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Piwik PRO vs. Matomo (Piwik): The most important differences explained [Updated]

Analytics Comparisons

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Published July 12, 2019 · Updated April 3, 2020

Piwik PRO vs. Matomo (Piwik): The most important differences explained [Updated]

Table of contents

This blog post was originally published on January 29, 2019 and first updated on July 12, 2019.

Piwik PRO and Matomo (formerly Piwik) have a shared history. Some of our employees contributed code for the open-source Piwik project. Early on Piwik PRO provided enterprise-level support and premium features on top of those open source foundations. However, in 2016 our paths diverged. We’re now two separate organizations, each with its own plans and guiding principles.

We realize that although for us this seems obvious, it might not be from an outsider’s perspective.

That’s why with this article, we’d like to explain as much as possible regarding the differences between us and Matomo (formerly Piwik) – both as companies and as products.

Piwik PRO vs. Matomo (Piwik): Differences between companies

Piwik PRO was established in 2013 and since then it has been providing an enterprise-level platform along with support for corporate clients and government organizations. The company has 100+ employees across multiple teams based in the EU and US, dedicated to customer success, technical support, product development, marketing and sales.

Piwik PRO is a sister company of Clearcode – a leader in the development of MarTech and AdTech software. 

Matomo (founded in 2007), on the other hand, is an open-source project. It was formerly known as “Piwik” until January 2018 when it rebranded. See our official blog post explaining what the name change means for Piwik PRO.

The team consists of a dozen part-time contributors and an even smaller core team working on the product development. The same people who stand behind it are also the founders of InnoCraft – a consultancy providing premium plugins and services for Matomo as well as a cloud service for the hosted version of the software. InnoCraft has approximately nine team members (according to LinkedIn), mostly based in New Zealand. Last year, both businesses were merged into one and now appear under the same name (Matomo).

Piwik PRO uses a fork of Piwik open-source software (similarly to RedHat using the Linux kernel and multiple open-source tools), however we currently seamlessly integrate a part of open-source Piwik in our proprietary platform via APIs. Moreover, Piwik PRO controls all the changes to the code used in its Analytics Suite and since 2016 has been maintaining and developing its own fork of “Piwik” alongside the proprietary modules of Analytics Suite.

Important note! From March 2020 until mid-2021, we’ll be in the process of disabling the Piwik API for all our clients and replacing it with our new Analytics API. Here you’ll find more details.

Here you can find more information about companies:

Matomo Community Matomo Cloud Piwik PRO
Legal entity no legal entity (community) InnoCraft Limited(New Zealand) Piwik PRO Sp. z o.o. (Poland)
Piwik PRO GmbH (Germany)
Piwik PRO LLC (New York, US)
Local company presence ✖️ unknown Poland, Germany, Netherlands, United States
Full-time staff ✖️ <10 100+
Official partners ✖️ ✖️ Microsoft, EY, agencies & system integrators around the globe

Get in touch with us and let us walk you through all the functionalities of Piwik PRO

Request a demo

Piwik PRO vs. Matomo (Piwik): Differences between products

In our opinion, differences in the size and scale of activities of Matomo and Piwik PRO translate directly into their target groups and characteristics. 

The first important difference is the number of products provided by each company. 

With Piwik PRO, you’ll get a fully-integrated Analytics Suite, consisting of four products:

The modules can be purchased separately or in a set. This means that Piwik PRO Analytics Suite offers wide possibilities for collecting and activating data. In addition to standard analytics, it can also:

  • perform data integration across marketing, sales and customer success tools and platforms
  • create a single customer view
  • map the customer journey
  • create detailed audiences
  • activate collected data through on-site retargeting and paid campaigns

All features allow you to act in line with privacy rules, data protection regulations (including GDPR, CCPA and HIPAA) and internal data security policies.

Matomo is an analytics and tag management system.

Standard analytics features

Differences in the tools’ target groups can be also seen in the case of standard analytics features. While both platforms allow users to operate on unsampled data, Piwik PRO lets their high-traffic clients employ data sampling on request. This means that even clients whose websites experience over a billion actions per month can enjoy fast and smooth access to analytics data.

Other product characteristics worth mentioning in this context are:

  • Availability of a unique visitor metric. In Matomo you can use it only for selected reports and for websites with low traffic. Also, the metric can’t be applied to custom date ranges.
  • Number of custom dimensions. In the case of Matomo Community, there are 5 by default and more if you manually extend the schema database. In Matomo Cloud, the upper limit is 15. At the same time, with Piwik PRO you get 25 custom dimensions and a dedicated customer success manager who will help you set up additional ones.
  • Number of websites – unlimited in Piwik PRO and Matomo Community, but Matomo Cloud is restricted to 30.
  • Number of segments – Matomo Community allows its users to create any number of segments, but each of them has to be precalculated. That impacts the speed of report creation. Matomo Cloud’s limit is 100 segments, while Piwik PRO offers unlimited segments paired with a fast backend (we tackle this issue in the next section).

Here’s a brief summary of this section:

Matomo Community Matomo Cloud Piwik PRO
No data sampling by default
Data sampling by request (allowing to process 1 billion+ hits per month) ✖️ ✖️
Custom dimensions 5 for each scope by default, more on request 15 for each scope 25 for each scope by default, more on request
Website performance metrics 1 1 8
Single page application (SPA) tracking
Unique visitor metric available for different reports and time ranges ★☆☆ ✖️ ★★★
Number of websites unlimited 30 unlimited
Number of segments unlimited 100 unlimited
Access to raw data
Data visualization tools (ie. Tableau, Power BI, BigQuery) ✖️ ✖️

Performance & reliability

Now, let’s address the performance and reliability of each platform.

Piwik PRO’s backend is now powered by ClickHouse, a column-oriented database management system, which can generate reports in real-time and instantly process each query. Equipped with a new engine, the module:

  • significantly reduced pre-computing time needed to process data (you can read about it here)
  • made our analytics more scalable and efficient (in particular being capable of handling over 500M events per month)
  • improved the overall usability of our product (the user interface now includes a simple drag and drop editor allowing you to mix and combine metrics, dimensions and events to create and filter reports)
  • increased the variety of data visualization methods (including nested tables and numerous types of line and bar charts)

Matomo, on the other hand, due to its software based on PHP and row-oriented MySQL database, needs some additional time to pre-process data and generate the reports, especially when high traffic is involved. According to the FAQ section of its website:

For example, using version 1.3 on a single core duo2 server with 3GB of ram, Matomo archiving process takes about 2 hours for 400,000 pages per day (and more than 6,000 websites). We are constantly improving Matomo performance: making Matomo faster is a top priority.

In our opinion, the speed at which reports are created is one of the key differences between the products. With Matomo, you need to wait quite a while before analytics data reaches the database. Piwik PRO lets you access the data on the spot. It means no more issues related to archiving, since the data is available on the fly.

Data retention

Now let’s talk about data retention. In the case of Matomo Community, you can set these properties yourself, while Matomo Cloud allows you to retain user data for 6 to 24 months, depending on the plan.

Piwik PRO gives you more flexibility. By default you’re granted 25 months of data retention that you can expand in your contract (Piwik PRO Cloud) or in your infrastructure settings (Piwik PRO on-premise).

A quick overview of the section:

Matomo Community Matomo Cloud Piwik PRO
Reporting backend obsolete / MySQL obsolete / MySQL modern / ClickHouse
Data processing preprocesing required preprocesing required on the fly
Generating reports based on high traffic volume 2 hours or more 2 hours or more on the fly
Data retention customizable 6-24 months 25 months or more, depending on your contract (cloud) or infastructure (on-premise)

Reporting flexibility & customization

With Piwik PRO, you can customize almost every piece of reporting, whether it’s a default report, dashboard, or a widget. Adding, removing, and editing metrics, dimensions, columns, or even whole charts takes just a few clicks. 

First off, each report has a Customize button as a handy way to apply changes.

Customize” button to adjust your report
The view of the wizard that opens up and where you can customize your report with a “drag and drop” interface

Then, you can easily customize your reports by filtering out traffic or by just using segmentation. Both filters and segments will be visible each time you use this report, so you won’t have to set them up again.

Most importantly, you can tailor any default report to your own preferences - add or remove KPIs according to your business case and change the report any time.

What’s more, you can change the time span for which data is grouped on each chart. This is crucial in uncovering seasonality and spotting trends across extended time periods like weeks, months, quarters or years.

A view of data grouping in Analytics

None of this can be achieved with Matomo, since the tool doesn’t provide you with the ability to customize default reports or to group the data presented on charts. What’s more, 80% of default reports are missing data visualization features or charts.

This can make them less actionable and visually less appealing.

A short recap of this section:

Matomo Piwik PRO
Customizing default reports ✖️
Grouping data presented on charts ✖️

Dashboards flexibility

Next, let’s discuss the capabilities of dashboards.

As we’ve already mentioned, you can tailor almost every element of Piwik PRO dashboards. Just add or remove analytics bits and pieces as needed.

Instead of using ready-made templates, you can:

  • change the size and dimensions of each widget on the dashboard according to your needs – there’s no need to stick to a 2-, 3- or 4-column layout
  • mix widgets on your dashboard in whatever order you like
A sample dashboard with flexible layout

Matomo’s dashboards don’t give you this flexibility. You can only choose from a few available dashboard layout templates:

You can’t add desired metrics and dimensions, and the dashboard can only consist of pre-made widgets. Also, their size and dimensions are fixed.

Individual KPI / metrics widgets

Now let’s discuss dashboard elements in some more detail.

In Piwik PRO you can use individual metrics as separate widgets. This way you can better highlight data that is crucial for your business and build a whole dashboard using only selected KPIs and metrics:

Sample Piwik PRO custom widgets

On top of that, in Piwik PRO each metric widget can be expanded with a timeline / trend sparkline that visualizes KPI changes over time.

On Matomo’s dashboards, you can only use a bundled set of metrics. This means, for example, that if you want to create a widget with visitor-related data, it has to contain all the metrics concerning that subject. There’s no way of building dashboards using individual metrics and KPIs.

Matomo widget bundling all the KPIs

Also, trend sparklines can be added to your dashboard only as a part of a widget consisting of many other metrics.

Segmenting & filtering metrics

Another big thing is that with Piwik PRO you can attach a filter or segment to each of the metrics included in the dashboard.

Also, you can narrow down the displayed KPIs to a certain audience or filter out traffic for which a given KPI should be visible. Just attach a filter or segment to each metric and it’s done.

Applied filters to create audience segments for separate KPIs
A view of traffic with filter (e.g. only organic from US) broken down by device, presented on one widget

You can’t do those things with Matomo. Using their tools, you can only apply segments to a whole dashboard, not its individual parts like widgets or metrics. This means, for example, that your dashboard can’t include two widgets based on two different segments.

What’s more, each time you refresh the dashboard, the segments will disappear and you will have to configure them again.

Widget types, charts & diagrams

Now for data visualization features. In Piwik PRO, you decide how you want to present your data. You can choose from six different types – flat table, explorer, bar chart, line chart, user flow and funnels.

Piwik PRO report types

Also, what’s particularly helpful, you can build custom charts for your dashboards using metrics and dimensions of your choosing.

A sample dashboard created in Piwik PRO

What’s more, you can build custom tables using whatever composition of metrics and dimensions you like.

In Matomo, there is no way for you to create your own custom table and add it to the dashboard. Also, you can’t pick whether you want to present a specific piece of data in the form of a chart or diagram - all these things are already preconfigured.

Here’s a quick overview of this section:

There are also important differences concerning funnel and user flow reports:

Funnel analytics

In Piwik PRO, you can build funnels out of any type of page view and custom event. In addition, funnels are:

  • Retroactive – present historical data tracked before the funnel was defined
  • Available immediately after creation
  • Flexible – don’t require a goal as the last step
  • Filtrable – allow you to define each step in the funnel at a highly granular level

No matter when you decide to configure your funnel, you’ll always have access to the full dataset of both historical and recent user actions.

event funnel

Matomo’s funnels are a paid plugin, available as a standard feature in the Cloud pricing plans. They:

  • can be based on only page URLs
  • require you to set up goals
  • can’t show historical data by default (to enable it you have to validate the historical data, and then re-process the reports for all your websites)
  • need additional time to calculate the data (because of its backend efficiency)

User flow

Piwik PRO’s user flow reports provide you with the following options:

  • To set up a user flow report for interactions such as a page view, download, search, custom event, and more
  • To see a breakdown of dimensions related to sessions. For example, you can view channels, referrers or campaigns
  • To add up to five previous and next interactions

user flow report Piwik PRO

The user flow in Piwik PRO has three settings that help you analyze visitor paths:

  • Standard: shows you the next interactions after the key interaction.
  • Transition: illustrates the interactions before and after the key interaction.
  • Reverse: shows you the interactions preceding the key interaction.

As for Matomo, users flow is a paid plugin, available in the Marketplace as a yearly subscription and as a part of the Matomo Cloud offer. It allows you to take advantage of one type of report (standard user flow), based only on page views. 

Here's a quick overview of this section:

Matomo Community Matomo Cloud Piwik PRO
Funnel analytics paid plugin / ★☆☆ ★☆☆ ★★★
User flow paid plugin / ★☆☆ ★☆☆ ★★★
Line chart
Explorer
Bar chart
Line chart
Custom dashboards
Custom reports paid plugin / ★☆☆ ★☆☆ ★★★
Ability to customize any default report ✖️
Ability to create custom visualization ✖️ ✖️
Filtering data ✖️ ✖️
Custom metrics & dimensions ✖️ ✖️
Custom data grouping ✖️ ✖️
Advanced drag & drop editor ✖️ ✖️
Custom data filters & segments to each widget ✖️ ✖️

Data visualization & comparison

Let's continue with the topic of data visualization capabilities of the platforms. As we mentioned earlier, Piwik PRO provides you with three types of charts, line, pie and column, that are customizable and able to create:

  • Clustered column charts – showing values of multiple category groups
  • Grouped bar charts – letting you compare values of multiple categories across multiple dimensions
  • Stacked bar charts – visualizing traffic composition depending on the device type used by the user – in other words putting the whole custom report into a single chart
  • Multi line charts – especially useful for comparing data from specific time periods and values over time
A sample multi-line chart in Piwik PRO

Matomo Analytics provides you with a set of visualizations consisting of: tables, nested tables, line charts, multi line charts, bar graphs, pie charts, and cloud charts. And with Matomo Custom Reports you’ll get to choose between other graph types such as:

  • Table: showing the report data in a typical Matomo (Piwik) data table
  • Evolution: a graph showing the evolution for the selected metrics over time (also known as a line graph)
  • Plus, the visualizations from standard Matomo analytics

However, in many cases the graphs will need additional time for pre-calculation. It means that if you want to access past data, you’ll need to invalidate the past historical reports so they can be re-processed from the logs.

Matomo Analytics Matomo Custom Reports Plugin Piwik PRO Analytics Suite
Table
Nested table ✖️ ✖️
Line chart
Multi line charts
Bar graph
Pie chart
Cloud chart ✖️
Clustered column charts ✖️ ✖️
Grouped bar charts ✖️ ✖️
Stacked bar chart ✖️ ✖️
Customizable graph templates ✖️ ✖️

Tracking & reporting traffic sources

One of the most important functionalities of analytics from a marketer’s standpoint is reporting on traffic sources.

In Matomo, there is an open plugin called Marketing Campaigns Reporting. It allows you to see the following data:

Matomo’s campaign reporting

What’s significant is that the most important dimension for traffic reporting – source/medium – is available only for campaign reports. It means that you won’t be able to use it in reports on traffic from particular browsers or websites – also important for examining your traffic sources.

In Piwik PRO on the other hand, you can create a report with your own set of metrics and dimensions, so adding a source/medium dimension to the above-mentioned reports (or virtually any other report) won’t be any problem:

A sample view from the report editor in Piwik PRO

Also quite helpful: the report can be enriched with a multi-line chart showing you the effectiveness of traffic sources over time. Thanks to the fact that the table can be nested, the information is easy to arrange in a user-friendly manner.

A sample traffic sources report in Piwik PRO

For instance, if you click on Campaigns dimension, you’ll see the following data:

And as we mentioned earlier, the metrics and dimensions visible in the report can be matched to your personal preferences.

Website performance reports & metrics

Another aspect is the number of metrics that allow you to measure how your website or product performs on different browsers, devices, operating systems and for different segments of users. They help optimize the customer experience by spotting technical and performance issues.

This information also allows you to optimize your site for page load speeds. You’ll be able to better reach mobile users and those with slower connections.

In Piwik PRO, you can take advantage of default performance-related reports or create custom reports based on dedicated metrics. Here’s a list of the key metrics for understanding page load speed:

  • Page generation time
  • Time until DOM is ready
  • Time to interact
  • Time of redirections
  • Domain lookup time
  • Server connection time
  • Server response time
  • Page rendering time

And here is a sample report based on those metrics:

As for Matomo, right now it offers one performance-related metric called “average generation time”. However, it doesn’t present how fast the website loads for different connection qualities or devices. The metric refers only to the communication time between the browser and the page server.

Page speed Matomo

In Piwik PRO there’s a “Time to interact” metric that presents how different users experience website loading speed.

A quick overview:

Matomo Community Matomo Cloud Piwik PRO
Page generation time
Time until DOM is ready ✖️ ✖️
Time to interact ✖️ ✖️
Time of redirections ✖️ ✖️
Domain lookup time ✖️ ✖️
Server connection time ✖️ ✖️
Server response time ✖️ ✖️
Page rendering time ✖️ ✖️

Google Search Console integration

To perform content and on-site SEO optimization initiatives, marketers and SEO specialists need to be armed with both behavioral data and data given by Search Console.

With Piwik PRO, you can fully integrate your analytics with the results from Google Search Console. If you decide to connect GSC to Piwik PRO, your metrics library will be enriched by:

  • Impressions - for keywords searched on Google
  • Clicks - for keywords
  • CTR - ratio between impression and click for keywords
  • average position of the keyword in Google search results for a given time period

In this way, your analytics data will be enhanced with additional data points from the integration. You can apply Google Search Console metrics for any of your dashboards and segments, in both custom and default reports. Also, you can segment every data bit from GSC reports by using the wide range of dimensions available in Piwik PRO.

A sample Piwik PRO report consisting of GSC data

In Matomo you’ll find an integration with Google Search Console, but it works quite differently. You can only import data from GSC to use as a separate report. As a result, you only see a preview of GSC data displayed in the Matomo interface.

What’s more, with Matomo you can’t:

  • combine GSC metrics with analytics dimensions and metrics
  • link keyword data with behavioral metrics like bounce rate or conversion rate
  • apply segments to GSC reports and GSC data

This means that you’re unable to use Google Search Console data in custom combinations with any other analytics dimensions and metrics.

Here’s a quick overview of GSC-related features:

Matomo Piwik PRO
Google Search Console Integration
Segmenting GCS data ✖️
Using GSC data in other reports ✖️
Mixing keyword data and behavioral data ✖️

Support & SLA

Without deep knowledge of the product, you won’t be able to exploit its full potential. And without dedicated technical support, it’s possible that your inquiries will get stuck in a long queue of pending tickets with queries from other users.

So it’s crucial that you be able to sign an SLA (service level agreement) with your analytics vendor. An SLA ensures that the support staff will be available to handle all problems and questions within an agreed-upon timeframe.

To speed up onboarding users of the new platform and prevent any potential problems or misunderstandings, Piwik PRO offers the following to all its clients:

Dedicated customer success management – assists you in defining your business needs and translating them into actionable advice for using the platform.

Detailed documentation – provides detailed infrastructure guidelines to ensure optimal product performance in the case of an on-premises installation.

Personalized support and onboarding – helps set up and configure your web analytics instance, including an SLA ensuring all your needs are met as you use the product. These services can be provided on-site in cooperation with your internal team.

Dedicated service delivery manager – gives you a first point of contact in case of emergencies or web analytics performance issues.

Custom integration and development (extra service) – allows you to integrate PPAS with every product in your data ecosystem (e.g. CRMs or BI tools) and adopt the platform to your needs through custom development.

Analytics consulting (extra service) – based on an audit of your current analytics setup and your KPIs, our experts advise you on what to change in your tracking and reporting to bring you closer to your business objectives.

On-demand custom training and workshops (extra service) – let you learn the skills required to use analytics insights in your day-to-day work. Every training is unique, because we tailor them to the use cases of particular teams and stakeholders.

24/7 monitoring and incident handling – monitor platform performance and data collection processes around the clock, plus backup management.

As necessary, these services can be provided during both American and European business hours. Guaranteed response time for the top-level plan is four hours (24/7).

The exact list of support and customer care services will depend on the chosen plan. You can learn more on our professional services page.

As for Matomo, depending on the plan (Essential, Business, Enterprise or paid support for Matomo on-premise), you’ll receive:

  • email-based support
  • user guides
  • community support (a forum)
  • a dedicated account manager
  • an onboarding questionnaire and a meeting with a Matomo support team member

With the highest plan, the response time of Matomo's support team is one business day.

Here you can find a recap of this section:

Matomo Community Matomo Cloud Piwik PRO
Email support ✖️
User guides
Dedicated customer success manager ✖️ ✖️
Dedicated service delivery manager ✖️ ✖️
Dedicated account manager ✖️
Personalized implementation & onboarding ✖️ ✖️
Dedicated onboarding (on-site or remotely) ✖️ ✖️
Dedicated training (on-site or remotely) ✖️ ✖️
Analytics consulting ✖️ ✖️
Custom development & integrations ✖️ ✖️
24/7 monitoring and incident handling ✖️
Guaranteed response time ✖️ 1 business day 4 hours (24/7)
Support location ✖️ New Zealand (GMT+13) Europe (GMT+1)
SLAs ✖️ ✖️

Privacy & security compliance

Ensuring adequate protection of user data has always been a core value for both companies. But we should take a closer look at how they manage compliance with different privacy and security laws from around the world:

GDPR

We take pride in the fact that our product has been audited and found compliant by a top global consulting firm. Our platform not only meets the privacy standards laid out in GDPR but helps organizations fulfill their obligations arising from the regulation.

One of the most important of these obligations is that every website owner should collect informed, active, unambiguous and granular consents before they start tracking personal data.

Here you can find some more information on managing user consents under GDPR:
A Practical Guide to Acquiring Consent in the Age of GDPR

Below, we describe how these responsibilities are addressed by Matomo and Piwik PRO.

Gathering consents & data subject requests

Let’s say you decide to collect personal data.

With Matomo, if you want to obtain consents, you’ll have to implement the code of the privacy notice mechanism into your website, following the instructions provided by Matomo. In practice, you’ll need to have developer-like skills to manage the task.

What’s more, Matomo:

  • doesn’t store records of collected consents
  • doesn’t support consent collection on behalf of third parties (for instance, marketing or customer management tools you’re using)
  • doesn’t allow you to acquire separate consents for each purpose
  • doesn’t let you see and manage data subject requests from one place

Which means that you’ll have to deal with these issues on your own or find an external vendor who develops dedicated software.

On the other hand, in Piwik PRO, you can take advantage of Consent Manager – a dedicated tool for creating consent forms as well as collecting, managing and storing both records of consent decisions and data subject requests.

Thanks to the intuitive editor, you’ll be able to configure everything without touching a piece of code. Also, the tool will allow you to see the most important statistics regarding user consents and data subject requests:

A sample report showing decisions about consent over time

Want to learn more about the product? Visit this page to get to know the ins and outs of our GDPR Consent Manager.

Matomo Community Matomo Cloud Piwik PRO
Customizable consent forms (modal & pop-up) ✖️ ✖️
User-friendly consent form editor ✖️ ✖️
Support for custom HTML consent form ✖️ ✖️
Collecting consents for the use of third-party tools ✖️ ✖️
Displaying consent requests for certain regions (e.g. EEA) ✖️ ✖️
Consent reminder widget ✖️ ✖️
Consent management widget ✖️ ✖️ >v
Data subject request widget ✖️ ✖️
Data subject request admin panel ✖️ ✖️
Consent & data subject request request history ✖️ ✖️
Consent performance statistics ✖️ ✖️
Zero cookie load ✖️ ✖️

HIPAA

Regarding HIPAA, Matomo assures compliance only when the client keeps the data on their own infrastructure. Piwik PRO, in turn, allows for collecting and storing data in line with the law in both on-premise and cloud hosting plans.

To learn more, visit our HIPAA compliance website.

Data residency laws

Numerous countries, such as Germany, Australia, Canada, India, Switzerland, Russia and China, have introduced laws that order companies to keep their residents’ personal data within the country’s physical borders.

Considering Matomo, you will be able to meet these obligations if you decide to host your data on-premises. For Germany, you can also use the Matomo Cloud, because that’s where its cloud servers are located.

Piwik PRO gives you a greater variety of options. You can:

Here’s a recap of the last section:

Matomo Community Matomo Cloud Piwik PRO
Full data ownership
GDPR compliance
HIPAA compliance depends on your infrastructure ✖️
Cloud server location ✖️ Germany selected data center: Germany, Netherlands or the US
Private cloud server location ✖️ ✖️ one of 58 Azure regions around the globe
On-premise data residency depends on your server location ✖️ depends on your server location

Anonymizing data

Another way of maintaining high privacy standards is to erase personal data from your databases. 

On Matomo’s website you’ll find information that its platform allows you to:

  • anonymize previously tracked raw data – like visitors/visits
  • anonymize Visitor IP addresses
  • anonymize geolocation information (country, region, city)
  • pseudonymize User IDs (if you don’t want this data to land on your Matomo server, the solution is simply to not set the User ID. Then Matomo will use normal anonymized IDs)
  • data can also be anonymized before it’s even sent to Matomo [source]

It’s worth noting that if you choose to anonymize the after collecting it, you still need to obtain visitors’ consents and fulfill other obligations involved in dealing with personal data. This approach defeats the purpose of anonymizing the data and is incompatible with GDPR’s data protection by default principle.

Another method proposed by Matomo is to pseudonymize user IDs. But since pseudonymous data is still considered personal information, you have to collect valid consents to process it in line with GDPR and other privacy laws (e.g. LGDP). Matomo acknowledges this in different section of its site:

User ID: when you enable this option, the User ID will be replaced by a pseudonym to avoid directly storing and displaying personally identifiable information such as an email address. In technical terms: given your User ID, Matomo will process the User ID pseudonym using a salted hash function. Note: replacing with a pseudonym is not the same as anonymisation. In GDPR terms: the User ID pseudonym still counts as personal data. The original User ID could still be identified if certain additional information is available (which only Matomo and your data processor has access to). [source]

We tackle it in this blog post, be sure to check it out:
The Ultimate Guide to Data Anonymization in Analytics

In Piwik PRO on the other hand, if you want to collect only anonymized data or someone disregards your consent request, the UIA (‘user is anonymous’ parameter) is enabled. When anonymous data collection is enabled for a visitor, the ‘UIA’ is added to the tracker and Piwik PRO instance settings are the following for those visitors:

  • Geolocation is fully or partially disabled. Depending on the instance settings Piwik PRO will record just the country information or nothing at all. An associated web server will see the same masked IP address.
  • No “fingerprinting” data is used to identify returning users. Characteristics of the visitor’s device or browser (operating system, browser information, language settings, etc.) are not compared in an attempt to identify users.
  • One cookie identifier (“Visitor ID”) is stored in the visitor’s browser. This cookie’s duration is set to 30 minutes, after which it is deleted automatically by the browser. Therefore the online identifier describes a visit and not a visitor.

This kind of data anonymization allows you to collect at least some information about user behavior (e.g. page views, conversions and time spent on the site) without asking for consent.

What’s more, if during the session the user will eventually decide to consent, you’ll be able to merge anonymous and personal data about them into a single record (that wouldn’t happen in the case of Matomo).

To sum things up:

Matomo Community Matomo Cloud Piwik PRO
Anonymization techniques ★☆☆ ★☆☆ ★★★
Linking personal & anonymous data about visitors who provide consent later in a session ✖️ ✖️

Data security

Last but not least – data security.

In Piwik PRO, we make sure that our commitment to data security is demonstrated by our partnerships and by external audits of our company and product.

Below we describe the most important of them:

Secure infrastructure

You can deploy Piwik PRO on your own infrastructure, in a private cloud, at a third-party data center or on our secure servers. As a security-conscious provider, we exclusively partner with select Microsoft Azure data centers. This means we can offer our customers an infrastructure that is:

  • SOC-2 certified
  • ISO 27001-certified
  • GDPR-compliant
  • Fully redundant
  • Ensures 99% SLA

Company ISO-27001 certification

Another expression of our approach to data security is ISO-27001 certification. It confirms that Piwik PRO, as a company dedicated to data protection, acts in accordance with the strictest data safety policies. The scope of the safeguards covers all information processed in Piwik PRO, in every form and in every place where we operate.

Here you can read more about the certification:
We’re Officially ISO 27001-certified!

LogicalTrust security audit

As for the safety of our product, we’re proud to announce that Piwik PRO Analytics Suite has successfully passed an audit from LogicalTrust, an experienced, impartial auditor that specializes in IT security. The audit aimed to uncover any potential vulnerabilities and security deficiencies of our platform, with the focus on a third-party attempt to break the system’s security.

Thanks to the certifications and partnerships we’ve detailed above, institutions that handle sensitive information, such as banks or healthcare organizations, no longer need to conduct their own compliance assessment when buying our products.

In the case of Matomo, companies from these sectors will still have to carry out their own audits to assess whether the level of data security provided by the platform and company is sufficient in their case.

Data security features

Let’s not forget about dedicated data security features. SAML integration and password policy are paid plugins in Matomo Community and a part of the highest pricing plan in the case of Matomo Cloud. Piwik PRO provides both functionalities out of the box. 

While both products support user management, Piwik PRO allows you to also grant permissions and roles to each module of the platform at group level. This is especially useful for companies with a large number of analytics users.

Here you can find a rundown of this section:

Matomo Community Matomo Cloud Piwik PRO
Full server redundancy depends on your infrastructure
ISO-27001 certified datacenters depends on your infrastructure ✖️
SOC-2 certified datacenters depends on your infrastructure ✖️
Company's security certificates none none ISO-27001
External security audits last in 2014 last in 2014 yearly
SAML integration paid plugin
Password policy paid plugin
User management
User group management ✖️ ✖️

Get in touch with us and let us walk you through all the functionalities of Piwik PRO

Request a demo

Piwik PRO vs Matomo (Piwik): Which one should you choose?

As you can see, the differences between the products offered by Piwik PRO and Matomo are significant. In summary, the most important of them are:

  • The number of tools and variety of use cases supported by each vendor
  • The scalability of the platforms and speed at which reports are generated
  • The variety of visualizations available and ways to manipulate and compare data
  • The availability of SLAs, onboarding and maintenance
  • The approach to data security and privacy, including GDPR requirements

All in all, we believe that Matomo will be a great fit for small businesses, start-ups and bloggers who also have a fairly high level of analytical and coding knowledge. Piwik PRO, on the other hand, due to its complex functionalities, efficiency and level of customer service (but also price, we’re aware that it’s an important factor to consider) is a platform better suited to businesses operating on a larger scale and wanting to find a partner that will be able to match their demands.

We hope that with this post we managed to address most of your questions regarding the differences between Piwik PRO and Matomo (Piwik). However, if you still feel like you need some more answers – feel free to contact us anytime. Our team will gladly dispel any of your doubts!

Author

Karolina Lubowicka

Content Marketer

Content Marketer and Social Media Specialist at Piwik PRO. An experienced copywriter who takes complex topics of data privacy & GDPR and makes them understandable for all. LinkedIn Profile

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