Imagine a world where you can't see or even conceptualize who or what you interact with. What are the people you talk to like? How could you even tell? Without analytics software for analyzing who visits your website, you'd be living the webmaster equivalent to that. Luckily, that's where Google Analytics can come in.
Google Analytics now provides features that can be considered easy to use for everyone in the search engine optimization and analysis space.
Though rich with support and comprehensive in scope, many of you may prefer open source Google Analytics alternatives due to Google's reputation of data retention and sharing. It may be important to have "eyes and ears" for your website's traffic, but that doesn't mean that you need to have that data sold without your consent either.
On top of that, for extra peace of mind, there are self-hosted Google Analytics alternatives that don't need to touch anything outside of your service and your audience to aggregate the data you need to survive and thrive.