Google Analytics 2013 Summit – 14 new announcements
Delve is a Google Analytics Partner and Google Analytics Premium Reseller. Because of our relationship with Google we are right now at the Google Analytics Summit – an invitation-only event hosted in Mountain View CA, attended by just couple hundred GA Partners from all around the world.
The Summit is focused around 3 themes: Access, Empower and Act:
Announcement 1. Google Tag Manager will track Events without the need to touch HTML
Translation: Prior to today to track Events such as “add to cart” or “sort by cheapest first”, you needed to write into the Data Layer (DL) in Google Tag Manager (GTM) specific instructions (or statements) which represented each such explicit user action. Now, any action that resulted in a user clicking on an object will be tracked by GTM without your front-end dev needing to explicitly code that action into Google Tag Manager’s Data Layer.
Who should care? Whether you have Google Analytics Standard (free) or Premium (paid), this is great news. Now your Universal Google Analytics re/implementation will get bit easier, and, you will likely track more actions that users take on your website = more information tracked in GA = more ways to slice/dice your data.
Announcement 2. Google Tag Manager will be covered by the Google Analytics Premium SLA (service level agreement)
Translation: Prior to today Google Tag Manager wasn’t explicitly covered by the GA Premium “industrial-strength” SLA. This means that a Universal Google Analytics implementation executed through Google Tag Manager could be contested by your legal department as not being covered by the GA premium SLA language. Now, if GA Premium is implemented through GTM you are 100% covered.
Who should care? Nobody really, unless you are a … $500/hr corporate lawyer.
Announcement 3. Universal Google Analytics will be implemented in the same Property as Asynchronous GA
Translation: Prior to today if you wanted to implement Universal Google Analytics you had to create a brand-new Property (a new UA-xxxxx-X) in the Google Analytics interface. That meant that you would loose continuity between your ‘new’ Universal GA implementation, and the ‘old’ Asynchronous GA implementation. Now, you will be able to see Asynchronous and Universal in just one Property, which makes everyone’s life easier.
Who should care? Everybody that wants to launch Universal Google Analytics. The Upgrade tool will make the case for getting on Universal GA that much easier because you won’t have to jump between Properties to e.g. see what happened at the same time last year (when you were on Asynchronous) and today (when you are on Universal).
Announcement 4. The Account & Employee Access Management API will ease the pain around user access across tens or hundreds of users
Translation: Prior to today if you wanted to add many users or create lots of user accounts to a GA Account, you had to do that manually. Since Google wants for everyone in your organization to use Google Analytics (thus, the Access theme for this Announcement), now giving access will be that much easier.
Who should care? Only if you work for a very large corporation will this be relevant to you. I think for most of our customers, and for majority of Google Analytics users, this Announcement will be irrelevant.
Announcement 5. Addition of ABC (Acquisition Behavior Conversion) report to the GA interface
Translation: Prior to today if you wanted to understand where they are coming from (A), what are they doing in terms of time, bounce rate, etc (B), and finally how many convert or buy (C), you had to pull several different reports to get that specific view. Now, you will be able to see side by side, at source level, all 3 ‘steps’ (yes, similarly to what you would see with KissMetrics
Who should care? Everyone. This update will make it easier to understand the relationship between Engagement and Conversion (=money), at Source level.
Announcement 6. Easier to use Advanced (or Unified) Segments
Translation: Prior to today Advanced Segments configuration in GA was, well, relatively easy if you knew what you were doing. Now, that configuration will be even easier!
Who should care? If you were having problems with Advanced Segments setup before, this is a nice update. Otherwise, you probably won’t care.
Announcement 7. Demographic audience reporting
Translation: Prior to today if you wanted to append demo data to your Audience (your visitors), well, that was hard if not impossible. Now, because Google is collecting so much info about your visitors on their ad network, that information will be made visible in the GA interface.
Who should care? Everybody, that has GA Premium. If you are buying media, you will be able not only to see who they are in an ‘under the skin’ type of way, you will be able to also pull a list that comprises of visitors who are you most interested in and … re-target them.
Announcement 8. Unified Segments AND Audience Demographics
Translation: Prior to today you couldn’t create an Advanced (Unified) Segment around … Males that are 25+ who speak English. Those metrics weren’t available, period. Now, per Announcement 6 and 7 above, you will be able to not only see Demos for your visitors, but also, slice and dice those demos into smaller segments using Unified Segmentation.
Who should care? Everybody, that has GA Premium, and who wants to re-target their audience to go after those who are most engaged or valuable.
Announcement 9. Native connection between Google Analytics (premium) and BigQuery
Translation: Prior to today exporting data from Google Analytics (premium) to BigQuery (Google’s Cloud Platform big data datamart), required a dedicated ETL tool such as Pentaho, Talend, SpringBatch, SSIS, etc. Now, you can export your big data from GA Premium with a click
Who should care? Everybody, that has GA Premium, who has massive amounts of data in GA and who has the know-how to analyze data in BigQuery (we at Delve have that know-how, talk to us if you need help!).
Announcement 10. DFA in Google Analytics!
Translation: Prior to today if you were running display through Dart for Advertisers (or, DoubleClick Campaign Manager, aka DCM, per the latest update), you could see click-through visits/conversions in GA, but, none view-through activity. Now, view-through activity such as visits or conversions will be shows in GA.
Who should care? Everybody, that has GA Premium, who spends lots on Display with DoubleClick doing the serving, who wants to have a better integration between GA and DCM, and, who wants to see view-through activity in Data Driven Attribution – note next announcement.
Announcement 11. DoubleClick Campaign Manager and view-through conversions in GA’s Attribution
Translation: Prior to today you couldn’t see “view-through” as a step in the customer journey in Top Conversion Paths in Google Analytics. Now, view-through activity is on equal footing with Direct or any other ‘explicit’ source in the Google Analytics Interface.
Who should care? Everybody, that has GA Premium, who spends lots on Display with DoubleClick doing the serving, who wants to have a better integration between GA and DCM, and, who wants to see view-through activity in Data Driven Attribution AND to give view-through explicit credit for a conversion.
Announcement 12. Google Play and Google Analytics integration
Translation: Prior to today if you had an Android app on Google Play you couldn’t see that activity reflected in GA, e.g. data around Campaign Clicks, Play Store views, Installs, or New Users wasn’t shows in GA. Now, this new Google Analytics Services SDK for mobile, especially the Campaign Measurement section, will give you that full visibility into how much money you spend to drive app downloads and in-Google Play activity.
Who should care? If you have an Android app, you should care about this. Today in-Google Play activity is a black-box as far as Google Analytics is concerned – no more.
Announcement 13. GA Academy
Translation: Prior to today if you wanted to learn about specific Google Analytics features, you could read a boring article in the Google Analytics Developer portal. Now, similar to Khan Academy, Google created a series of videos that make it easier to learn about Google Analytics.
Who should care? OMG, everyone This is awesome news for Agencies, and those on the Client-side. If you ever tried to read through the Google Analytics Developer portal, you know how obscure and general those instructions can be.
Announcement 14. GA Academy videos inside of the Google Analytics interface
Translation: This is the easiest Announcement to explain. Now you will see videos about relevant reports or metrics/dimensions that you will be looking at within the GA interface, as you are looking at those reports. Easy.
Who should care? Everyone
What’s the bottom line? (no pun intended… this is the bottom of this post, and a bottom line, I know you get it…). Google Analytics is getting better due to all the integrations, BUT, it’s also becoming more and more complicated. A double-edged sword, but overall a great exciting move forward.