Archive for the ‘google analytics’ Category
We used to hear “mobile is the future.” Then, we started to hear the phrase, “Mobile Now.” Finally, “Mobile First” is the reality. While this is great for consumers, as we have access to great apps and services literally at our finger tips, marketers are now challenged to keep up with new user-experiences, new platforms, mobile development, and yes, you guessed it, new mobile analytics! But, hey, no one said life in the fast lane was easy And, when you need mobile insights in a jiffy, you’re naturally going to look at real-time reporting. Don’t get ahead of yourself though – it might not be what you expect.
Mobile Analytics vs. Standard Desktop Analytics
Just as mobile user-experience and mobile marketing have pushed beyond the familiar features and functionality of the traditional web, so does mobile analytics. General analysis concepts such as segmentation, acquisition, behavior, conversion etc. still very much apply to mobile analytics. But there are foundational mobile concepts that marketers should adopt and do so quickly.
Don’t waste any time before getting comfortable with these:
- Tracking activity in a mobile app, in Google Analytics for example, requires a mobile SDK (and yes, you can use the Google Tag Manager for mobile).
- Screens. Don’t get caught saying pageviews. Pages are for browsers.
- Events and more Events for all your user interactions. No browser, no hyperlinks. Explicitly define every Event.
- Crash and Exception reports. You won’t need these? Yeah, right.
- Metrics like Installs (App installs) and IAP (In App Purchases).
- Mixed Web and Mobile data for similar user interactions - like when a user logs in at amazon.com to shop and later uses their Amazon iPhone app to make a purchase. It’s a multi-screen world, folks. Let’s track it.
These aspects will be the subject of another post, but I’ll share a taste of what is going in Mobile Analytics.
Google Analytics recently made a User Interface change and updated some metrics to work across desktop and mobile. Visitors are now Users and Visits are now Sessions. A needed switch as we begin to use the internet in browserless ways.
Real Time Reports
What about reporting? Take a look at Real-Time reports. In GA for web, Real Time reports show you data about your users as they traverse the site (after a few seconds of delay). How does Real-Time Reports work for Apps? Slightly differently. We’ve isolated the data in the following examples to highlight the differences.
In the Overview Report, you see how many active users there are, how many screen views the app is getting “Per Minute” and “Per Second”. The metrics work in the following ways:
- The app is started; the user navigates through number of screens and icons, links. Events are generated in GA.
- After waiting, nothing shows up in the “Per second” window.
- You escalate to your developers, they check the code and the GA View configuration and it’s all solid.
- You run the test again. You watch closely. In two minutes, activities appear in the “Per minute” window showing activities that happened two minutes earlier (see first snapshot below). Huh? What happened?
- This is as Real-Time as you are going to get. Not good? Sorry It’s by design. Stay with me as we learn why.
In Mobile Analytics and in our specific GA example, there is a concept called data dispatching, as defined by Google “As your app collects GA data, that data is added to a queue and periodically dispatched to Google Analytics. Periodic dispatch can occur either when your app is running in the foreground or the background.” Dispatching is used to reduce overhead, increase battery life, etc.
In the iOS, the default dispatch is 2 minutes (and you can adjust it to your liking).
For Android, the default dispatch is 30 minutes (and can be adjusted as well).
Other analytics platforms such as Flurry have similar concepts.
- The app was started; a number of screens and events were clicked on.
- The app was killed—all within less than 2 minutes. The activities showed up right away in the Per Second window.
- After a minute or 2, the activities showed up in the Per Minute window as shown below.
- Why did the activity show up within less then 2 minutes in the Per Seconds and (pretty much less then 2 minutes) in the Per Minute window?
The way Data Dispatch works is that there is a set delay in which the activity is transmitted. However, if the app is terminated before that time frame, data will be submitted immediately. Thus, in this scenario, because the app was terminated before the 2 minute mark, the data was submitted and (after some processing time) showed up in the Per Second window. In the minute window, of course, after the processing time and minute intervals, then you’ll the real time activity.
An active user is triggered when you start the app, as seen below. The snapshot was taken within 1 min of starting the app. Just remember only 5 minutes of inactivity will drop the user from the Active User report even though their activity will be present in the Per Minute report.
So be careful – the present world of mobile Google Analytics Real-Time reports is different from what you might expect from desktop Real-Time. What you see isn’t necessarily exactly live, but rest assured that the same hits that have appeared in standard (non-Real-Time) Google Analytics reports are still making their way to GA to appear in the reports (and in some new reports, too) in only a few hours.
Share with us your thoughts and comments!
The following is an excerpt from a post we wrote on the Evolve Conference Blog. For the full article, please click here.
Universal Google Analytics is all the craze right now. We hope you’re planning to attend our Evolve conference in October, because we are going to cover it and cover it well!
Not only do we have the sessions, but we’re also having a Fireside Chat with Justin Cutroni, Google Analytics Evangalist, and he’ll be providing answers to all your “burning questions”. You all should know Justin, an avid speaker and blogger and thought leader in our industry. So bring on your questions!
If you’re still not sure about what’s all involved with Universal Analytics and the impacts it has on your organization, follow the following 5 tips and you’ll be in a good shape.
Tip #1. Don’t panic! You don’t have to rush, you still have time.
Legacy (or Classic) Google Analytics isn’t going away soon. According to Google’s Universal Analytics Upgrade Center, “Data collected from the deprecated features will be processed for a minimum of 2 years”. So if you are using ga.js, urchin.js, customer variables, etc., you’ll have data for a couple of years from when Universal was announced out of beta (April 2014).
Labor day just passed which pretty much marks the end of summer vacation. The party’s over, as they say, and it’s time to get back to work. Children get back into routine for school, students gear up for another semester, people reminisce over summer vacations and plan out the rest of the year, and of course businesses begin to buckle down for Q4 so they can finish out the year on a strong note. It’s a time to re-evaluate, tweak and re-establish goals. There’s also that iPhone 6 announcement coming next week, but I digress.
One of my goals for this year was to make significant strides towards being healthier. As with anything else this requires physical effort, but more-so than that, it requires mental discipline.
I’ve noticed in the last couple of years, the huge influx of wearable fitness trackers that measure everything from steps taken, to distance, to elevation, to heart-rate, to sleep. It’s impressive what data these little devices can capture and the exhaustive reports that can be produced.
Being a data geek combined with this goal of being healthier, I decided to invest in my own tracker. While there are many options available, they are all very similar and you basically have to find one that you’ll use. Features and functionality aside, if they sit at home instead of on your person, they’re a waste of money. So my main requirement was comfort. After an exhaustive search I decided to try out the Jawbone UP24. It’s an amazing little device, and pumps out quite the stream of data. Color me impressed!
I was talking to my colleague Farid the other day about these fitness trackers prior to making the decision to purchase. To be honest, this rarely happens, but on this auspicious day, Farid had some words of wisdom which echoed in my mind for days [Edited and rejected by Farid Alhadi]. He said, in reference to the large selection of devices available, “You know, they’re essentially all the same, and they don’t do much unless you use them, but what they do is provide is that little extra motivation.” Ok, he didn’t quite make the discovery of the century, I’m probably being kind of dramatic to his compliment, but you get the point. [Edited and rejected by Farid Alhadi]
“That little extra motivation”? Maybe that’s the difference between being healthy and not quite there? Could the line in the sand really be that narrow? Would data be all I need to help me run that extra mile, or do those extra reps? Really? Could it be that a dashboard of my fitness stats would help me take that step that I’ve been trying to take for so long? Wait a second…dashboards, metrics, data, insights??? this is starting to sound a little too familiar.
Here’s some samples of the type of reports that this little thing produces:
More importantly, this got me thinking. (Yes I know I’m a geek…you don’t need to remind me). Doesn’t a fitness tracker essentially do what Analytics does for a business? Just as a fitness tracker captures the performance of an individual based on pre-defined metrics, so does analytics based on similar pre-defined metrics.
1. Use it or lose it. (And I don’t mean the weight).
The fitness tracker is only as good as our usage of it. The same principle can be applied to analytics. It only works if you use it. If I leave the fitness tracker at home, or forget to wear it, or if I don’t calibrate it, the data is going to be useless. Same goes for your analytics tool. Organizations sometimes spend thousands on analytics tools and even strategies, but they don’t put a legitimate effort to use it or even use it right! Your organization’s mindset needs to make a legitimate effort to be metrics driven and put value in the tool you spent so much money on.
If you’re intimidated by it, there are plenty of consultants and trainings that can help.
2. Plan your meals and workouts carefully with a clear goal in mind.
How can you measure progress if you don’t know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there? If our measurement strategy isn’t zeroing in on the things that are key to the business, it needs to be adjusted, but you wont be able to know that without a clear cut plan. Analytics works the same way. Have a clear goal and a strategy as to how you plan to measure your goals. Once again, this might be a daunting task, but that’s what your certified partners are there for!
3. Garbage in equals garbage out.
That doesn’t only apply to your diet, but it applies to your data. If you don’t eat the right food, you wont have the right body. If I don’t enter my calories consumed correctly, I won’t really be able to measure my progress. Similarly, if you don’t measure your digital website or mobile app data correctly, your data may be garbage and thus, your insights may be garbage. The tool needs good food/data to be able to do it’s job correctly. Make sure you’re tracking your data properly, using the correct methods and code. Track the right pages, the right events, and create clean proper funnels and goals.
4. Review your progress.
If I don’t review the data at periodic intervals and adjust my exercise routine as a result, what benefit am I getting out of it? No one get’s it right the first time. It takes optimization. Maybe your diet isn’t right. Maybe your exercises aren’t burning enough calories. Maybe your body has hit a plateau and it’s time to switch things up. Similarly, with analytics, if we’re not reacting to what the data is telling us, then what good is our analytics implementation? Your measurement strategy should include periodic review to see your progress and make the adjustments necessary to truly optimize results of your site. Just as the reports above tell the wearer of the fitness device to move, Analytics reports similarly tell us which marketing campaigns need attention, which landing pages need to be tweaked, what’s working well, and what’s not. In other words, an entire action plan can be derived just by periodic review of key performance indicators.
Yes people, an individual is similar to a business in this sense. While that won’t get you on the Fortune 500 list, it’s still something to ponder It’s an interesting comparison, but one that resonated in my mind and helps me apply the concept of “Measure, Analyze, Optimize” we learn in the world of analytics to my daily life as well. The thought did cross my mind that perhaps I should import this data into Tableau and go all nerdy with it, but that would be a bit too over-zealous. I’ll leave that for another day, or maybe I’ll have “a little extra motivation” once I start hitting my goals.
One key takeaway from this little lesson I learned: Performance is an attitude, not just a device.
It’s easy to sign up for cool tools without really reading the full terms of service, especially when those services are complimentary. Google Analytics is one of those “cool tools”! Really robust, really useful, sometimes so useful, our business depends on it. But do we really know the limits?
You’re garnering leads, conversion rates are increasing, the Key Performance Indicators you’ve chosen are displaying progress, and the hits to your website are sky-rocketing! Life is good when suddenly an error message starts flashing on your reporting dashboard – you’ve exceeded 10 million hits per month!
Why did you hit the data limit? Well, it’s part of the terms of service we neglect to read . Google Analytics terms of service states, “…the service is provided without charge to you for up to 10 million Hits per month per account.”
Is it really that big of a deal? If you’re hitting the limit, probably. Reason being, most likely at this volume, your data is important, and Google Analytics will automatically start sampling your data. That means not all your data will be available in your interface, which could lead to inaccuracies and limit the insight you can derive.
All the work and investment you put in your digital properties – websites, mobile website, mobile apps, to become one of the leading businesses in your industry – it’s obviously important to accurately analyze your data and have as much access to it as you can.
You have 3 overlying solutions:
1. Upgrade to Google Analytics Premium
The first is the easiest most straightforward way to overcome these limits. Upgrading to Google Analytics Premium gives you 1 billion hits per month, not to mention access to “amped-up” reporting features for your business. Plus, you won’t be going at analyzing your data alone – it also includes technical and implementation support, which at this volume, can be a big help.
It is indeed a paid service, but it’s worth it to avoid the hassle and get the proper processing power and support you need for your growing organization. For more information and consultation about Google Analytics Premium, contact E-Nor.
2. Limit Hits to Google Analytics by Setting Your Own Sample Rate
Since Google Analytics standard only allows a number of hits, the second option you have is to report/send fewer hits to your analytics account. A “hit” on a site is a pageview, event or any other transaction. The reason this may help is that a single visit could potentially be registered as multiple hits. That is, say a user interacts with your website and views multiple pages, fills out a form and purchases a product, these interactions will be reported as multiple hits, regardless of all these actions being associated with one unique visitor or even one visit. Setting your own sample rate will minimize the hits, but put the control in your hands (rather than letting the system choose the sampling rate for you when you’ve passed their limit).
This is done at the code level. Talk to your developers about setting a new sample rate using the _setSampleRate method in the tracking code. This method allows you to choose the number of visits after which you want to count. For instance, you choose to track one visit after every 10 visits, so your sampling rate is 10. Say you have 100,000 visits a day. If you track with a sample rate of 10, your visits will be reported as 10,000 hits. Thus, allowing you to reduce your overall data limit.
3. Selective Tracking To Minimize Hits
If you’re only interested in certain types of hits, you may be able to get rid of what’s unnecessary. For example, since every Event counts as a hit, you may want to re-strategize and figure out what Events are really necessary. Instead of tracking every unique user-interaction as an Event, pick and choose what’s important to track so that the tracking code doesn’t record excessive hits and inflates your data limit.
If you are a video heavy website, you may not need to track everything, such as when the user starts the video, when they pause the video, have reached midway, and/or reached the end. You might want to simply track when the user starts the video or when they’ve completed watching the video. This cuts downs the number of times tracking code is fired and lowers the hits.
If you’re an ecommerce website, and heavy on products, you don’t have to track every single metric involved, maybe only product pages visits, shares, social interactions, Add-to-Carts and so on. Once again pick and choose which metrics will best reflect your website’s performance with selective metrics.
Stay tuned for our more in depth article on tips to deal with sampling.
Creative solutions are built from knowing the basics to the bone. Every so often, we like to go back to basics for our beginner readers and remind everyone else. Here’s a quick review and infographic of the “ABCs of Google Analytics”.
In the Google Analytics interface, on the left side there is the Google Analytics reporting menu. You’ll realize they’ve done a great job of organizing things based on intuitive marketing strategies.
A is for Acquisition: What brought visitors to your site?
These items in GA essentially show you what’s driving traffic to your digital properties, website, mobile site, mobile app, etc, telling you where your visitors coming from. Some examples of what kind of traffic you are getting are paid, referral, organic, and direct traffic. Also, the technological world we live in may have visitors coming to your site from multiple touch points several times before converting. Universal Analytics helps you tie all of these things together (including even offline data if you want).
B is for Behavior: What did the visitors do once they got there?
Once visitors get to your website or mobile app, what are they doing? The “behavior” area tells you what your visitors are engaging with on your digital properties. At a higher level, they might be visiting and interacting with the home page or other landing pages, traversing the site, visiting several pages (or bouncing!). Also, if set up correctly, Behavior not only includes what pages they visited, but specifics of how they interacted with your pages and site(s). For example, Events you’ve set up to be triggered by playing videos, clicking links, using the slider button and reading through content, would all be found here, so you can see the details of exactly what’s happening.
C is for Conversion: Did they do what you wanted them to do?
This is what it all comes down to! By setting up Google Analytics goals and enhanced eCommerce, you’ll be able to tell if your online marketing efforts are truly working. After all, who needs a bunch of visitors engaging with your site if they’re not contributing to your bottom line, like becoming leads by submitting forms or buying products. Here is where you can see all your goal conversions, like downloading material, form submissions, add-to-carts, completed checkouts, etc.
For your reference and visual pleasure, below is an infographic to demonstrate these basic concepts and flow in Google Analytics.
We are proud to be partnering with Rising Media to be producing the Evolve with Google Analytics conference! Millions of organizations are using Google Analytics, but have yet to tap its full potential. As experienced Google Analytics Certified Partners, we know the platform in and out, and will put you in touch with the foremost thought-leaders and practitioners of the analytics industry. I invite you to attend the inaugural launch of Evolve with Google Analytics. Attend the conference to learn about:
• Unlocking the Power of Universal Analytics
• Truth in Advertising
• App and Cross-Device Insights
• Customer 360: Integrating Web and CRM Data
• Google Tag Manager Best Practices
• Testing and User Experience Integration with Google Analytics
• Google Analytics Live Clinics and more
You’ll have the opportunity to network with fellow marketers and practitioners and share real life stories on leveraging Google Analytics to enhance your organization’s data-driven decision culture.
Evolve your measurement for better insights and competitive advantage.
We look forward to seeing you October 6 – 7, 2014 in Boston!
Conference Chair, Evolve with Google Analytics
P.S. Early bird registration rates end Friday August 8th. Register today & save $300.
We do quite a bit of analytics consulting for government agencies and it’s really inspiring to see what some of the organizations do with digital marketing. Many governments globally, not just here in the U.S., invest heavily in e-government initiatives and, as the U.N. defines it, “…the employment of the Internet and the world-wide-web for delivering government information and services to citizens.”
As a matter of fact, the U.N. has a number of studies and surveys to rank global leaders in e-Government initiatives, including this survey that ranks top 50 countries (for more information on the criteria of choosing the top 50, reference the survey).
On our end, and in a similar fashion to what we publish on digital analytics adoption in the Fortune 500 every year, we thought we’d assess the digital analytics adoption of the U.N.’s top 50 e-governments. We expect wide-spread adoptions of digital analytics among the leaders, since we’d assume to be in the top, they’d have heeded the old adage, “You can’t improve what you can’t measure.”
- We looked for known web analytics platforms and if they are installed on the sites
- As an indicator of analytics adoption in these countries, we used either the president’s page or the official governmental portal.
Orange is the New Analytics Platform
Check out the following visualization of the research data in Tableau.
We’ve been aware through anecdotal evidence that many governmental agencies deploy Google Analytics Standard or Google Analytics Premium, but this data actually shows these top ranking countries adopt digital analytics and rely overwhelmingly on Google Analytics to deliver results. While the adoption of Google Analytics doesn’t come as a surprise (given it’s user-friendly interface and powerful capabilities), the magnitude of its lead over other tools is a bit surprising.
If you are considering an analytics solution for your government portal, and you choose Google Analytics, you’ll be in the company of the leaders!
Recently, an issue came to light with one of our clients which turned our world upside down – quite literally.
In the graph (shown below), Unique Pageviews vs. Pageviews was compared for a given date range for a select group of pages.
If you click on the image to zoom in, you’ll notice something weird. For some reason, the line of the Pageviews metric — which is higher in number — is lower visually than the unique pageviews.
What the @#$^ is happening?
The unique pageviews line (the higher of the lines) is graphed according to the y-axis scale on the left. What you probably didn’t notice is the pageviews line (the lower of the two lines) is graphed according to the secondary y-axis on the right. Yes, there is another y-axis on the right side.
Because the scales are different, they’re spatially and visually apples and oranges in terms of height.It’s a bit counter-intuitive and weird, but we thought we’d share this finding with you in case any runs into this issue and get’s confused.
Still confused? That’s ok. At least you know why now
Also, see cool interactive data visualization chart of 2014 World Cup data here.
As the month-long World Cup Tournament in Brazil is at an end, it is amazing to see that the biggest winner of the tourney is not the one who scored the most on the green field, but rather, the one who scored the most on social media.
The most watched sporting event on earth generates millions of social mentions and millions of viral video views produced by individuals as well as major brands for marketing and advertising.
During the USA match against Belgium, for example, the US Goalkeeper, Tim Howard’s, name exploded all over the internet after his astonishing performance and his world record saves in the match. He was lauded greatly by his fans on different social networks and was even briefly named the U.S. Secretary of Defense on Wikipedia!
Neymar, the 22-year-old Brazilian striker with four crucial goals and successful pass rate, has been leading the World Cup social buzz as well. He is by far the most talked about player of the tournament with 33 million social mentions. He has 12.5M followers on Twitter and has been in the spotlight ever since his two goals scored in the first match, all the way until his last match in the tournament where he took a knock in the back from a Colombia defender, causing a fracture to his third lumbar vertebra.
Obviously, social mentions can correlate positively or negatively based on the performance of the players and their teams. In order to understand and analyze the online data generated by this social buzz, we need to marry that data with real-time offline data generated by the “feet” of the players.
To get the best of both worlds, detailed statistics were collected by the E-Nor consultants using Google Analytics (Universal Analytics) for every World Cup player, team and match, including:
- Pitch condition
- Goals scored
- Goals against
- Fouls committed
- Fouls suffered
- Attempts on target
- Attempts off target
- Games played
- Minutes played
- Yellow cards
- Red cards
Here is a sample of the matches report:
This report shows the top 5 scored players:
Here are few other snapshots of the data in action:
Teamwork and Performance
The aspect that fascinates me the most in soccer is a team attempting play as one complete system intending to score one goal.
Although this year’s World Cup winner, Germany, may have no internationally recognized stars, such as Neymar, Messi, and Ronaldo, I enjoyed watching all their games in the tournament. The beauty of their team work definitely overcame the absence of entertainment from an individual superstar, and ultimately led them to true victory. Congratulations to Germany, very well deserving champions indeed!
Here is how the top 8 teams performed:
Pitch Conditions and Performance
Poor pitch conditions could easily hurt the playing style and the performance of teams. A well-maintained playing surface helps players with running and quick-passing. According to data gathered, teams had a hard time scoring on wet and dry pitches, while scoring was above average on soft pitches.
Here is the same report based on the temperature during the match. Do you see any correlation?
Age and Performance
While the 36-year-old Ivory Coast striker, Didier Drogba, wasn’t directly involved in any goals, his presence was enough to energize his team and to worry the opponent’s defense! This is my response whenever someone criticizes the performance of players who pass the 35-year-old milestone. Maybe I am biased in my view, but that is why we need to look at data and what it says about players’ age and their performance.
History and Performance
While this is the first time for us to record World Cup data in Google Analytics, it was impossible for us to enjoy looking at trending event or to predict based on historical data. With this humble experiment that we conducted for the 2014 World Cup, we are hoping that we left the doors of possibilities wide open for other smart people to build on top of this and provide data and soccer lovers a more comprehensive coverage of the World Cup data all in GA
||1958 1962 1970 1994 2002
||1954 1974 1990 2014
||1934 1938 1982 2006
It has been said that this World Cup will be the most social sporting event in history and it certainly was. All available data easily validates that assertion. World Cup data also provides major opportunities for brands and for marketing agencies. As you see in the experiment, Google’s Universal Analytics infrastructure can handle the marriage of the two worlds; offline and online activities. I believe with the new Google Analytics platform we will see many creative solutions built to answer real business needs that we failed or were unable to answer in the past.
Interested in our collected data? Send us your email address and we will grant you a temporary ready-only access to our 2014 World Cup GA reports.
Soccer image by Pallus23 of Deviant Art.
Every World Cup game I watch overwhelms me with the amount of historical numbers and statistics thrown around by game commentators about the teams and players. Soccer fans, including myself, are becoming numbers addicts more and more and we enjoy game analytics and prediction as much as we enjoy the games themselves.
There was a time, not so long ago, when statistics in soccer were only as complex as goals scored (with maybe a few other small metrics!)
This is similar to Digital Analytics where we used to foolishly measure website performance based on rudimentary data, such as the infamous hit counters! (Sad days, I know!) Thank goodness that isn’t the case anymore as every day more advanced metrics are introduced and the entire world is exposed to and becoming more familiar with data/statistics in all fields and aspects of life. Rudimentary metrics have been replaced with a world of rich numbers and sophisticated metrics. For example, soccer fans and analysts have more data to work with than most could ever use after years of analysis.
Here at E-Nor, we wanted to make this year’s World Cup even more enjoyable and interesting for marketers and analysts in the Digital Analytics industry. So we decided to record some key players’ activities as they are happening and send that data to our beloved analytics and reporting tool – Google Analytics.
As you may know, Universal Analytics is a game changer when it comes to the possibilities of what can be measured using Google Analytics. With the Universal Analytics Measurement Protocol, we can make HTTP requests and send raw user interaction data directly to Google Analytics servers. This gives us the power to measure users’ interaction from any environment – including the soccer field!
Just for fun, we collected around 300 events for every match. Lots to look at and hopefully enough information to satisfy dedicated soccer fans
In this first blog post, I will share a few reports that we already gathered during the first round of the competition. Next post, we’ll take another angle and show you how we did it and share some code samples.
This report shows the top 10 matches based on the goals scored:
This report shows the performance of the teams that made it to the round of 16. Yes, we made it; Go USA
This report shows the top 10 scored players in the first round:
This report shows the names and positions of the players with red cards: