Category Archives: Google Analytics Blog

The latest news, tips and resources straight from the Google Analytics team

Introducing the Google Analytics Sample Dataset for BigQuery

The Google Analytics integration with Google BigQuery gives analysts the opportunity to glean new business insights by accessing session and hit level data and combining it with separate data sets. Organizations and developers can analyze unsampled analytics data in seconds through BigQuery, a web service that lets developers and businesses conduct interactive analysis of big data sets and tap into powerful data analytics.

To help you learn or teach practical experience with analyzing analytics data in BigQuery, we are pleased to announce the availability of a Google Analytics sample dataset. This is accessible directly through the BigQuery interface. The dataset includes data from the Google Merchandise Store, an Ecommerce site that sells Google branded merchandise. The typical Google Analytics data you would expect to see such as AdWords, Goals and Enhanced Ecommerce data can be queried. You can see the fields part of the export schema that you can query here.

Google Analytics Sample Dataset for BigQuery
When it comes to helping businesses ask advanced questions on unsampled Google Analytics data, we like to use BigQuery. Its fast and scalable for big data analytics. When providing trainings on the benefits of the Google Analytics and BigQuery integration, there is nothing like having a high quality dataset with sufficient volume to be meaningful. That's why we are so pleased to see the public availability of a robust Google Analytics sample dataset with marketing and ecommerce data. Everyone can experience big data analytics!
- Doug Hall, Director of Analytics, Conversion Works
Self-Learning 
You can use the sample dataset to learn how granular information can be extracted from analytics data in BigQuery. We’ve created this guide to help you create queries to find answers to the following for the Google Merchandise Store:
  • What is the average number of transactions per purchaser?
  • What is the percentage of stock sold per product?
  • What is the average bounce rate per marketing channel segmented by purchasers?
  • What are the products purchased by customers who previously purchased a particular product?
  • What is the average number of user interactions before a purchase?

Education Programs
If you’re an educator trying to teach others to use BigQuery, then we encourage you to use the sample dataset as a tool. You can use it to create task based assessments and other learning materials for your students. We’ve started to do just that by integrating it into our education courses.

The Analytics Academy provides an introduction to BigQuery in their Getting Started with Google Analytics 360 course. The Data Insights course by the Google Cloud team provides an in-depth look at BigQuery with practical exercises.

Access the Dataset
You can learn more about the dataset including how to get access in this help article. If you need some help, please let us know through the Advertiser Community. Share any feature requests or ideas to make the dataset more useful. We hope the dataset gives you a practical way to learn about the benefits of analysing Google Analytics data in BigQuery.

Happy analyzing!
Posted by Deepak Aujla, Program Manager, Google Analytics Solutions

Is Optimize set up correctly on your site? Let us double-check for you.

Google Optimize helps businesses determine which website experiences work best for their customers. With easy-to-use A/B testing capabilities, marketers can use Optimize to create and launch a test in minutes — and manage the entire process on their own.

A/B testing with tools like Optimize drives results. In a recent survey, 72% of marketers found A/B testing to be a highly valuable method for improving conversion rates.

But we’ve heard from businesses that while testing in Optimize is easy, setting it up could be easier. 

Good news: We’re introducing a new feature that helps make sure Optimize is set up and working the way it’s supposed to.

Let Optimize double-check your code 


With Installation Diagnostics, Optimize will automatically alert and advise you on potential issues with your Optimize code each time you create a test. At a glance, you’ll see if your Optimize setup is correct and if you’re ready to run a test.

Let’s say you create a new page on your site but forget to add the Optimize code. Later, when you are creating a test for that page, Optimize will tell you that the necessary code isn’t installed. You’ll have the opportunity to fix the issue and then launch your test. Moving forward, you can be confident that your test results won’t be disrupted by an incorrect setup.

Optimize will alert you about other issues too - including if Google Analytics code isn’t installed on a page, or if an old version of Analytics code is installed. Then you can make changes to ensure you’ll be able to measure the performance of your experiment. Learn more.

Try it yourself 


Today’s top businesses are testing their way to success. They’re valuing data over opinions. They’re constantly learning — even from failures and mistakes. And they’re using their findings to improve the customer experience.

Whether your business is big, small, or somewhere in between, you can follow their lead. Try Optimize now and get ready to gain deep insights about your customers so you can enhance their web experiences like never before.

Google Surveys goes global



We're excited to announce that you can now survey over 50 countries around the globe with Google Surveys.

When we first launched Google Surveys in 2012 (we called ourselves Google Consumer Surveys back then), our goal was to put quality market research in the hands of businesses of all sizes. Market research was costly and time-consuming in those days, and that made it hard for many companies to make decisions based on what their customers were actually thinking.

Google Surveys made it easy to keep your finger on the pulse of your customers with fast, reliable insights from real people. Since then, we've continued making improvements to the product. We also launched Surveys 360, our enterprise version, with advanced targeting, reporting and sharing features.

And now users of both versions can reach people in more than 50 countries. Wondering if your new product line should launch in Portugal? Stop guessing and find out. Lacking competitive intel in India? Not anymore. Trying to convince your boss that your idea is better? We can help with that.

"As a global company, we're especially excited about the targeting expansion to over 50 new countries. We'll be using Google Surveys to run consumer research and brand awareness studies in markets that have historically been difficult for researchers to access." Frank Kelly, SVP Global Marketing & Strategy, Lightspeed GMI


These new targeting choices are available starting today. Hear more from our product team in this video:



To learn more about the new country options, see our help center article.

Happy surveying!

Tag Manager 360: From Approvals to Zones

Whether you’re a small business with a single site or a large enterprise with many complex sites and apps, Google Tag Manager makes it easier to implement and maintain the tags for all your marketing and measurement tools.

Over the past few years, we've continued to improve the core functionality of Tag Manager for all users while also introducing enterprise features for customers with more advanced needs.

For Tag Manager 360 customers, we recently added Approvals functionality, enabling enterprise users to involve more stakeholders in the tagging process without needing to give them full Publish access.

Submit Changes screen in Tag Manager 360 showing how users with Edit access can request approval.
Using Approvals, you can limit select users to requesting approval for tagging changes. Then you can use the built-in commenting capability to work back and forth with them to get things just right.

Today we’re excited to announce another new feature that gives you even more control over your tagging: Zones for Tag Manager 360!

With Zones, you can give users access to publish certain types of tags on certain parts of your site. Zones work by letting you link additional containers within specified page boundaries.

Zone configuration screen in Tag Manager 360 highlighting the steps of linking containers, defining zone boundaries, and optionally turning on type restrictions.
When a page loads within the zone boundaries, any containers linked within the zone will load alongside your main container. For example, you could give your marketing team and agencies Publish access to their own containers, but limit them to only your marketing pages. This gives them the flexibility to manage their tagging independently and reduces work for admins and developers.

For even more control, you can turn on Type Restrictions to choose what types of tags, triggers, and variables will work from containers within a zone.

Type Restrictions for a Zone in Tag Manager 360 highlighting how individual tag types can be allowed or restricted.
So, whether you’re making a few quick updates to who can publish which tags or building a comprehensive tagging plan for a network of global, regional, and local websites, Zones gives you more power and flexibility to set up the right tagging workflows for your organization.

If you’re already a Tag Manager 360 customer, you’ll see a new Zones section in the left sidebar of your containers starting today. Visit our help center to learn more about Zones.

Want to become a Tag Manager 360 customer? If you’re already a customer of another Google Analytics 360 Suite product, you can reach out to your Account Manager. If you’re brand new to the Analytics 360 Suite, visit our website to learn more.

Posted by Scott Herman, Product Manager, Google Tag Manager

New Analytics Academy course: Getting Started With Google Analytics 360

Today, we are introducing a new course in Analytics Academy: Getting Started With Google Analytics 360.


Krista Seiden and Ashish Vij Introduce Getting Started With Google Analytics 360 (Video)


In this course, you will join instructors Ashish Vij and Krista Seiden as you learn key Google Analytics 360 features such as Roll-Up Reporting, Custom Funnels, Unsampled Reports, and Custom Tables. You'll gain insight into how you can benefit from reporting with BigQuery and native integrations with DoubleClick products, and we will provide you with real-world examples to illustrate how you can leverage Analytics 360’s features and integrations to drive performance and achieve your business goals.

By participating in the course, you’ll learn how to:
  • Set up Roll-Up Reporting
  • Analyze customer journeys with Custom Funnels
  • Leverage Unsampled Reports and Custom Tables
  • Analyze big data with BigQuery Export
  • Evaluate marketing performance with DoubleClick reporting integrations
Sign up for Getting Started With Google Analytics 360 now and start learning today.

Happy analyzing!

Helen Huang & The Google Analytics Education Team

More reasons to get started with Google Optimize

With Google Optimize, we want to empower any sized business – big or small – to take steps to make their sites better. Since releasing Optimize last year, we’ve been able to help many businesses identify and provide better site experiences experiences to their users – for free. Today, we’re pleased to announce two new initiatives that will help businesses take even bigger steps when improving their sites.

Higher experiment limit 

Many of our users have given us the feedback that the current limit of 3 simultaneous running experiments is too low. This limit forces them to make difficult tradeoffs about which tests and customer segments should be prioritized. To help address this, we will soon be increasing this limit to 5 experiments. We believe this will give you more opportunity to use Optimize across your entire site.

New “Getting started with Google Optimize” video series 

For many, running website tests may appear to be a daunting task. To make things easier, for anyone completely new to testing or recently started using Optimize, we’ve created a “Getting started with Google Optimize” video series. This will help you start testing in no time. Plus, you can watch the entire series in less than 15 minutes!

Optimize Overview: Quick primer on what Optimize is and how it can help you



Set up your account: Shows you how to link to Google Analytics and get your site ready to run tests 



Create your first experiment: Use the Optimize editor to change your site without writing any code 



Understanding your results: See how Optimize clearly tells you which changes worked best


Once you’re done watching the video series, be sure to create an Optimize account, if you don’t already have one.

We hope you like these changes. Stay tuned, because there are more improvements coming!

Richer Google Analytics User Management

Today we are introducing more powerful ways to manage access to your Analytics accounts: user groups inside Google Analytics, and enforceable user policies. These new features increase your ability to tightly manage who has access to your data, and amplify the impact of the user management features we launched last year.

User Groups

User groups can now be created from and used within Google Analytics, simplifying user management across teams of people. This is a big time saver if you find yourself repeatedly giving out similar permissions to many people, and simplifies granting permissions as individuals rotate into or out of a team.

To start with user groups, visit either Suite Home or Google Analytics, navigate to the user management section, and click the “+” button. You will then see an option to add new groups, which will walk you through creating a user group, adding people to it, and assigning permissions to the group. Here is a full list of steps to make a user group.

Google Analytics User Management page highlighting the new option to create a user group

Enforced User Policies


Google Analytics 360 Suite user policies let you define which users will have access to your Analytics accounts, and which do not. When a user violates a policy, you will be warned of this through the user management section in Google Analytics or Suite Home and have the option to remove that user from your organization.

We have enhanced these policies so you can choose to block policy-violating users from being added to your Analytics accounts. While policies aren’t enforced by default, you have the option to block violator additions.  When you create or edit your organization’s user policy, you will see a toggle switch like the one below:

User policy setup showcasing the new enforced policy option
User groups and enforced user policies are supported in Google Analytics today, and support for more products is coming, as we continue to plan features that help customers better manage access to their critical business data.

Posted by Matt Matyas, Product Manager Google Analytics 360 Suite

Lessons from leaders: A data-driven approach helps deliver engaging, relevant messages




As marketers, we know how important it is to understand our customers and reach them at just the right moment. We also know that consumers have more control of their digital environments than ever — and that they expect us to consistently make recommendations in line with their interests, personalities, and behaviors.1 So how can we regularly communicate in a relevant way with all of our customers?

According to our new report on MIT Sloan Management Review, success starts with a strategy that’s backed by data. In the report, The Data-Driven Transformation, we speak with marketing leaders from Bayer, Tapestry Inc. (the parent brand for Coach, kate spade new york, and Stuart Weitzman), and Sprint. They open up with first-hand insights about transforming their teams to be more efficient, accurate, and agile. Here’s a few key insights from the research — and some words of wisdom from these top analytics pros.

Move toward a unified technology stack — and educate as you go

A recent study by the Association of National Advertisers showed that top marketing performers are the same companies that spend the most money on marketing technology.2 In many ways, their investments are paying off, but for those still using separate solutions for separate channels, there’s greater potential. Unifying their tech under a single, shared system could bring fuller, more tailored consumer insights — not to mention an easier way to evaluate what’s working and what’s not.

Jeff Rasp, director of digital strategy for Bayer’s Consumer Health division, did just that, helping reimagine his team’s approach to data. He oversaw the creation of a new marketing insights platform to consolidate data under a single customer ID, and also helped build the company’s first attribution model to evaluate their success.

Assemble teams with the analytics skills to uncover actionable insights

To deliver the right messages at the right times, marketing organizations need data scientists, mobile developers, and other data professionals. For Rob Roy, chief digital officer at Sprint, that meant building a new in-house analytics team to take operations over from external partners.

“We needed to get the right people who know how to build the architecture to house all the data,” Roy explains.

Once he found them, Sprint worked to integrate data across channels — from web and social media to retail and display — allowing the team more advanced customer segmentation capabilities.

Encourage collaboration across teams

A recent McKinsey study showed that 51% of top-performing marketers were part of a networked organization — one where cross-functional teams come together as needed. Parinaz Vahabzadeh, VP of global data labs at Tapestry, is one leader who’s made sure her team collaborates as a single unit.

“Our mandate is to democratize the data,” explains Vahabzadeh. “As a small, centralized team, we need to find ways to focus on the most impactful projects and also enable the broader teams to run analytics independently.”

Find out more

Want the full stories behind how these three brands are reimagining what they can do with data to reach their customers in relevant ways? Download the full report to learn more.

1-2 MIT SMR Custom Studio/Google, “The Data Driven Transformation,” January 2018

Test and Build for Mobile with Google Optimize

From buying new shoes to booking weekend getaways, mobile can make life more convenient for consumers — and create big wins for marketers. While 40% of consumers will leave a web page that takes longer than three seconds to load, 89% of people are likely to recommend a brand after a positive brand experience on mobile.1 That's why getting your mobile site in shape is more important than ever.

To create the seamless and responsive mobile site that consumers expect, you need the right tools, like Google Optimize. Optimize makes it easy to test different elements of your site to find the winning combination for the best mobile site possible. Now it’s even easier with our new responsive visual editor – and be sure to read on and learn how two of our clients found mobile success with Optimize 360, our enterprise version.

New! Preview your mobile site on any screen size 


While almost everyone has a mobile device, there are so many variations and screen sizes that it’s hard to take a one-size-fits-all approach to optimizing your mobile site. Now, once you’ve created your test page, you can use the new responsive editor to immediately preview what it looks like on any screen size. Or, if you want to see how it appears on a specific device, like a Nexus 7 or iPad, we’ve added more devices that you can select to preview. Learn more about the visual editor here.


Turn ideas to tests quickly 


The responsive visual editor in Optimize is just one solution to help marketers succeed on mobile. Our enterprise version, Optimize 360, makes it easy to make improvements to mobile sites efficiently and rapidly.

Dutch airline carrier Transavia Airlines turned to Optimize 360 to try out different ideas on its mobile site. In fact, the team runs about 10 A/B tests each month on the site, all without having to spend significant time or effort. And the best part? Time spent on analyzing the success of site tests has fallen by 50%. This allows Transavia to focus more on testing to improve its mobile site. Learn more in the full case study.

The path to mobile excellence starts with the customer journey 


Need some help determining what should test on your mobile site? Google Analytics 360 is a great place to start. You’ll be able to analyze any customer interaction, from search to checkout, to figure out which points of your purchase process need help. Then, once you’ve determined where your site needs work, using Optimize 360 to take action is simple, since it’s natively integrated with Analytics 360.

This is exactly how fashion retailer Mango used Analytics 360 and Optimize 360 to tackle its mobile site: After discovering that mobile visits to its online store had skyrocketed 50% year over year, Mango decided to dig a little deeper. In Analytics 360 Mango discovered that while many consumers browsed product listing pages, few were taking the next step to add products to their shopping cart. To reduce steps to checkout, Mango used Optimize 360 to include an “Add” button to product listing pages. This increased the number of users adding products to their carts by 49%. Find out more in the full case study.

Ready to optimize your own mobile site? 


Start testing new mobile experiences with the responsive visual editor in Optimize. This update is one that can help marketers do more on mobile — because whether it’s changing a button or fine-tuning a homepage with quick A/B tests, we’ve learned that small tweaks can make a big impact.

And, if you haven’t already, sign up for a free Optimize account and give it a try.

1 Google / Purchased: "How Brand Experiences Inspire Consumer Action" April 2017. US Smartphone Owners 18+ = 2010, Brand Experiences = 17,726.

Integration of Salesforce Sales Cloud to Google Analytics 360 is now available

In November we announced a partnership with Salesforce, including a plan to build new integrations between Google Analytics 360, Salesforce Sales Cloud and Salesforce Marketing Cloud, seamlessly connecting sales, marketing and advertising data for the first time.

Today we're introducing the first of these integrations: sales pipeline data from Sales Cloud (e.g. leads, opportunities) can now be imported directly into Analytics 360, so any marketer in a business that manages leads can see a more complete view of the customer’s path to conversion and quickly take action to engage them at the right moment. Enterprises such as Rackspace and Carbonite are already benefiting from this integration, saving hours piecing together data and reaching new, more valuable audiences.

A complete view of the customer journey

We often hear from marketers how difficult it is to connect online and offline customer interactions in order to see a complete view of a customer’s journey — and they also tell us how helpful it would be if they could do it successfully. Good news: with the turnkey integration between Sales Cloud and Analytics 360, marketers can now easily combine offline sales data with their digital analytics data so they can see a complete view of the conversion funnel.

This opens up new ways to understand how customers engage with brands and how marketing programs perform. For example, marketers can explore the relationship between the traffic source for online leads (e.g. organic search vs. paid search vs. email) and the quality of those leads, as measured by how they progress through the sales pipeline.
Example of a report in Google Analytics 360 showing the relationship between the traffic source for online leads and the progression of those leads through the sales pipeline, as tracked in Salesforce

With the built-in connection between Analytics 360 and BigQuery, Google Cloud's enterprise data warehouse, marketers can also easily move Sales Cloud data from Analytics 360 into Google Cloud to join it with other datasets and unlock BigQuery's powerful set of tools for identifying insights.

Better marketing outcomes

More visibility into the customer journey is great — but the real value comes from being able to take action. For example, if one source of site traffic consistently delivers leads that are higher quality than another source, budget can be shifted to drive more of the better traffic.

The built-in connections between Analytics 360 and Google’s media buying platforms offer additional ways to find new customers and drive incremental revenue. Marketers can use the tools in AdWords and DoubleClick Search to optimize their bidding on search ads based on the goal of actual sales (offline conversions tracked in Salesforce) rather than just basic website leads. Or they can create an audience list in Analytics 360 of qualified leads from Sales Cloud and use AdWords or DoubleClick Bid Manager so their display ads reach people with similar characteristics.

“People are doing backflips over this”

Rackspace® is a provider of managed cloud services that relies heavily on digital marketing channels to capture interest from potential customers and drive new business. Rackspace has been beta testing the Sales Cloud to Analytics 360 integration and the team has already seen significant benefits from connecting their sales pipeline reporting to their digital marketing analytics.

“Being able to easily see our sales pipeline data in Google Analytics and get complete funnel reports with no manual work has been a game changer. We’re now able to quickly diagnose changes in lead volume and quality, and trace them back to our marketing investments in a way that was not possible before.

We’re getting better insights into our marketing performance and getting those insights much more quickly than when we were trying to stitch this together manually — saving 8-10 hours each week and reducing the lag from importing offline conversion data from 4-6 weeks to virtually real-time. People are doing backflips over this!” - Lara Indrikovs, Senior Manager, Digital Insights & Analytics

Carbonite offers cloud data back-up services that help protect personal and business data from data loss. Carbonite has also been beta testing the Sales Cloud integration and is gearing up to change their media activation strategy to take advantage of the new insights that are now available to them.

“We’re really excited about the opportunity to leverage Salesforce data in Google Analytics and our AdWords media campaigns. This will allow us to activate pipeline acceleration and lookalike prospecting campaigns based on the profiles of companies that achieved key milestones in our customer lifecycle after becoming a lead. We expect this new approach will improve our ROI by shifting our targeting capabilities towards more valuable leads and opportunities.” - Norman Guadagno, SVP of Marketing

What's next?

Over the next few months we’ll be making additional Sales Cloud data available in Analytics 360, giving marketers even more intelligence. For example:
  • Product-specific data will make it possible to run remarketing campaigns that present cross-sell or up-sell offers to customers based on products previously ordered
  • Data predicting the likelihood of lead conversion will let marketers create audience lists of prospects who have a high likelihood of purchasing, which can be used for remarketing (to move people along the sales funnel) or prospecting
  • Lifetime value data can be used as a diagnostic tool to provide insight into which marketing channel brings in the highest value customers


As 2018 moves on, we'll continue to roll out more of the Salesforce-Analytics 360 integrations announced back in November. Soon marketers will be able to include conversion data from Sales Cloud in Google Attribution 360 for more accurate data-driven attribution modeling, surface data from Analytics 360 in Marketing Cloud for a more complete understanding of campaign performance, and make audiences created in Analytics 360 available in Marketing Cloud for activation via direct marketing channels like email.

Contact us here if you are not yet using Analytics 360 and would like to learn more. Current customers can talk to your account team or Certified Analytics Partner about developing a plan for implementing these integrations.

Stay tuned, it's going to be a big year!