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A new phase for Google Analytics

Categories: Google Analytics specific / Comments: 4

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New Google Analaytics interface

So the new generation of Google Analytics is released. Though still in beta, its a significant milestone and one that marks a new phase – Phase II. I talked about Phase I for Google Analytics at last year’s eMetrics summit in London. The initial phase was about shoehorning an existing product (Urchin) into the Google infrastructure – integrating with Adwords, scaling to handle traffic from mega sites, internationalising into 16 languages and of course making analytics accessible to all by giving it away for free.

So after the long wait, what does Phase II have to offer?

For me, the emphasis has been in 3 areas, which I list in reverse order of significance for my own usage:

  1. Performance improvements
  2. Feature improvements
  3. UI redesign

1. Performance improvements: You will probably only notice this if you are a high traffic web site (usually this means above 1m+ pageviews per day). A huge engineering effort has taken place to provide a more efficient way of storing and accessing data. This has resulted in faster data access, particularly when drilling down into the reports i.e. cross segmenting.

2. Feature improvements: New or improved features include a customisable dashboard for your summaries, pdf data export added, email scheduling of reports, and improved date range selection with dragable timeline.

3. UI redesign: As you can see, new features, although significant, are not the main purpose of this new release – it is the user-interface that has been given the most attention. As I discussed in my last post, simplifying web analytics so that data from your web site is more accessible and gaining insights on its performance more discoverable, are the keys to taking web analytics to the next level i.e. becoming mainstream. And the new user-interface is what I mean by accessible and discoverable.

So what about new features?

Essentially the front-end changes and back-end re-structuring that have taken place, now allow new features to be developed and published much more rapidly than before. So now that GA is fully Google-ised you can expect Phase III to include new integrations and new features to provide an even richer analytics experience. The trick though, is to always keep it simple and intuitive.

Have you had chance to play with the new Google Analytics? Please share your thoughts, positive or otherwise, by leaving your comments.

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  1. Wow-GA is really catching up, have missed the scheduled email functionality until now – even though I preffer to grant access and reffer to online dashboards. And, these dashboards need to be able to customize in all means and have a nice intuitive UI – which you have succeeded with! Keep up the good work 😉

  2. Brian,

    I LOVE the new design! One thing I’ve noticed that is a bit of a bugger is that Firefox sometimes crashes on loading certain graphs – but that could just be my computer, which is known to get rather grumpy sometimes.

    Overall, this is a huge step forward for the product. My favorite feature is the ability to add up to 12 panels to the new dashboard. You can take any report and customize if using segmentation and quick filters, then pin it to the dashboard and voila, you have a custom dashboard that can speak to just about anything a client needs.

    The emailing and scheduled emails are also incredibly useful.

    As I’ve been using the new design more and more I get more excited about this and future iterations of the GA product.


  3. Hi Sampsa – have you sent these comments to GA support? The program is still in beta so yes there will be a few glitches to iron out.

  4. I really like the new design, but I have found a few flaws when trying to use it.

    First of all, there are a lot of errors coming up when using the new interface. It’s faster, but more prone to errors. Also, I tried to add another dashboard to a previously scheduled email report, but the system just gave an error.

    Other than that, I really think it’s a huge improvement, although it took me a while to find everything again. After I got used to it, the improved speed of the new interface was obvious. The chance to export data in PDF and to email reports is great and I think will serve several users needs for basic reports without a fuss.

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