How is Your Balance?

analogue clock_sxc_fangol‘Tis now time to travel once again towards Happiness

As I slowly return to my online adventure after 5 months away, I find much of my online landscape has fallen into disrepair and with the EU making life complicated for digital retailers, much of what had promise has had to be taken offline.

As you know only too well standing still in the digital world results in you moving backwards and being left behind. Which of course is why we and those we serve continue to look for superior solutions to our issues.

This is what led me to trial Piwik, a self hosted analytics service which gives you full access to the data generated by those that travel through your digital landscape.

Unfortunately self hosted means self managed!

As I returned to add another site to my analytics dashboard, I was presented with several issues

  • The server PHP version was due to expire and I have no control over this
  • There were server security setting incompatible with Piwik
  • The server file system, NFS was not ideal or Piwik optimal functionality.

And to cap it all off the dashboard would not load correctly hence preventing me from adding any new websites and hence rendering the Piwik service useless.

Now none of these issues are insurmountable.

But in your life just like mine we have choices to make and balances to strike.

Therefore do I persist using Piwik, a highly rated analytics service which gives me all my data but means I have to manage the server environment it depends upon or do I look to return to Google Analytics or another service.

Google Analytics is as I hope you appreciate not free.

As users we trade the activity data of those that travel through our digital landscapes in exchange for unpaid access to our data on their servers. The benefit of this trade is that we balance the ability to focus on our business growth with having someone else manage the technicalities of maintaining the data tracking service.

Data is the true currency online.

But at our level, time is the primary asset we have to spend and thus we need to decide where our focus is best rewarded.

This decision between analytics options is the same balancing act you and I have to face each day when presented with a “superior system for achieving…”, its only superior if we have the resources to implement and crucially manage the new solution.

Quite clearly if I had stuck to and focused on mastering only Google Analytics and a single marketing strategy from day 1, almost 5 years ago, I would most likely be much closer to my goals today, rather than facing having to reshape and redefine my digital landscape once again.

Today what could your online adventure benefit from you dropping?