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    The 7 best open source analytics tools

    Joe Martin

    Product Marketer

    Whether you’re looking for a solution for your business or side project, there’s no shortage of analytics tools to choose from. However many of the most popular tools come with hefty price tags or require you to send data to their systems. That’s where open source analytics analytics tools come in.

    Open source software is literally developed in the open, with the source code freely available for modification and assessment. Such projects also often have free versions available, which is great if you’re looking for free alternatives to Mixpanel, Amplitude or other tools.

    Of course, not all open source analytics tools are created equal. Some tools are focused on analyzing massive databases, while others focus on web analytics as open source alternatives to Google Analytics. Others, such as PostHog, are all-in-one analytics platforms.

    Here, we’ve selected some of the best open source analytics tools to help you choose the right open source analytics tool for you.

    PostHog - Best open source analytics tool

    PostHog is an all-in-one open source analytics platform that offers all the essential tools you need to build better products, including funnels, feature flags, heat maps, session recordings and more. It’s entirely self-serve, with the ability to auto-capture event information out of the box. The interface makes querying your data a breeze, with no SQL required.

    Best of all, PostHog can be self-hosted on your existing infrastructure — making it an excellent alternative to tools such as Mixpanel if you’re concerned about privacy.

    Of course, we would say PostHog is the best open source analytics platform, but if you need convincing then you can get started for free and decide for yourself today!

    Who is PostHog for?

    PostHog is the best open source analytics tool for companies that are focused on building a more successful product. It is especially useful for those that need to stay in control of their data, and who want an all-in-one platform instead of piecing together multiple tools. It is primarily designed for Engineering, Data Engineering and Product teams to use.

    Strengths

    • All-in-one analytics suite
    • Easy-to-use, no SQL required
    • Self-hosting and cloud-hosting available
    • Feature flags for running A/B tests
    • Session recording for gathering insights
    • Event pipelines to integrate with data warehouses
    • Unlimited ability to scale

    Open source license

    PostHog Open Source is available under an MIT license. It offers a free version that’s great for start-ups, as well as premium options for big data analytics and large volumes of data.

    Try PostHog for free today or schedule a demo to learn more.

    Apache Spark - open source analytics tool

    Apache Spark is an open source analytics engine specifically focused on large-scale data analysis — or big data analytics, as it’s commonly known. It can run on a wide range of technologies, including Hadoop, Apache Mesos or Kubernetes, which makes it an incredibly versatile analytics option.

    However, the focus on libraries such as SQL make Apache Spark difficult for non-technical users as support is provided solely by the community.

    Who is Apache Spark for?

    Apache Spark is a technical system intended for Data Engineers and Data Scientists conducting large-scale analytics in an enterprise setting.

    Strengths

    • Great for very large data volumes
    • Use libraries such as MLlib for machine learning
    • Works with R, Java, Python, Scala and SQL
    • Process data in real-time using clusters

    Open source license

    Apache Spark is available under the Apache 2.0 license and is entirely free.

    Matomo - open source analytics tools

    Matomo is an open source platform for web analytics, rather than a product analytics. That means it's great for understanding metrics such as pageviews or for planning keywords, but it lacks product analytics features such as session recording or feature flags. Nevertheless, it's an alternative to Google Analytics for users who want to protect user privacy.

    Who is Matomo for?

    Matomo is intended for Marketing and Content teams who need to focus on SEO activities without losing control of their user data. It is suitable for both small and enterprise businesses.

    Strengths

    • Funnels, cohorts and acquisition analysis
    • Ecommerce and advertising tools
    • Import data from Google Analytics
    • SEO and media analytics tools

    Open source license

    Matomo is available under a AGPLv3 licence. Pricing depends mainly on the amount of traffic, with free options available for low-traffic sites.

    Plausible Analytics - open source analytics tools

    Like Matomo, Plausible Analytics is focused on providing website analytics that don’t infringe on user privacy. That means Plausible doesn’t rely on cookies and is compliant with regulations such as GDPR.

    Unlike Matomo, Plausible is a very streamlined tool rather than a full-blown Google Analytics alternative. As a result it is a great fit for smaller teams who prefer ease of use to in-depth reporting.

    Who is Plausible Analytics for?

    Plausible is intended for Marketing and Content teams who need to focus on specific SEO metrics. It's designed for use in small to medium businesses or teams.

    Strengths

    • Easy to use and focused on essential web metrics
    • Lightweight integration script won’t impact page performance
    • No cookies required, fully GDPR compliant out of the box

    Open source license

    Plausible Analytics is available under a AGPLv3 licence. Pricing depends on the amount of traffic, with a 30-day free trial available.

    Countly - open source analytics tools

    Like PostHog, Countly offers a wide range of tools to help you build better products. It has a strong focus on mobile products and enables you to bring together both qualitative and quantitative insights. However many features, such as dashboards or funnel analysis, are only available in the enterprise-level product.

    Who is Countly for?

    Countly is suitable for both small teams and enterprise businesses, especially those which focus on mobile products. The crash analytics tools make it especially useful for Customer Support and Engineering teams.

    Strengths

    • Wide range of analysis tools, including funnels
    • Focus on mobile and IoT products
    • Crash analytics to diagnose bugs
    • Run surveys to get qualitative insights

    Open source license

    Countly is available under a AGPLv3 licence. A limited version of the product is available for free, while an Enterprise license is available for a cost.

    Metabase - open source analytics tools

    Metabase is one of the most popular open source business intelligence (BI) tools in the world, offering teams a way to visualize complex data and run analysis with no coding required. Instead, Metabase’s visual query builder enables you to create shareable dashboards in just a few minutes with a drag-and-drop interface — though a native SQL editor is available for advanced users.

    Who is Metabase for?

    Metabase has a drag-and-drop interface which makes it especially useful for less technical users or Marketing and Growth teams. It is suitable for businesses or teams of any size. It is not designed for product analytics - instead, it is focused on more general analytics.

    Strengths

    • Easy-to-use, no SQL required
    • Automated reports and interactive dashboards
    • Self-hosting and cloud-hosting available
    • Integrate with 20+ data sources

    Open source license

    Metabase is available under a AGPL licence. A limited version of the product is available for free, while an Enterprise license is available for a cost.

    Grafana - open source analytics tools

    Grafana is more of a data observability platform than a pure open source analytics tool. This is due to the fact that it focuses on interactive visualization, providing a wide variety of charts, graphs and alerts which can be connected to a wide range of online data sources. As a result, it’s a powerful system for monitoring and analyzing data in real-time.

    Who is Grafana for?

    Grafana is an ideal choice for Engineering, Dev Ops or Data Scientists in businesses or teams of any size, including enterprise, who need to observe and monitor data. It is not designed for product analytics.

    Strengths

    • Great for tracking data in real-time
    • Multiple products allow you to scale
    • Get alerts when anomalous events occur
    • Integrates with a wide range of data sources

    Open source license

    Grafana is available under an AGPLv3 license. A limited version is available for free, while an Enterprise license is available for a cost.

    PostHog is an open source analytics tool which enables data and engineering teams to build better products faster and without writing SQL.

    Try PostHog for free today or book a demo to learn more.

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