Yesterday, on June 24, 2023, the latest MeasureCamp Paris took place. This was my first time attending this event in Paris, although I had already been a couple of times to MeasureCamps in Nantes in the past. Here’s a quick overview of the main subjects that were discussed during this sunny and hot day at the HETIC School premises. It was a productive day packed with valuable discussions on various topics, including new tools, newcomers in the industry, GDPR-related issues, knowledge sharing, and great people and organization. One notable aspect of this edition was the transformation happening in the analytics world in the aftermath of the end of Google Universal Analytics.
New people in the digital Analytics world
The first notable aspect of this revival in the digital analytics world is the influx of new participants. While familiar faces from the MeasureCamp community in France, such as Aristide Rioux, Nicolas Malot, Vanessa Criton, and Ronan Chardonneau were present, the majority of attendees were newcomers. This became evident during the round of questions that took place before the morning sessions.
One recurring topic that dominated discussions was the challenge of selecting the right analytics solution. With the GDPR creating opportunities for previously overlooked software to flourish, the market has become richer but also more complex to navigate. Google Analytics is no longer the sole dominant player, and alternative solutions have emerged. The participants themselves came from diverse backgrounds, including agency consultants, independent professionals, prominent industry figures, and even representatives from the French government.
Overall, the event showcased the growing diversity and vibrancy of the digital analytics community, with new faces contributing fresh perspectives and experiences.
GA4, Matomo, Piwik PRO, Piano Analytics, Thank-You Analytics?
Most attendees at MeasureCamp Paris were familiar with the GA4 paradigm, which still has a significant number of passionate users as well as detractors. Some sessions delved into the intriguing use of sGTM (GTM Server-Side edition). However, what surprised me the most was the growing number of voices expressing dissatisfaction with a tool that is still plagued with bugs and can be challenging to implement. In the discussions, many people shared that their clients were employing dual tracking with GA4 and Matomo Analytics (which aligns with my own consultancy experiences).
During the event, I conducted a session to present Matomo Analytics as I realized that most people had limited knowledge of it. The main focus was to inquire whether they were aware that Matomo offers three versions. This impromptu session allowed me to connect with interesting people. And for
trollers those who still think of Matomo as a replacement for GA2: it’s not the case 😉 It was also gratifying to receive positive feedback from experienced web analysts who appreciated Matomo.
Other solutions, such as Thank-You Analytics and Piwik PRO, were also present as sponsors, which opened up new possibilities in the sector. I was delighted to participate in a session where Ronan Hello, Frederic Forster, Ronan Chardonneau, and I shared our experiences as independent Matomo consultants who have collaborated for a year. We did not anticipate such an enthusiastic response. Thank you to all the attendees, both gentlemen and ladies, for your support.
Conduct Web Analytics in the GDPR era
During this edition of MeasureCamp Paris, there were several sessions dedicated to GDPR-related issues, specifically discussing the dos and don’ts regarding user consent. One surprising revelation came from the French Data Protection Authority, CNIL, which alleged that UTMs cannot be used without obtaining consent from users. This information is not reflected in the Matomo instruction guide that they have created, so this comes as a surprise. It seems that dual tracking using multiple properties is likely to be the future, as cookie banners (CMPs) are recording even fewer consents compared to previous years.
Other related topics suggested that web analysis is evolving into a more predictive and statistical field, with the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI). Unfortunately, I was unable to attend these sessions as there were simultaneous sessions happening, and participants had to choose which ones to attend.
One significant session, led by Camille Chauded, delved into the ethical challenges that professionals encounter in their daily work. During this hour-long session, participants openly expressed their concerns regarding certain actions taken by the companies they work for. Despite regulations like the GDPR and ePrivacy, these companies continue to engage in extensive data analysis, going even further than before. This raises ethical dilemmas, especially considering the increasing prevalence of data resale partnerships and the use of AI technologies. It was evident that this is just the beginning, and the ethical implications of such practices are still unfolding.
[Disclaimer: Strong Opinion Inside] : this type of conversation is crucial in 2023, but it always surprises me that ten years ago, with the Snowden revelations, this information was already available, particularly regarding privacy concerns that were brought to light. This situation eventually led to the enforcement of the GDPR five years later. However, during that time, did anyone in the digital sector really care? Not much. This is what led me, since the beginning of my career as a digital professional in 2014, to Piwik and later Matomo. In the following years, some people even regularly dismissed solutions like Matomo. In essence, without the GDPR, there would be no Matomo or alternatives to GA. Nonetheless, the issue at hand is not solely the solution itself, but also how one chooses to utilize the collected data, as emphasized by participants in that session. As you can see, this edition of MeasureCamp was truly enriching!
MeasureCamp 2023: last thoughts
This edition of MeasureCamp provided a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with the community, enhance technical knowledge, and most importantly, share our experiences in transitioning to different alternatives to GA4. It was a convergence of different worlds coming together. Personally, I found this edition to be less focused on technical aspects compared to previous ones, but still incredibly fascinating. It was a joy to reconnect with people after the impact of Covid and the changes in my professional journey, which led me to shift from SEO to digital analytics. I was warmly welcomed by various communities and like-minded individuals. The next edition will take place in Dubai, and if you’re interested, it promises even more sunshine!
MeasureCamp is a series of “unconferences” held in numerous cities worldwide. In France, the event is currently hosted in two cities: Paris and Nantes, with the latter attracting a significant number of talented individuals in the digital field. The first MeasureCamp took place in 2012, under the guidance of Peter O’Neil, who aimed to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing within the analytics communities. The concept has proven to be successful.
During MeasureCamp events, participants have the opportunity to host 30-minute sessions on topics of their choice, taking place in various rooms and time slots. They can display a paper with their session topic on a board, which is then replicated online for wider visibility. Multiple sessions occur simultaneously, allowing attendees to choose the ones that align with their interests and priorities.