Snowplow vs. Google Analytics

How does Snowplow Digital Analytics stack up against Google’s controversial new analytics offering?

A 2023 report by technology research company, GigaOm, found that Snowplow is:

Snowplow is 6.9 times faster than Google Analytics.
Snowplow is 42% less complex than Google Analytics.
Snowplow is 800 times less expensive to query than Google Analytics.

What’s the difference
between Snowplow and
GA?

Google Analytics (GA) was for a long time the go-to tool for digital analytics. In recent years, however, GA has been plagued by compliance issues and was declared illegal in several European countries. To add to these issues, Google’s latest offering, Google Analytics 4 has ceased to be competitive in a market that is increasingly leaning towards a full customer view using first-party data.

Snowplow was created warehouse-first from the ground up. Unlike GA, Snowplow gives you the flexibility to shape and evolve your data to fit your business. This data arrives AI- and BI-ready in real-time and is first-party to avoid tracking limitations.


“Google Analytics 4 has bugs, cardinality issues, thresholding problems, confusing delineation between client-side and vendor-side processing, a clumsy BigQuery export schema, misleading advocates, an opaque approach to privacy, and a huge identity problem. […] Don’t let absurd limitations bully you into submission.”

Simo Ahava | Thought Leader
Snowplow's Digital Analytics alternative to Google Analytics.

Snowplow Digital Analytics

Snowplow has traditionally been a favored tool of data teams, but our latest solution, Snowplow Digital Analytics, is made for marketers.

All the dashboards and metrics you built your GA reporting on are available in Snowplow. These are real-time, more compliant, and fully warehouse-first. You can build on top of these GA-style dashboards with full flexibility as you evolve your advanced analytics and AI use cases. This is not just another Google Analytics alternative, it’s a step change.

Top 5 reasons to choose Snowplow over GA

1st-party cookies live longer

While GA tracking is limited to 7 days, Snowplow tracking circumvents ITP restrictions so you can track for up to 2 years. This means you get more data on Apple, Mozilla and other users to build a complete customer journey and avoid incomplete data sets.

Compliance first means future security

Snowplow has always championed a compliance-first approach with private SaaS deployment and respect for customer privacy, including PII pseudonymization and cookieless or anonymous tracking. This allows you to future-proof your data stack and avoid unexpected costs or reputational damage in the future.

Power more real-time use cases

Real-time stream data from Snowplow lands within 2-5 seconds and we guarantee delivery to the warehouse within a strict SLA of 30 minutes. Ultra-low latency data allows you to create dynamic use cases, such as real-time personalization and recommendations.

Warehouse-first data connects all touchpoints

Snowplow data lands in a unified event stream, a log of all the actions that have occurred across your digital platforms. You can create a cross-device and multi-platform view of customer journeys for every department by pulling in data from multiple sources.

Unparalleled data richness answers more questions

Snowplow offers 130+ out-of-the-box properties captured with every event. You have access to limitless drill-down options for your analytics to uncover new trends. With richer data, you simply have more answers to more questions and better fuel for AI and BI use cases.

Technical issues with Google Analytics

There’s a reason for GA’s wide adoption: your data is wrapped in a UI with familiar metrics. Despite this convenient familiarity, data teams find that the software presents many issues when they push for more advanced, warehouse-first analytics. These issues push many companies to look for Google Analytics alternatives.

We’ve detailed some of these below:

Lack of advanced user privacy controls

Visibility of data cannot be restricted across organizations limiting governance measures.

Vendor lock-in to Google BigQuery for raw data

Companies are forced to use BigQuery as their only warehouse in order to access all their data. They are also locked into Google Cloud Platform.

Limitations in data collection

This can be #fields, length, types, etc. Fewer events can be tracked, reducing the value of your data products and the potential value of your entire data stack.

Lack of complete real-time streaming & analytics

You cannot stream in real-time to most destinations, use cases such as real-time recommendations limited or impossible.

No built-in data quality control/monitoring

Poor business decisions based on low-quality data without any form of alerting.

No versioning of tracking plans and events

Once tracking is implemented, you cannot easily change it. Too much time is spent throwing out past work to make minor changes.

Restricted data access (raw + API)

Your data is not truly yours to export and use as you wish, meaning a primary business asset is not fully under your control.

No direct support access to Google

Without easy access to support, technical problems can take a long time to resolve, costing your business by creating data downtime.

Cookie tracking ITP limitations

Google’s 3rd-party data restricts your cookies to just several days with Apple, Safari, and other browsers using ITP, creating an incomplete customer view.

Migrate from GA to Snowplow faster

Our easy-to-use GA migrator helps you seamlessly make the transition to advanced digital analytics with Snowplow without losing valuable historical data.

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