Author Archives: Adam Singer

New: Streaming Google Analytics Data for BigQuery

Streaming data for BigQuery export is here.

Today we're happy to announce that data for the Google Analytics BigQuery export can be streamed as often as every 10 minutes into Google Cloud.

If you're a Google Analytics 360 client who wants to do current-day analysis, this means you can choose to send data to BigQuery up to six times per hour for almost real-time analysis and action. That’s a 48x improvement over the existing three-times-per-day exports.

What can I do with streaming data delivery?
Many businesses use faster access to their data to identify and engage with clients who show an intent to convert.

For example, it's well known that a good time to offer a discount to consumers is just after they've shown intent (like adding a product to their cart) but then abandoned the conversion funnel. An offer at that moment can bring back large numbers of consumers who then convert. In a case like this, it's critical to use the freshest data to identify those users in minutes and deploy the right campaign to bring them back.

More frequent updates also help clients recognize and fix issues more quickly, and react to cultural trends in time to join the conversation. BigQuery is an important part of the process: it helps you join other datasets from CRM systems, call centers, or offline sales that are not available in Google Analytics today to gain greater context into those clients, issues, or emerging trends.

When streaming data is combined with BigQuery's robust programmatic and statistical tools, predictive user models can capture a greater understanding of your audience ― and help you engage those users where and when they’re ready to convert. That means more sales opportunities and better returns on your investment.

What's changing?
Those who opt in to streaming Google Analytics data into BigQuery will see data delivered to their selected BigQuery project as fast as every 10 minutes.

Those who don't opt-in will continue to see data delivered just as it has been, arriving about every eight hours.

Why is opt-in required?
The new export uses Cloud Streaming Service, which costs a little extra: $0.05 per GB (that is, "a nickel a gig"). The opt-in is our way of making sure nobody gets surprised by the additional cost. If you don't take any action, your account will continue to run as it does now, and there will be no added cost.

What data is included?
Most data sent directly to Google Analytics is included. However, data pulled in from other sources like AdWords and DoubleClick, also referred to as “integration sources”, operate with additional requirements like fraud detection. That means that this data is purposefully delayed for your benefit and therefore exempt from this new streaming functionality.

For further details on what is supported or not supported, please read the help center article here.

How do I get started?
You can start receiving the more frequent data feeds by opting in. To do so, just visit the Google Analytics BigQuery linking page in the Property Admin section and choose the following option:

You can also visit our Help Center for full details on this change and opt-in instructions.

Google Data Studio: quicker and broader access to data

Over the past 6 months we’ve launched over 25 new features in Google Data Studio including: making the product free and available globally, adding support for PostgreSQL and MySQL, and providing many new report layout options. Overall feedback has been great!

Now we’re adding new features to make it quicker to access your data.

Community Connectors Developer Launch
We want to make it easy to access all your data within Data Studio. Today we are launching a new Data Studio “Community Connectors” developer program allowing you to visualize data from any source.

Community connectors are created using Google Apps Scripts and are easy to build! (our UX team even built one to monitor bitcoin prices). Once created, a connector can be shared with other users, who can use the connector to access their own data.

Today we have over 10 partners who have built connectors to over 200 sources and we’re excited to welcome more developers and data providers to the Data Studio community.  Check out the Community Connector Gallery to explore what our partners built.

Data Studio Community Connector Gallery

Embedded Reports

Many customers want to bring Data Studio reports into their workflows or publish Data Studio reports on their own website. Now you can embed Data Studio reports in your websites and apps using simple iframe embedding. To see your report in your site, edit it, select Report > File > Embed report, then put the HTML code snippet into an iframe. Embeds can be fully interactive, and support both private, public, and non-logged in access, giving you fine-grained control over who can see your data.This new capability will allow you to share compelling data stories through your public websites and blogs, or share critical insights using your own business applications for no additional cost.


Data Control
Large organizations and agencies often have access to many accounts; for example, thousands of AdWords accounts, or hundreds YouTube channels. To simplify reporting, the new data control allows you to reuse a single report across all your accounts, dramatically reducing the time it takes to view data in a report. The data control can also be used to templatize reports, allowing viewers to see their data in a report without having to create anything in Data Studio. The data control supports the following connectors: AdWords (Account & MCC), YouTube Analytics, Search Console, DoubleClick Campaign Manager, and Google Analytics. We plan to add support for more connectors in the future.


Data Studio report with AdWords, Search Console, YouTube, and DoubleClick Data Controls

And a few other updates
We’ve also added a couple of additional capabilities. You can now export any chart data directly to Google Sheets. We added a new Google Cloud Storage connector, making it easy to use Data Studio with your data in Google Cloud Storage. We’ve added SSL support for the MySQL connector. We’ve added the ability to see the totals in the table visualization. And finally, we’ve made the product available in Russia.

These announcements make accessing your data within Google Data Studio easier than ever. We’re excited to see what people do with them. For more information, check out:


Thanks!

Posted by Nick Mihailovski, on behalf of the entire Data Studio team

Google Analytics is enhancing support for AMP on cache

With users getting more and more impatient with slow mobile pages, developers are increasingly investing in a faster web experience with solutions like Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Billions of AMP pages have been published by all kinds of mobile sites – from news to recipes to e-commerce. With so much AMP content being published every week, Google Analytics continues to evolve to support those of our customers who have adopted AMP.

Today we are excited to be the first supporting vendor to announce a new service, Google’s AMP Client ID API, that will enable the same benefits for AMP pages displayed via Google surfaces. In May of this year we launched a solution to help you better understand your customers’ journeys across AMP and non-AMP experiences that were hosted on your own domain. Google’s AMP Client ID API will enable the same benefits for AMP pages displayed by Google such as in Google Search.

How will this work? 

This solution works by allowing your web pages, which may be partially served on Google platforms and partially on your domain, to communicate with each other. This communication happens via a newly introduced Google API and with Google Analytics such that it can understand if a user on your non-AMP pages had ever visited an AMP page displayed by Google. When true, Google Analytics can help you understand user behavior across these two page types as a single cohesive experience. 

To get started you’ll have to opt-in to this solution via a code change. The small code change is required on both your AMP and non-AMP websites to enable this as well as an acknowledgement of the new Google Analytics terms for usage of this API.


When will this happen? 

The ability to opt-in to this solution is available today and you can find code instructions and new terms here. Please review the documentation and opt-in when you are ready.

Are there any other implications of this change? 

Once you opt-in to this solution you will notice changes to some of your metrics. Your user and session metrics will drop down to more accurate counts as formerly distinct users are recognised as the same person, as well as related metrics that will also become more accurate (such as Time on Site and Bounce Rate). And New Users may rise temporarily. This is a function of the product more accurately counting your users. It's a one-time effect that will continue until all your users who have viewed AMP pages in the past return to your site (this can take a short or long period of time depending on how quickly your users return to your site/app). To get more detail about what may change, please read our help center article.

Opt into this new feature today to get deeper insight into how users are interacting with your AMP pages.

Happy Analyzing!

Marketing with a Heart of Data

At top companies, data drives strategies and daily decisions. Our new research with Econsultancy shows that 60% of leading marketers routinely take action based on analytics, and are also 48% more likely than mainstream marketers to say their strategy is strongly data-driven.1

So, how can you help your organization feel data in its pulse? Move beyond instinct and intuition and put data at the heart of your marketing strategy to drive smarter decisions and produce better results. 


Get over your gut — and take data to heart

As a confident decision-maker, it’s natural to trust your gut. But unless your instincts are right every time, why not consult another source? According to our report, nearly 60% of leading marketers agree that decisions made with data have better outcomes than those made with gut instinct or experience, compared to just 36% of mainstream marketers.2

Data tells us things we may not want to hear. For example, maybe you thought last quarter’s campaign strategy would work again, but the data tells a different story. That’s why it’s important to take data to heart — in other words, to accept and trust what your analytics tell you. Marketing with a heart of data also means being comfortable enough with change to act on those insights. Leading marketers are 44% more likely than mainstream ones to say their company is “quite open to change.”3 Is yours?

Let data flow freely

It’s not enough for you to trust your data. For your data-driven marketing strategy to succeed, everyone’s heart has to be in it. Companies that invest in data and analytics at every level empower their marketing organizations to make more informed choices and provide better customer experiences.

But this alignment is impossible if only analysts have access to data. The solution? Help get everyone comfortable with using data in their decision-making. When data flows freely and everyone understands how to use it, analytics can pump insight and value into every decision, strategy, and team.

It’s no wonder 93% of survey respondents agree that collaboration across marketing and analytics teams is essential to driving results.4 In organizations where data is valued and accessible, anyone — and everyone — can uncover insights and drive the business forward.


Don’t forget your head

Even when your marketing organization has a healthy core, you’ll need the support of the C-suite to succeed and lead. After all, what good is a heart of data without a head of marketing?

To secure executive buy-in, bring data insights to your meetings, calls, and conversations — use data to back up everything from big-idea budgets to email campaign optimizations. When executives receive recommendations based on analytics, they start to expect it.

Two-thirds of survey respondents at leading companies say that being a more data-driven organization is a top goal for their CEO, compared to just half of respondents at mainstream organizations.5 While your C-suite can set the right beat to propel innovation and collaboration, you can help keep the systems functioning to ensure data remains at the heart of your strategy.

Download the full Econsultancy research report here to learn how to build a truly data-driven culture.


1-5 Econsultancy/Google, "Customer Experience is Written in Data", May 2017, U.S. (n=677 marketing and measurement executives at companies with over $250M in revenues, primarily in North America; n=199 leading marketers who reported marketing significantly exceeded top business goal in 2016, n=478 mainstream marketers (remainder of the sample)

Three Ways to Get Data Out of Silos and Into Your Marketing Strategy

There are a lot of ways to organize information. And the bigger a company is, the more complicated it can be for employees to find the right data, let alone know how best to use or share that information to make more-informed decisions.

Chances are that some data is “hidden” in silos across your company. According to new research from Econsultancy in partnership with Google, 86% of senior executives agree: eliminating organizational silos is critical to expanding the use of data and analytics in decision-making.1

If teams don’t talk, or if your organization doesn’t have an integrated data strategy to harness marketing, customer, and advertising data, information and ideas won’t flow freely. Here are three ways to break down data silos and get your organization on the path to a more collaborative, data-driven culture.

1. Make data accessible — to everyone
If you have work to do to get your data house in order, you’re not alone: 61% of marketing decision-makers struggled to access or integrate data they needed last year.2

The first step to making data more accessible is to outline a data strategy that identifies data owners and key points of contact for each information source. Next, define how to integrate data and related technologies, and provide standards and processes related to data security and privacy. Include guidelines for sharing data internally.

Democratizing access to data and insights enables employees at all levels to check their gut — and that leads to better results. The same Econsultancy study found that marketing leaders are 1.6X as likely as their mainstream counterparts to strongly agree that open access to data leads to higher business performance.3

Watch our on-demand webinar featuring new research and best practices in marketing data and analytics strategy from Google and MIT Sloan School of Management. 

2. Champion the value of data-driven insights over gut feelings
Once data is made available to marketing managers and business decision-makers, make sure you champion a data-first mindset with your team. Using data effectively is a key differentiator for marketers who are ahead of the curve.

While a documented data and analytics strategy can provide a guide for all employees, support from the top helps set the tone. Nearly two-thirds of leading organizations say that their executives treat data-driven insights as more valuable than gut instinct.4

C-suite buy-in and other champions across the company help reinforce a data-driven culture by giving teams stuck in silos a nudge to collaborate and share analytic insights. Even better, this environment should give teams the incentive to align or share goals since data is core to campaign plans and marketing strategy.



3. Educate stakeholders on how to interpret the data
Having access to data is great, but if employees don’t know how to use it, the insights will remain isolated and unused. Consider this: 75% of marketers agree that lack of education and training on data and analytics is the biggest barrier to more business decisions being made based on data insights.5
If a team is empowered with the right learnings, it will proactively integrate data rather than push it aside. Set up brown bag sessions or internal trainings, or provide employees access to self-paced learning modules.

Finally, consider pairing the “data evangelists” and data storytellers within your organization with different team members to identify areas of focus based on relevant business goals and the biggest opportunities.


Download the Econsultancy report, “The customer experience is written in data,” to learn how successful brands put data at the center of their marketing strategies. 


1, 3, 4, 5 Google/Econsultancy, "The Customer Experience Is Written in Data", U.S., n=677 marketing and measurement executives at companies with over $250M in revenues, primarily in North America; n=199 leading marketers who reported marketing significantly exceeded top business goal in 2016; n=478 mainstream marketers (remainder of sample); May 2017. 2 Google Surveys, U.S., "2016–2017 Marketing Analytics Challenges and Goals," Base: 203, marketing executives who have analytics or data-driven initiatives, Dec. 2016.
2 Google Surveys, U.S., "2016–2017 Marketing Analytics Challenges and Goals," Base: 203, marketing executives who have analytics or data-driven initiatives, Dec. 2016.

Sigma Sport spins up 28% higher revenue with Google Optimize 360

If you’re a road cyclist or triathlete, chances are you know Sigma Sport. This global retailer sells bikes, clothing, energy bars, anti-chafe balm and everything else you need to power your way through your next big event — or just enjoy your next friendly ride in the country.

Recently Sigma Sport set out to address a vital need: to find more customers with high potential lifetime value. “Growth with high-value customers is key to our success,” says Nik Hill, the company’s Head of Digital. “We knew we needed to change our website experience to better engage these customers.”

To reach its goal, Sigma Sport turned to its agency, the digital conversion specialists Merkle | Periscopix. And together they turned to Google Optimize 360, part of the Google Analytics 360 Suite.

Using Optimize 360, Merkle | Periscopix created an experiment where they replaced Sigma Sport’s homepage carousel with brand-specific images of the site’s three top-performing brands: Castelli, Specialized, and Assos. Then they targeted the experiment to the audiences they had already built in Analytics.

This allowed Merkle | Periscopix to serve personalized experiences to fans of each brand. “We used the Analytics audience targeting feature in Optimize 360 to serve bespoke experiences to subsets of users,” says Shahina Meru, Associate Analytics Lead at Merkle | Periscopix. “We created three distinct Analytics audiences who had earlier bought or interacted with the top three brands, then used these as targeting rules in Optimize 360. Anyone who had looked at or bought a Specialized bike in the past, for instance, now saw Specialized products in their carousel.”


When Sigma Sport tested its new personalized home page, they saw right away that it was a hit with users. The experiment drove a 28% rise in revenue and a 32% increase in e-commerce conversion rate during the experiment. In fact, Sigma Sport saw uplift across the entire customer journey with a 90%+ probability to beat the baseline.

The bottom line: Personalization worked, both for bike-shopping customers and for Sigma Sport. Now Merkle | Periscopix is looking for more ways to enhance user experience with personalization from Analytics and Optimize 360.


Now Optimize users can innovate in 37 new languages

It just got a whole lot easier to share Google Optimize with your teams around the world.

Optimize is now available in 37 new languages. Got a team in Thailand? No trouble. Cross-functional partner in Croatia? You're covered. You'll find the full list of supported languages here.

We're always glad to bring our products to more of the world. But in this case, we're extra excited about the way this will help teams collaborate and innovate not just across the office but across the globe.

In this data-rich world, everyone in your company needs to be part of building a culture of growth: a culture that embraces testing and analytics as the best way to learn what customers like most and to improve their experience day by day. Optimize opens the door for innovators at every level to explore how even tiny UI changes can improve results. 

Often those innovators take the form of a small "X-team" — maybe an analyst, a designer, and an engineer working together and totally focused on testing and optimization. With Optimize, a group like that can create changes in minutes instead of days, and they can more easily share that growth mindset and inspire others across their organization.

Now with 37 more languages in play, Optimize makes it possible for many more local teams to take on the role of optimizers, innovators, and culture-changers.

If you have team members who have selected one of the 37 new languages in their Google Account preferences, they'll see Optimize in that language whenever they next sign in. (If you’d like to select a language preference just for Optimize, you can do so in your Optimize user settings at any time.) And if you're happy with your current Optimize language, you're fine: No action is needed.

To learn more about your global language options, visit our help center. Happy optimizing!

Google Data Studio: New Feature Roundup

The Data Studio team is constantly working on new features to improve the user experience for both report creators and viewers! In this blog post we’ll highlight some recent launches that you may have missed.

Filter controls: search 
Filters give report viewers a powerful way to slice data by specific segments. But filters with hundreds or even thousands of possible values to choose from were previously difficult to use, requiring scrolling through very long lists of filter items. We recently added a search feature within the filter component, letting users quickly find and select or deselect specific items.


Filter controls: single-select 
There are also scenarios when it only makes sense to filter a report on a single value, as filtering on multiple values would return confusing or nonsensical data. Report creators now have the ability to configure filters to allow for single-selection only.


Combo charts
New Combo charts allow users to create a line chart with a non-time-based dimension on the X-axis (previously only time-based dimensions were supported). The new component can plot a single dimension with up to 5 metrics, or 2 dimensions with a single metric. Learn more about Combo charts here.


Links in tabular data 
Tables in Data Studio reports can now display clickable links! This feature introduces a new type of interactivity, as viewers can now be redirected to to relevant content outside the report. To use this feature, report owners must use a data source containing a column of URLs. Data Studio will detect this column and assign it to the URL field type (if automatic detection does not work data source owners can also set the field type to URL manually). Learn more about this here.


Submitting and voting for new features
The Data Studio team will continue to introduce new features and product enhancements. Have a feature request? You can view requests submitted by other users, upvote your favorites, or create new ones. Learn more here.

Posted by Alon Gotesman, Product Manager, Google Data Studio

New Data Studio Data Control

Today we’ve made it dramatically easier to view your Google Analytics data in Data Studio using the new Data control. When a report is created using the Data Control, all viewers can see their own data in the report, without creating anything.

Check out these quick video to see this feature in action
Try it out now! 
We added the Data control to these templates so you test it out with your data:  

Overview Report

Ecommerce Template

This feature is great if you:
Are an agency or large organization with access to many Google Analytics views and do not want to create a Data Studio report for each view. For example, if you have a set of charts and data you monitor every day, you can now build a report in Data Studio with those charts and data, add the Data Control, and quickly go between any of the views you have access to, allowing you to monitor your entire business very fast.

Are a large organization with many websites across: different brands, different regions, or different business units, and want to unify reporting and KPIs across your entire organization. Now you can build a template report in Data Studio, add the Data Control, and share the report across your organization. Every user will be able to see their data, in your curated report.

The data control is public for all users.

Read the Help Center for more details on how to use it.

If you build an exciting report, please submit to our gallery, so we can showcase it.

Posted By Nick Mihailovski, Product Manager, Data Studio 

Ask a question, get an answer in Google Analytics

What if getting answers about your key business metrics was as easy as asking a question in plain English? What if you could simply say, "How many new users did we have from organic search on mobile last week?" ― and get an answer right away?

Today, Google Analytics is taking a step toward that future.  Know what data you need and want it quickly? Just ask Google Analytics and get your answer.
This feature, which uses the same natural language processing technology available across Google products like Android and Search, is rolling out now and will become available in English to all Google Analytics users over the next few weeks.
The ability to ask questions is part of Analytics Intelligence, a set of features in Google Analytics that use machine learning to help you better understand and act on your analytics data. Analytics Intelligence also includes existing machine learning capabilities like automated insights (now available on both web and the mobile app), smart lists, smart goals, and session quality.

How it Works
We've talked to web analysts who say they spend half their time answering basic analytics questions for other people in their organization. In fact, a recent report from Forrester found that 57% of marketers find it difficult to give their stakeholders in different functions access to their data and insights. Asking questions in Analytics Intelligence can help everyone get their answers directly in the product ― so team members get what they need faster, and analysts can spend their valuable time on deeper research and discovery.
Try it! This short video will give you a feel for how it works:
“Analytics Intelligence enables those users who aren’t too familiar with Google Analytics to access and make use of the data within their business’ account. Democratising data in this way can only be a good thing for everyone involved in Google Analytics!”
Joe Whitehead, Analytics Consultant, Merkle | Periscopix


Beyond answering your questions, Analytics Intelligence also surfaces new opportunities for you through automated insights, now available in the web interface as well as in the mobile app. These insights can show spikes or drops in metrics like revenue or session duration, tipping you off to issues that you may need to investigate further. Insights may also present opportunities to improve key metrics by following specific recommendations. For example, a chance to improve bounce rate by reducing a page's load time, or the potential to boost conversion rate by adding a new keyword to your AdWords campaign.

To ask questions and get automated insights from Analytics Intelligence in our web interface, click the Intelligence button to open a side panel. In the Google Analytics mobile app for Android and iOS, tap the Intelligence icon in the upper right-hand corner of most screens. Check out this article to learn more about the types of questions you can ask today.

Help us Learn
Our Intelligence system gets even smarter over time as it learns which questions and insights users are interested in. In that spirit, we need your help: After you ask questions or look at insights, please leave feedback at the bottom of the card.

Your answers will help us train Analytics Intelligence to be more useful.

Our goal is to help you get more insights to more people, faster. That way everyone can get to the good stuff: creating amazing experiences that make customers happier and help you grow your business.
Happy Analyzing!