I'm currently testing CDNs, DNS services, etc. in an effort to speed up my sites and have always, without really questioning it, added GA to my sites. However, there does appear to be an page loading cost to having GA enabled and I'm not sure I'm seeing much benefit from it since I don't often reference the data (an occasional peek at visitor metrics is about all really).
Have any of you stopped using Google Analytics or replaced it with a faster alternative?
Ironically, Adsense ads seem to be loading quicker with GA removed ...
I'm turning GA off for the time being. Whilst the stats can be interesting in a spend-hours-clicking-and-going-hmmmm kind of way, I don't use them to influence or leverage anything, such as own ad sales for example, so they're adding an overhead for no real benefit.
I've always got the option of adding piwik later if I find I need more detailed info.
I've put so much time into creating GA dashboards, so I'm not clicking a million times to see what I want to see, and so I can filter out data that is irrelevant. There's a dashboard that I share with potential advertisers so they can see the traffic, pageviews, demographics, etc. and another dashboard for my use, to see how much traffic we are getting and where the popular threads are so we can promote them (with popular threads, we like to see what is trending for the day and then if it is a new thread, we promote that on social media). I'm not sure moving over would be easy but definitely looks like piwik has a nice system!
Google already knows everything about my sites, I'm using Google Apps, Adsense, Adwords, Analytics,Webmaster Tools,Google+
I'm not paranoid about it, I'm not doing anything wrong so there is no reason for fear. I have so much data in Google Analytics and other Google services that I don't want to throw away.
This is extremely interesting to come across. I had never really looked at Piwiks, but now that I have, I am going to give this a shot. Also interesting is using Amazon S3 logs with it. There is some real flexibility on this that I can't achieve with GA. Glad this was thrown out there for conversation.