New features and tools in Google Analytics – what businesses need to know now

In the meantime, on Thursday (16 April) Google Analytics announced more new features to the service. In a blog post, Nick Mihailovski, product manager at Google Analytics, revealed that the platform now enables people to “view web and app data from the same reporting view”.

Apparently, this service was to be rolled out to all accounts during the week of 21 April.

Any data you send to the same property appears in all of the reporting views, regardless of how you collected that data. This means that if you send data from the web or from a mobile app to one property, both data sets appear in your reports,” Mihailovski explained.

How Google Analytics came about …

Firstly, however, a little background on the genesis of Google Analytics itself. The platform first came to being in late 2005, following the search giant’s acquisition of Urchin Software. Google then developed Analytics from Urchin-on-Demand. Urchin CEO Paul Muret joined Google after the acquisition where he is currently director of engineering at Google Analytics.

As for our recent workshop on the service, however, Antonie Geerts, head of digital and social marketing at Arekibo, delivered a lively presentation to a selection of our clients about some of the newer reporting and management elements on the Google Analytics service.

His talk was then followed by a Q&A session to give people an opportunity to ask questions related to their own websites, and specific Google Analytics features they should be using, for example to increase conversion rates.

The overall goal of the workshop was to help businesses better understand how customers and potential customers are interacting with their website(s), social platforms and ads and to allow for more experimentation.

Topics covered included: the new Google Analytics interface and the new administration area; Intelligent Events and how to set up automatic alerting; how companies can use Advanced Segments for data mining; Google AdWords – advanced advertising options and re-marketing; and Google Tag Manager.

Content dashboards and Experiments

So, here’s a brief breakdown of what Geerts covered on the day:

Dashboard automation, for example, is one of those new features where reports of particular web analytics trends can automatically be sent to the various departments in a company.

Another new feature discussed was that of Experiments. This allows for A/B testing to be managed through Google Analytics. A/B testing is a way to test changes to your page against the current design and to determine which pages produce the most positive results – think conversion rate optimisation.

“As more data sources are driving traffic to a business website, it is important to understand the effects and potential of these sources,” explained Geerts.

“Google has built a very strong Analytics platform that, with the right training and understanding, will become a must-have for any company doing business online.”

We will keep you posted on our upcoming May workshop, which will be on mobile.