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

Piwik PRO vs Matomo

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 so from an outsider’s perspective. That’s why with this 12-chapter guide, we’d like to adequately explain as much as possible regarding the differences between us and Matomo – both as companies and as products.

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Chapters

Chapter 1

Differences between companies

Chapter 2

Differences between products

Chapter 3

Performance & reliability

Chapter 4

Reporting flexibility & customization

Chapter 5

Data visualization & comparison

Chapter 6

Tracking & reporting traffic sources

Chapter 7

Website performance reports & metrics

Chapter 8

Search Console integration

Chapter 9

Support & SLA

Chapter 10

Privacy & security compliance

Chapter 11

Data security

Chapter 12

Which one should you choose?

Chapter 1

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

Are you wondering how Piwik PRO fares against Matomo from the business perspective? In this section you’ll learn all the most important facts about the 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), 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, the Netherlands, the 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 Analytics Suite

Chapter 2

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

The differences in the size and scope of activities of Matomo and Piwik PRO translate into their product offer. In this section, we'll show you what you'll be able to achieve with each software.

The first important difference is the number of modules. With Piwik PRO, you’ll get a fully-integrated Analytics Suite, consisting of:

Piwik PRO Analytics Suite offers wide possibilities for collecting and activating data. In addition to standard analytics, it can also:

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

Matomo is an analytics and tag management system. 

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
Unique visitor metric available for different reports and time ranges
Number of websites unlimited 30 unlimited
Number of segments unlimited 100 unlimited

Chapter 3

Performance & reliability

The speed of creating reports is crucial. The faster the analytics backend, the sooner you’re able to analyze the data and draw meaningful conclusions out of it. In this chapter, we’ll talk about performance and reliability of each platform.

Piwik PRO’s backend is now powered by ClickHouse, a column-oriented database management system. Equipped with a new engine, the module:

  • Cut down pre-computing time needed to process data (you can read about it here)
  • Made our analytics more scalable and efficient (it is now able to handle over 500 million 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 (e.g. nested tables and numerous types of line and bar charts)

All of that allowed our customers from some reporting limitations of our standard web analytics instance.

Matomo, on the other hand, due to its software based on PHP and row-oriented MySQL database, needs additional time to pre-process data, 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 Piwik PRO reports based on the same (or much bigger) data sample would be generated immediately.

Data retention

Now let’s talk about data retention. With Matomo Community, you can set these properties yourself, while Matomo Cloud retains 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 preprocessing required preprocessing 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-premises)

Chapter 4

Reporting flexibility & customization

While standard reports can still be useful, the custom reports are the ones that allow you to tailor the dataset to your business case and make the most of analytics. In this section, we’ll show you how Piwik PRO’s and Matomo’s custom reports look like.

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 reports by filtering out traffic or using segmentation. You’ll see applied filters and segments each time you use the 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.
 
You can also adjust 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.

None of this can be achieved with Matomo. It doesn’t allow you to customize default reports or to group the data on charts. 80% of default reports are missing data visualization features or charts.

A view of data grouping in Piwik PRO 
Matomo Piwik PRO
Customizing default reports
Grouping data presented on charts

Flexibility of dashboards

Next – the capabilities of dashboards. The more ways to customize your dashboards, the easier it is to adjust them to the needs of different teams and stakeholders.

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 – 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:

Matomo’s dashboard 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 build a whole dashboard using only the essential KPIs and metrics.

On top of that, you can expand each metric widget with a timeline or 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 around individual metrics and KPIs.

Also, you can add trend sparklines only as a part of a widget consisting of many other metrics.

Piwik PRO metrics widget
Matomo metrics widget

Segmenting & filtering metrics

With Piwik PRO you can attach a filter or segment to each of the metrics from the dashboard. 

Filtering metrics in Piwik PRO drag and drop editor

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 the 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 such as widgets or metrics. This means, for example, that your dashboard can’t include widgets based on two different segments. And 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 can choose from six different types – flat table, explorer, bar chart, line chart, user flow and funnels.

Types of reports in Piwik PRO

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

And you can build custom tables using whatever composition of metrics and dimensions you like.

Piwik PRO drag and drop editor

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

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 a 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.

A sample Piwik PRO 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)
A sample Matomo funnel

User flow reporting

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
Piwik PRO user flow report

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.

Matomo’s users flow report

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
Flat table
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

Chapter 5

Data visualization & comparison

Now – the flexibility in compiling and presenting data. It’s crucial for analysts and marketers to have a decent selection of visualization features and display the data in a clear and informative way. Here’s what Piwik PRO and Matomo offer in this field.

Piwik PRO gives you with three types of charts – line, pie and column – that you can turn into:

  • 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

For even greater flexibility, you can integrate Piwik PRO with data visualization tools – such as Tableau, Power BI or BigQuery.

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

In many cases the graphs will need additional time for pre-calculation. 

We know that this is a lot of information to digest at once. This overview chart might help:

Matomo Analytics Matomo Custom Reports Plugin Piwik PRO Analytics Suite
Tables
Nested tables
Line charts
Multi-line charts
Bar graphs
Pie chart
Cloud chart
Clustered column charts
Grouped bar charts
Stacked bar chart
Customizable graph templates
Integration with visualization tools (e.g. Tableau, Power BI, BigQuery)

Chapter 6

Tracking & reporting traffic sources

One of the most important functionalities of analytics from a marketer’s standpoint is reporting on traffic sources. With it, you know where your users are coming from and are able to analyze the results of your marketing campaigns. In this section, you’ll learn what Piwik PRO and Matomo have to offer when it comes to campaign reporting.

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

Matomo’s campaign reporting 

The most important dimension for traffic reporting – source/medium – is available only for campaign reports. 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, 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 campaign report in Piwik PRO

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

A sample campaign report in Piwik PRO

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

Learn more about the benefits you can gain by partnering with Piwik PRO Analytics Suite

We’re here to answer all your questions!

Chapter 7

Website performance reports & metrics

Performance metrics allow you to measure how your website or product behaves on different browsers, devices, operating systems and for different segments of users. Here’s how Piwik PRO and Matomo compare in that context.

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:

A sample page load speed report in Piwik PRO
A sample page load speed report in Matomo

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.

In Piwik PRO there’s a time to interact metric that shows 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

Chapter 8

Search Console integration

To optimize your content and your on-site SEO, you need to arm yourself with behavioral data and data from Search Console. Check out what Piwik PRO and Matomo have to offer in this field.

With Piwik PRO, you can fully integrate your analytics with the data from Google Search Console, namely:

  • 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 new data points. 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 with GSC data

Matomo’s Google Search Console integration works quite differently. You only see a preview of GSC data displayed in the Matomo interface. 

What’s more, 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 won’t 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

Chapter 9

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 different users. Here’s what you can expect from Piwik PRO and Matomo when it comes to support and customer care.

To speed up onboarding new users and prevent any potential problems or misunderstandings, Piwik PRO offers the following to all 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 – to give you a first point of contact in case of emergencies or web analytics performance issues.

Custom integration and development (extra service) – 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) – to 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) – to 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 – to make sure your platform is up and running and performing well.

Piwik PRO provides those services during both American and European business hours. Guaranteed response time for the top-level plan is four business hours.

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 get:

  • 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
Support response time avg. 1 business day 4 hours
Support team’s business hours New Zealand (GMT+13) Europe (GMT+1) and
US Eastern Time (GMT-5)
SLAs

Want to learn how we can help you achieve more with your analytics data?
We’re here to answer all your questions!

Chapter 10

Privacy & security compliance

Ensuring adequate protection of user data has always been a core value for both Piwik PRO and Matomo. 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.

Find some more guidance 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

With Matomo, 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 to develop dedicated software.

Piwik PRO lets you take advantage of a Consent Manager. It’s a dedicated tool for collecting, managing and storing both records of consent decisions and data subject requests.

Piwik PRO Consent Manager

You’ll be able to configure everything without touching a piece of code and 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.

To sum things up:

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
Data subject request widget
Data subject request admin panel
Consent & data subject request request history
Consent performance statistics
Zero cookie load

HIPAA

Matomo assures HIPAA 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:

Get 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, the Netherlands or the US
Private cloud server location one of 58 Azure regions around the globe
On-premises 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

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]

In Piwik PRO, if you want to collect only anonymized data or someone disregards your consent request, you can enable a “user is anonymous” parameter. In this scenario:

  • 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 session 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 some information about user behavior (e.g. page views, conversions and time spent on the site) without asking for consent. And if a user grants you consents later in the session, you’ll be able to merge their anonymous and personal data into a single record (that wouldn’t happen with 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

Chapter 11

Data security

A piece of software with high security standards allows you to protect your data against breaches and adapt to the most stringent regulations – sectoral, internal or international. In this section you will learn what approach Piwik PRO and Matomo have to 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 or at a third-party data center. As a security-conscious provider, we exclusively partner with select Microsoft Azure data centers. We can offer our customers an infrastructure that is:

  • ISO 27001 certified 
  • SOC 2 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 line 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!

External security audit

As for the safety of our product, Piwik PRO Analytics Suite has successfully passed an audit from LogicalTrust, an experienced and impartial auditor that specializes in IT security. The audit aimed to uncover any potential vulnerabilities and 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.

With 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

Chapter 12

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. The most important of them are:

  • The number of modules 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

We believe that Matomo will be a great fit for small businesses, start-ups and bloggers with a fairly high level of analytical and coding knowledge. Piwik PRO, 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 better suited to businesses that operate on a larger scale and want to find a partner that will match their demands.

We hope that we managed to address most of your questions regarding the differences between Piwik PRO and Matomo (Piwik). 

If you need more answers or want to get to know our platform better – feel free to contact us!

Our team will gladly dispel any of your doubts and showcase a personalized product demo

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