Excluding or filtering internal i.e. staff visits from Google Analytics is an interesting challenge – it’s not as straightforward as you may first think. This is because there is no obvious way to identify a staff visitor… Hence this detailed post showing a possible alternative.
In this article I discuss why applying a filter is flawed and suggest a quick fix that may help you overcome its limitations. However the smarter and more robust way is to use a visitor label – a.k.a Custom Dimension.
Since GTM introduced an automatic way of tracking scroll depth in Google Analytics, there has been a proliferation of this tracking. In this post I explain why you should avoid such “noise”, avoid the cost implications (would you pay $1000/month for this?) and provide alternative (better!) ways to track engagement!
According to the ICO: analytics is not defined as necessary or covered under legitimate interest. That means the vast majority of websites are breaking the law!
But how seriously do we need to take this?
These are my best tools, or “add-ons” I use when working with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. They focus on helping you get you get on top of and maintaining your data quality. I use all of them regularly (listed in no specific order).
From the recent Forrester Prediction 2019 report:
57% of global data and analytics decision makers are still at the early stages of their insights-driven business. Only 8% demonstrate advanced insights-driven competencies.
Meaning, that despite the hype of recent years around machine learning and artificial intelligence, even the biggest companies struggle to extract value from their data at scale and drive impactful business results.
Mulling over this insight, I wanted to add my thoughts for why organisations are in such a low state of analytics maturity. Based on working with senior managers in large brand-leading organisations, these are my top 3 reasons:
Part of my job involves auditing Google Analytics setups in order to establish the quality of the data collected. This video story brings together some of the extraordinary findings of my work. Its a study of 75 enterprise websites using Google Analytics. I describe the audit methodology and display the results in a visual scorecard format.
The results are somewhat surprising (and depressing) in that they show the general poor quality of data that organisations are working with – an average Quality Index score of only 35.7 out of 100. One surprising metric is that 1 in 5 websites had a PII issue i.e. were collecting personal information into Google Analytics reports…
The Google Analytics feature anonymize IP is a A key recommendation for GDPR compliance, also known as “aip”. As the name suggests, this simple switch drops the last 3 digits from your visitor’s IP address. For example, if a visitor has a public ip of 188.8.131.52, then Google will obfuscate this to 217.115.40. (and all other visitor ip addresses) when it processes your Google Analytics data. No ip address data is stored. That’s good for GDPR compliance because ip data is considered PII in Europe.
So if the last 3 digits of an IP address are removed, does that impact geolocation data?
The answer is of course yes, but how much of an impact, and should you worry about it..?
GDPR means that organisations need to keep records of all personal data, be able to prove that consent was given, show where data is going, what its being used for, and how it is being protected.
But what defines personal data…? And how is PII different…?
I must admit that the new Google Analytics documentation about the GDPR specific Data Retention setting is confusing! The whole area is surprisingly badly worded by Google… The assumption is that ALL data older than NN months is going to be deleted i.e. a cliff-edge effect where any report older than say 26 months is going to […]
In this post I address a key question that is troubling many a website owner using Google Analytics (the “Controller” in GDPR terminology): Is explicit consent required before I can track my visitors?
I am going to assume you are aware of GDPR (who isn’t? And Facebook have successfully heightened the awareness in the US). You should also be aware that even though I work in the data industry, I have been a strong privacy advocate for many years now. I approach the subject as an end-user would. Let’s face it, for many years now the data/tracking industry has a bad reputation in general…
It is interesting to note that although GDPR has been 10 years in the making, Google Trends shows that since the start of 2018, the volume of searches for the term “GDPR” is now more than double that at any period the previous year i.e. this is important: