familiar with.
- Accuracy: Getting an accurate picture of what’s happening on your website is important. Inaccurate data might lead to misjudged decisions that impact your business.
- Straightforward UI: Most of the time, you don’t need 75 custom dashboards (looking at you, Google). A straightforward overview of what’s happening on your website will give you the insights you need instantly. Look for a tool that gives you the insights you need without too many distracting bells and whistles.
- Lightweight: Your website is your storefront on the internet. Providing the best possible experience to your visitors matters. Installing an analytics script has an impact on your page speed. Choose an analytics tool that doesn’t slow your website down. This not only affects your visitors’ experience. Google will notice this as well.
- Privacy: The world is moving in a direction where privacy is becoming increasingly important. Google Analytics has been declared illegal in multiple EU countries. You don’t want to get caught up in this mess. Take privacy or compliance with regulation into account.
- Integration: To get a complete picture of your business, the tool should be able to integrate with other devices you use, such as your CRM or dashboarding tools.
- Pricing: Consider the tool's pricing and ensure it aligns with your budget. Take advantage of some companies' free trials or basic versions to ensure the product suits your needs before committing to a paying plan.
Although this checklist can assist you in getting started, there may be other factors for your organization that you need to consider.
Feel free to try Simple Analytics if you want a tool that checks these boxes. It provides the insights you need in a straightforward dashboard while being 100% GDPR compliant.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Snowplow Analytics do?
Snowplow Analytics is a robust platform that tracks and analyzes user interactions across digital channels. It allows businesses to learn important lessons, track progress, and improve their digital products and marketing tactics.
How does the Snowplow work?
Snowplow gathers data from various sources, including websites, mobile apps, and server-side events, and processes it. It enables interaction with multiple data sources, real-time data processing, and customizable event tracking, allowing businesses to understand user behavior and make data-driven decisions thoroughly.
Can Google Analytics be replaced by Snowplow?
Snowplow can be a good substitute for Google Analytics for companies looking for more customization and flexibility over their data and analytics stack.
What can I use Simple Analytics for?
Simple Analytics is a privacy-friendly Google Analytics alternative that gives you the insights you need without collecting personal data. If you care about the privacy of your users and want an intuitive dashboard with the most important website insights, Simple Analytics might be the tool you are looking for.