There is growth among Google Analytics competitors.
Microsoft launched a new tool for statistical analysis of websites in late 2020 called Microsoft Clarity.
According to Mictosoft, the new statistics tool should be GDPR-compliant, i.e. respect the privacy of visitors. Thus, the tool would possibly be a good alternative or supplement to MATOMO, which we currently like to use for data protection reasons. However, Clarity is currently (still?) not a complete web analysis, but e.g. a “session recorder” with heatmaps for clicks and scrolling: Here you can easily see where users do not get further or suspect a click opportunity where there is none. Better than with Matomo or Google Analytics.
A cookie is stored (1 year). What for is not clear, since no returning users are displayed in the tool. That’s strange, and there are sure to be assessments from the data protection faction on this. In any case, the tool needs the consent of the website visitor, even Microsoft recommends this.
One option to consider would be to only run the tool randomly from time to time. For useful analyses, it is probably enough to take a random look at how users get on with their own website. This would severely limit the data transfer to Microsoft. On the other hand, anyone who uses Microsoft browsers like Explorer or Edge should assume that such usage data goes to Microsoft anyway.
Ultimately, it’s a balancing process:
- There is a strong interest of a website operator to be able to test such a tool. Apparently, this is a great way to detect problems with website usage, so the website operator and also the user will benefit if pages are optimized afterwards. And exactly such criteria will become more and more important for the ranking (SEO) in the future: Good websites are the ones on which a user gets along well.
- On the other hand, the “price” for the service must not be a disproportionate data outflow to Microsoft, there you probably have to put the brakes on a little, but at least get consent from the user.
The following features describes Microsoft Clarity (excerpt):
What is Clarity?
Clarity is a user behavior analysis tool that helps you understand how users interact with your website. Supported features include:
- Session Records
- ML Insights
Why should I use Clarity?
- Helps to understand user behavior
- Clarity doesn’t get in the way of your website’s performance.
- The data is analyzed and ready for viewing in near real time, so you don’t have to wait.
- There are no limits on the number of websites per account.
- Clarity is scalable to support even the largest websites.
- No traffic limits.
- Deep AI and machine learning algorithms help analyze user behavior efficiently.
- No random sampling.
The fine print, also very interesting: https://clarity.microsoft.com/terms