Back to blog

Compare 5 leading product analytics platforms

Analytics Comparisons

Written by ,

Published August 21, 2018 · Updated June 30, 2021

Compare 5 leading product analytics platforms

As digital products become more and more present in our lives, our expectations of them rise. We don’t have time for an mobile or web app that is hard to use or doesn’t fulfill an important function in our work or leisure time. This means that anybody designing digital products needs to work even harder to get their product right. This requires data.

Product developers need aggregated and user-level data about behavior and conversions to assure a good user experience. To get that data, they either need to write their own program to collect data and choose one of the many platforms available.

If you are looking for such a platform, then you’re in the right place. While we can’t tell you exactly what platform is right for your organization, we can hopefully help with your research.

In this comparison, we summarize the main features of five product analytics platforms: Mixpanel, Amplitude, Heap, Kissmetrics and Piwik PRO. Let’s jump in.

Ready to download the full version of our comparison? Download the PDF here –>

Why product analytics?

Product analytics data is not everything. It may not even be the most important factor shaping your product’s development. It’s just one part of a larger user feedback ecosystem.

Sam Tardif

Product Manager at Atlassian

[…] it’s great to be data-informed, but being entirely data-driven can sometimes leave you blind to the overall experience that you’re creating for users

That said, several studies indicate that the use of customer analytics can be a decisive factor in the success of an organization.

In a recent survey by McKinsey, they found that:

Companies that make extensive use of customer analytics are more likely to report outperforming their competitors on key performance metrics, whether profit, sales, sales growth, or return on investment.

It turns out the benefits are not only due to the data itself, but also to the effects of a data-driven mindset. What’s even better, McKinsey found that speed and agility of data-driven decision making weren’t the biggest factors. It’s more about the culture.

It becomes apparent that having pragmatic and actionable foundations with the right cultural mind-set in place within the organization is more important than the perfect solution.

So don’t worry about building up the perfect set of analysis capabilities right away. Know you’re heading in the right direction and start putting the right pieces in place.

Your choice of a product analytics platform is important. It will serve as the nerve center for data collection and analysis so it needs to be the right fit for your organization.

The impact of customer analytics on corporate performance is significant—and clearly underestimated.
McKinsey&Company

Need a refresher on the basics of product analytics? Read our article: Product Analytics 101: A Beginner’s Guide

Product analytics and data privacy regulations

Data privacy concerns used to be only for sectors dealing with the most sensitive data, such as healthcare and finance. Recent regulations such as the GDPR in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act have brought these concerns to a wider audience. Health, finance and government sectors still have the most to worry about, but organizations of all kinds now need to consider their approach to personal data.

If you want more information about data privacy regulations, read out article 10 new privacy laws around the world and how they’ll affect your analytics.

It’s a good bet that data privacy regulations are coming to a lawmaking body near you, even if they haven’t yet. Surveys show that citizens everywhere want control of how their personal data is collected and used.

The recently passed California Consumer Privacy Act, to come into force in 2020, is a good example of a new consensus on basic data privacy principles. We’ll have to wait to see the final shape these laws take, but the takeaway should be clear – pay attention to data privacy.

You don’t want to build a productive data-driven organization only to find out your data needs to be thrown away because of how it was collected.

8 questions to ask about your next product analytics project

Here are some questions we ask ourselves at Piwik PRO about product development and analytics.

As both a product developer and user of analytics, we return to these questions regularly with the aim to better serve our clients and improve our internal data analytics culture. We hope they’ll be useful to you too.

  • Are you looking just for a product analytics platform, or an general analytics platform with product analytics capabilities?
  • What kind of connections do you need with external tools?
  • Do you need access to raw data?
  • How tightly do you need to control data collection and storage methods?
  • What processes do you currently have in place for analytics (product or otherwise)?
  • What are your requirements for support and training?
  • What features do you need to comply with internal and external data regulations?
read also
read also

See which platform will best meet your needs with our comparison of five leading product analytics platforms

The 5 product analytics platforms

Here’s a short introduction to each product analytics platform we chose to include in our comparison:

Piwik PRO

Piwik PRO emphasizes adherence to the strictest privacy standards on both sides of the Atlantic. Incorporated in 2013, Piwik PRO is a portfolio company of custom AdTech software house Clearcode.

Heap

Heap is a web analytics platform built to capture user actions and provide visualization tools to track trends over time. Heap was founded in 2013 and is located in San Francisco, United States.

Amplitude

Amplitude is a product analytics platform launched in 2014 created to help companies assess and optimize their product development strategies. Among Amplitudes’ customers there is Microsoft, PayPal, Hubspot and Twitter.

Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics is a customer analytics platform based in San Francisco, United States. Kissmetrics aims to help companies get, keep and grow more customers with its customer engagement automation.

Mixpanel

Mixpanel is a business analytics service company founded in 2009 and based in San Francisco, United States specializing in working with web applications (in particular SaaS), but also supporting mobile apps. Mixpanel has almost 20,000 customers worldwide.

Author

David Street

Writer, marketer and data+stats specialist with a left and a right brain | LinkedIn profile

See more posts by this author

Author

Julian Jeliński

See more posts by this author

Core – a new plan for Piwik PRO Analytics Suite

Privacy-compliant analytics, built-in consent management and EU hosting. For free.

Sign up for free

New Call-to-action