It’s been a few months now since Google announced its Analytics 360 Suite, and we’ve been seeing the gradual roll-out of what’s been promised over the time since. One of the goals of the suite is something we’ve been advocating for a while: better support for enterprise requirements of Google Analytics. While our Analysis Engine helps close the gaps for large enterprises using Google Analytics, we’ve been thrilled to see Google take the enterprise more seriously.
Some of the things I’ve been particularly eager to see are a couple of the products currently in beta: Audience Center 360 and Data Studio 360. Audience Center gives some insights into how different audience segments interact with your business when it comes to Google Analytics, advertising and other data sources, and lets you use those audiences in your campaigns. Data Studio is a visualization tool that allows you to create beautiful reports and dashboards that can draw data from Google Analytics and some other data sources.
For these tools in particular and the Analytics 360 Suite in general, there are some things you can do to get your data ready to take better advantage of what they offer. Whether you’re planning to use the free version of Data Studio, or buy into these tools eventually, adding context to the data you already have in Google Analytics will let you hit the ground running when you start to explore the rest of the suite.
Namely, you’ll want to import more context into Google Analytics.
You can do this with a number of data types available in Google Analytics. Here are three that come to mind as particularly valuable.
- Cost Data: Import the cost, clicks and impressions data for your individual advertising campaigns, ad groups and keywords so you can see what the return on advertising spend (ROAS) looks like when visitors from advertising end up on your site. Analysis Engine lets you do this automatically for a number of sources like Bing Ads and Yahoo Gemini. You can get started with the Bing Ads integration for free. Adding cost data puts valuable context behind your attribution data, which can dramatically influence the kinds of decisions you make.
- Product Data: This becomes way more valuable when you start to think of merchandising costs or product margins. Think: would my marketing and content decisions change if I knew that certain internal and external campaigns resulted in the sales of higher-margin products? Together with the cost data from marketing campaigns, importing this data gets you much closer to understanding the true return on investment (ROI) for your digital business. Imagine having ROI numbers in a Data Studio dashboard that you look at daily.
- User Data: If you use CRM tools or any external system to manage details about your customers, like subscription status or lead state, it’s enormously valuable to use that data to define segments of audiences. Having this data ready to go in Google Analytics helps you immediately take advantage of powerful segmentation-based insight in GA alone, but also makes it easier to hit the ground running when you start thinking about Audience Center 360 down the road.
Data import in Google Analytics is all about adding context to the data collected from your websites, and in some cases that context can be the difference between making the right decision and the wrong one. As you begin to explore the Analytics 360 Suite, having that context already applied to your data makes these tools even more valuable.
With Analysis Engine‘s built-in integrations and automation capabilities for data import, getting this context into your data has never been easier. But however you do it, it’s important to get this done, as the decisions you make and insights you glean from Google Analytics and the other Suite tools will be much clearer and more sound when you have the necessary context.