What comes to your mind when you hear the word hacker? I'm sure most of you would think of someone who illegally gains access to a system. Yes, the illegal hackers making their way to a system by exploiting the security hole with a mission to obtain whatever sensitive or important data to gain profits by selling what they amassed.

On the other hand, we also have hackers who use the same method, albeit they hack not to illegally acquire data but to distinguish the system's flaws and utilize them in a way that they will allow growth — a method more popularly known as growth hacking, a term coined by Sean Ellis, the first growth person.

So what's growth hacking?

Growth Hacking is one important key for startups to succeed as it helps identify the most effective ways to help grow a business fast. Aside from cracking the code on growth hacking, having the best resources for implementing the method is essential.

For this week, I've selected some of the best analytics tools that would be beneficial to our potential growth hackers out there.

The world’s leading freemium web analytics solution provided by Google trusted by thousands of prominent companies worldwide.

Google Analytic’s interface is extremely simple that's why startups won't have a hard time learning how to manage this tool and understand the data shown on its dashboard. It lets you track your site's visitors, and generate a report for marketing analysis.

You know what's the best thing about Google Analytics besides the Google name? You can get almost everything for free. Yes, people love free stuff! Given the extent of features the tool provide, it's surprising that they offer a lifetime free package for individuals, startups and small businesses.

A live TV dashboard showing the real-time status of your business's activities, goals, and KPIs, helping your team become aware of the data that matter.

Enough with the time consuming pulling up of data and reports. Whether you are in the office or at your home, Geckoboard can help you see if your team is performing well via live TV dashboards and sets up what details you want to monitor.

Why use Geckoboard? It is one of the most popular dashboard tools because it has a large number of platforms to integrate with like Facebook, Twitter, Buffer, Google Analytics, Adsense and Adwords, JIRA, and more.

A web-based tracking application that lets you generate a visual presentation of your site's visitors through their Heatmap tool. Crazy Egg also has a Scrollmap, Overlay, and Confetti Tool.

Why do digital marketers go gaga for Crazy Egg? Aside from its famous heatmap feature, it also has a confetti view that shows the breakdown of actual clicks on the page, and the capability to track where traffic originated.

The Scrollmap feature displays how far down people are scrolling when viewing your page and it also reveals where they leave the page. With Overlay, you can get a report showing the number of clicks on a specific element of your web page and if you want to have compartmented click results by search terms, referral, and more, you can view them with Confetti.

A free and open source web analytics application running on a PHP/MySQL web server. Piwik offers an overview of what is happening on all your websites at once.

If you're the type of internet marketer who prefers setting your ship's course, Piwik is the perfect web analytic tool for you! You host Piwik on your server and have full access to your data tracked in your MySQL base, unlike other web analytic tools.

I'm sure most of you heard these sayings: “There's nothing in this world is for free” and “You get what you pay for.” But, hey! Lucky enough, Piwik begs to disagree as it provides an open-source analytics platform that comes with 100% data ownership and user privacy protection, at no cost!

A tool that empowers you to see how users behave on your site using heatmaps, funnels, form analytics, and feedback campaigns. Mouseflow also records the user's activity allowing you to study them via session replay.

Has it ever crossed your mind what if there's a CCTV like software that lets you monitor your customer's activity on your site? Mouseflow is another innovation that answers this question.

Knowing how your site visitors behave and what they're looking for can help you convert them into paying customers, and this is the exact reason why Mouseflow's built. Great, right? It can even give you some insights on factors that you can't even track yourself.

An optimization platform that permits you to explore deeply into your technology stack. Optimizely also renders A/B testing allowing you to compare which version performs better.

Optimizely's mission is to help people discover the perfect formula for growth success. They designed a platform that enables businesses to test their technology and help them produce data-driven decisions. Optimizely also allows live testing on your websites without making it visible to the audience.

It is through experiments that most science and technology breakthroughs are produced. Even when it comes to learning, people could acquire new skills or knowledge by experimenting. It's wonderful how Optimizely sees through it and makes it possible for businesses to conduct experiments on their methodology.

Offers a real-time and up-to-date data tracking feature. Clicky also lets you view every action your site visitors take while they are on your website, with the option for you to append visitors data giving you the ability to analyze your visitors individually.

Everyone is on the move and time does fly fast when we're too involved in accomplishing important tasks and having the perfect tools to help us keep up in this fast-paced world is a necessity.

Goodness gracious, we can rely on Clicky! Every data generated is up-to-the-minute real-time without sacrificing the value of the report, you can have every detail of every visitor's elements and actions are being interpreted by Clicky.

A platform that helps track and analyze the activity and behavior of a site's visitor for better engagement to get more customers.

Engineered not just to understand people's behavior on your site, Kissmetrics also helps digital marketers to improve user engagement, increase conversion, and grow user retention.

Now there's nothing to worry about even if you're the busiest ant in your colony. Kissmetrics offers you a behavioral analytics and email campaign automation all in one place.

A business analytics software that lets you explore, transform, and visualize data with a cloud-based data exploration that makes it more convenient to connect and share all your data to create robust dashboards.

Looking for a drag and drop document channel for your data team? Chartio is ideally built for organizations to readily visualize, analyze, and explore data simultaneously through an interactive dashboard.

Aside from a fresh user interface and general responsiveness, Chartio helps businesses connect data via a cloud server and build powerful dashboards without any SQL knowledge — yes, no coding skills needed!

Allows you to access your data across any device helping you understand, track and grow your digital market share wherever you are around the globe.

Good businesses make sure they're always up to date on the standing of their competitors. Yeah, it's great surpassing your own achievements and goals, but it will be more impressive if you also pay attention to your competitor's strategy. At the end of the day, beating them and being the ace in your market is one of the most vital goals to make sure that the company will stand the test of time.

What you need now is SimilarWeb, holding up to its name, it reveals a similar web's strategies and helps identify emerging trends. Apart from having an in-depth insight into your data and performance, it will also help you put up a good fight against any changes in the consumers' preference.

Most of the analytic tools we have in the market offer almost the same thing. It's now up to us to choose which would be a better help especially when we're just starting a business. One of the big factors that I personally consider is the budget. Yes, the high percentage of startups are on a tight budget, so my top picks on the list would be Piwik, Google Analytics, and Optimizely.

So what are your picks? See you on the discussion forum and don't forget to share your personal reviews. :)