Comparing the same week (weekday for weekday) last year in Google Data Studio with Analytics 360 and BigQuery

Google Data Studio offers some powerful reporting features, but one piece we’re still waiting on is more control over comparisons — right now you can compare your data against the “previous period” or “previous year”, the latter of which gives you a same-date comparison year-over-year. However, a common requirement is being able to report on the same weekday year-over-year.

Over on the Napkyn blog, I wrote up my detailed (and consequently long) overview of how to accomplish day-of-week comparisons year-over-year with Data Studio and Google Analytics. The solution provides Google Analytics 360 customers with a way to accomplish this by using the GA integration with Google BigQuery.

Have a look, and let me know if you have any feedback in the comments!

Introducing Reporting Manager: Google Analytics data in Microsoft Excel

Today, we’re launching Reporting Manager, a free add-on for Microsoft Excel that allows you to build powerful refresh-able reporting using Google Analytics data.

We built Reporting Manager to leverage our Analysis Engine cloud platform from within Excel, and today we’re releasing it for free.

Since Reporting Manager pulls data through Analysis Engine, we have a number of features that take advantage of data processing in the cloud. Using Reporting Manager, you can:

  • Post-process data online before it’s output into Excel.
  • Avoid sampling by merging multiple smaller pulls together.
  • Pull data according to your company’s fiscal calendar.

Reporting Manager comes bundled with Analysis Engine Reporting Edition, which includes a few features of the cloud platform that empower reporting. With Reporting Edition, you can:

  • Create and manage your connections to Google Analytics
  • Configure and run data exports in the cloud
  • Easily upload cost data to Google Analytics
  • Automatically synchronize your Bing Ads cost data with Google Analytics

All of these features come bundled with Reporting Manager for free. You can get started right now by signing up for a free account.

Understanding refunds in Google Analytics

Google Analytics introduced a cool new feature with its Enhanced Ecommerce upgrade for ecommerce tracking a while back, but it hasn’t gotten the traction it deserves. That feature is the ability to track your refunds in Google Analytics.

This is a powerful thing because it helps Google Analytics provide data that’s more complete and more accurate. If the numbers that you’re working with as an analyst, or a marketer, are the same as the ones that finance is working with, then your insights will not only be more powerful, but the high-ranking members of your organization might actually listen to them. A CFO or merchandising executive skeptical in your claims about the value of marketing activities.
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Cyber Monday and Google Analytics: 3 things you should be doing right now

Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t just the biggest days of the year for online retail, they’re also the biggest days of the year for people to log in to Google Analytics (we’re totally guessing). From large company CEOs to digital media interns, everyone is logging into Analytics to see how many visitors are coming and and how many sales are closing.

For most retailers, digital analytics is like Christmas music. During the holidays you get excited about it for a day, then run it in the background for a few weeks, and don’t think about it again until next year.

You would think that, with all this focus on Cyber Monday analytics, more people would be converted into year-round digital data advocates. In truth, though, most people in an organization view web analytics data as interesting rather than valuable. It’s not perceived to be particularly accurate, it doesn’t contain a lot of the data that decision-makers need to do their jobs, and budget and forecast numbers live somewhere else.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great times to not just get wins with measurement, but set up your entire organization to make it a year-round focus. Here are 3 things every retailer should be doing right now:
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A Brief History of Enterprise Digital Analytics, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Google Analytics

As the inaugural Analysis Engine blog post, I thought it might be helpful to explain why we built this thing in the first place. As we geared up for the launch, we showed the product to a lot of very smart people in the analytics space. Without fail, they have always stated that Analysis Engine creates the ‘last mile’ solution that lets big companies take advantage of the power of Google Analytics.

We believe that Google Analytics, used in concert with Analysis Engine, creates a digital measurement solution that is more powerful, more usable, more flexible and much more cost-effective than any other currently available enterprise offering. To properly understand why, I thought we would start with a quick history of the space.

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