One day prior to Google's Search On virtual event, the company launched a new version of Google Analytics. The platform, supported by machine learning at the core, aims to automatically surface insights even among restrictions on cookies and identifiers that create gaps in data.
Shifts in consumer behavior and privacy-driven changes prompted the move.
The idea, of course, is to help advertisers gain better return on investments from marketing and understand the consumer journey across the Web and apps.
“It’s quite a big change and Google has been preparing it for a long time,” said Hugo Loriot, partner at fifty five, a You & Mr. Jones brand-tech group data company, which has been working with Google to provide feedback as a beta partner for more than a year. “There’s a lot of new functions and different ways to collect data.”
The main difference between this version and the previous version is the focus on user versus the session, also known as website visits. Loriot said that features also include the ability to measure in-depth across devices and sessions.
“One main benefit for our clients is the ability to stitch together user experiences across mobile apps and websites,” he said. “Previously it was almost impossible to understand that the same person would download a mobile app and then visit their website." Another helpful function, he said, is "the enhanced integration of media products like YouTube video reporting in Google Analytics.”
More features will roll out in the next few months.
Vidhya Srinivasan, vice president of measurement, analytics, and buying platforms at Google, announced the new Analytics in a post published Wednesday. “We're creating a new, more intelligent Google Analytics that builds on the foundation of the App + Web property we introduced in beta last year,” Srinivasan wrote.
Srinivasan points to a survey from Forrester Consulting where marketers said improving their use of analytics is a top priority, and that existing solutions make it difficult to get a complete view of the customer.
The platform can automatically alert users to trends in their data such as products seeing rising demand because of new customer needs. It also anticipates actions that customers might take, such as calculating churn probability to invest in keeping customers at a time when marketing budgets are under pressure.
Srinivasan said Google will continue to add predictive metrics, such as the potential revenue earned from a specific group of customers.
A deeper integration with Google Ads allows advertisers to create audiences that can reach customers wherever they choose to engage with their business.
The new approach also makes it possible to address long-time advertiser requests.
The new Analytics can measure app and web interactions combined and include conversions from YouTube engaged views that occur in-app and on the web in reports.
Having the ability to view conversions from YouTube video views alongside conversions from Google and non-Google paid channels, and organic channels like Google Search, social, and email helps marketers understand the combined impact of all your marketing efforts.
The new Analytics uses multiple identity spaces, including marketer-provided User IDs and unique Google signals from users opted into advertising personalization, to provide a complete view of how customers interact with businesses.
For example, marketers can see if customers first discover their business from an ad on the web, then later install the company’s app and make purchases there.
Google has also simplified and re-organized reporting so marketers can intuitively find insights based on specific parts of the customer journey.
For example, marketers can see which channels drive new customers in the user acquisition report, then use the engagement and retention reports to understand the actions these customers take, and whether they stick around, after converting.
The new version of Google Analytics becomes the default option for new properties, and Srinivasan says Google is investing in future improvements.
For enterprise marketers, Google is currently in beta with an Analytics 360 version that will offer SLAs and advanced integrations with tools like BigQuery.