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The New Google Analytics 360 Suite – A Game Changer for the Enterprise…?

Categories: GA & GTM / Comments: 13

There was a major announcement from Google today (15-March) – a new group of products, called the Google Analytics 360 Suite, is about to be launched. This is a suite of six (6) products – four of them are new, two are rebrands. These are my initial thoughts on whats hot about this and what you need to know…

Analytics 360 Suite


The New Analytics Products:

  1. Google Optimize 360 (beta). This website testing and personalisation product helps marketers deliver better experiences. Marketers can show consumers multiple variations of their site and then choose the version that works best for each audience.
  2. Google Audience Center 360 (beta). A data management platform (DMP) to help understand your customers and find more like them across channels, devices, and campaigns. It offers native integration with Google and DoubleClick, plus it’s open to third party data providers, and DSPs.
  3. Google Data Studio 360 (beta). A data analysis and visualisation product that integrates data across all suite products and other data sources ― turning it into rich, interactive reports and dashboards. Built-in real-time collaboration and sharing is based on Google Docs technology.
  4. Google Attribution 360 (formerly Adometry). Rebuilt from the ground up, it helps advertisers understand ALL marketing investments, both on- and off-line, by employing cross-channel attribution and marketing mix modelling techniques.

The Rebranded Analytics Products:

  • Google Analytics Premium becomes Google Analytics 360 – no change in features
  • Google Tag Manager for Premium becomes Google Tag Manager 360 – no change in features announced (yet) i.e. it keeps the same Premium level SLAs as before – this has been the only difference between the free and Premium version of GTM before.

My Overarching Take-Aways…

Google are very much presenting themselves as a “data platform” now. That is, not just a search and advertising platform. That was always the purpose of the Urchin acquisition back in 2005. But now things are becomeing much more integrated and holistic for marketers and web site owners. Its a big step up!

IMPORTANT: The Analytics 360 Suite is a group of paid-for products aimed at the enterprise. That is quite a departure for Google that so far has developed great, yet still free to use, analytics products. Hopefully that will continue. AFAIK the free Google Analytics tool and free GTM products will continue as-is. And I don’t expect that to ever change…!

Official announcement post form Google here:

What catches my interest about Analytics 360…?

1. Google Optimize 360

The testing and personalisation product – a game changer in my view. On the surface this is your regular A/B and multivariate testing tool where marketers can show consumers multiple variations of their site. Its the same principal that Content Experiments was before, which lets face it, was not a strong feature (my thoughts on Content Experiments here). Google have now fixed this by making testing a separate product – a much, much better product.

I was demo’ed this product last June and was blown away by its power, its simplicity of setup, and ease of use. For example, define a complex multi-conditional segment in your Google Analytics, then use only that segment for testing and optimising your content.

2. Google Data Studio 360

This is a new data analysis and visualisation product – another game changer. “It integrates data across all the Analytics 360 Suite products and even other data sources ― turning it into rich, interactive reports and dashboards.”

Again I had the opportunity to play around with an early release of this product last June and was very impressed. I cancelled my existing “dashboard insights” tool subscription. The market is desperate for a well-thought out, easy-to-use and affordable tool like this.

Is this a Game Changer?

My view is that before this announcement, Adobe et al would argue that free tools from GA cannot be taken seriously at the enterprise level. It was a valid point – free today, gone tomorrow. Lets face it, many Google products have disappeared in recent years.

I knew that was never the case with GA because I worked there for 3 years – I saw the huge internal investment Google was putting in place and was privileged to be party to some of the early vision. But e.g. P&G, Ford, Sony etc. don’t know that.

Now that there is clear business model – and AdWords aside, a significant one, enterprises can now have confidence in buying into the “Google way”…

What are your thoughts on this new paid-for suit of analytics tools?

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Comments (most recent first)

  1. Top Info says:

    Is Google Analytics 360 Suite available for the free version?
    Is the web or personal blog allowed to enroll in Google Analytics 360 Suite?
    Thanks for your article about Google Analytics 360 Suite that has helped me.

    • Yes, the new 360suite is now available for free account users. Essentially its a way for you to manage user access on an organisation basis, rather than a per user basis. So for example, if you wanted to add or remove a user form all GA accounts/properties, Optimize, GTM etc, you can do this in one place and as a on-time process…

  2. LaLaLa says:

    Hello! Any insights into pricing for the new Google Analytics 360 Suite? Curious to understand if this is a flat fee or varies depending on channels/ volume.

  3. Anthony says:

    One of the great things about the free version of Google Analytics (GA) is that it has become the de facto standard of web analytics tools. This means there are communities of users sharing expertise and actual experts (like Brian!) sharing expertise. So when you need to find an answer to e.g. ‘How to match your Google Analytics transactions with reality’, they’ll be an answer out there. The same is seldom true with the paid-for tools. In addition there are plenty of software tool vendors building great products that afford GA connectivity to other data sets and platforms (Analytics Canvas, Supermetrics and Shufflepoint as credible examples). The free spreadsheet add-on is pretty good too if you need to do regular data extraction, some calculations on the returned data and then embed into a simple dashboard – although the visualisations available in Google docs are a little basic (you can’t even show a trend line).

    We considered Analytics 360 (formerly Analytics Premium) a year or so back, but to Adrian’s earlier point the then costs of £90k/yr were too much to justify to management. Your company needs to be doing lots of millions of revenue to get a ROI from any insights premium might have given you. Which excludes most businesses.

    We would be happy to move away from the free tool if it offered more data-completeness (no more data sampling), faster data-extraction and better ease of connectivity and pay a monthly subscription for the ability to do this. But this monthly subscription price-point would need to be closer to a Spotify subscription and less close to the price of a house.

  4. Cycle says:

    I really think this is a stupid approach.
    Any report longer than 7 days or having segments or having comparison period now results in sampling.

    A report from 2% sample data is basically bullshit and provides no value at all. This has the hidden (or not so hidden) goal to force even medium companies to pay in order to see their own data?!?

    This might be fine for some, but with the insane pricing of Analytics 360 and the even more insane sampling of the free version, this has no future.

    I am considering in moving to a different platform and drop Analytics, as it no longer has any value for me 🙁

    • @Cycle – if you are experiencing a large amount of sampling, than I would say you are being very successful online – and Google would no doubt say, now its time to pay for the tools you have so far used for free…

      I would agree that the first tier of GA360 (500M hits/per month) is a large step up for all those sites that have between 10-100M hits and it is a pity there is no a lower tier to cater for that – fyi I have argued the case for that for several years now. Beyond 100M hits the pricing is actually very (very) competitive. Bear in mind that GA360 also includes GTM360…

  5. Bjoern Sjut says:

    in regards to Data Studio 360; I think it’s too little too late. The original universal analytics strategy, that companies would use measurement protocol heavily to fire all sorts of data into UA, hasn’t really taken off in my perspective. And Microsoft has with PowerBI since more than a year an extremely affordable (as in: free) and flexible data modelling solution across data sources.

    When you say “Data studio 360 is affordable” – what is the intended price point? I didn’t realize it would be offered as a standalone product.

    • @Bjoern – all 6 of the 360 Suite products are to be available as stand alone products with their own pricing plans and discounts for bundles. The new products have not launched yet so I haven’t received any pricing info.

      As an FYI, the Measurement Protocol you refer to is not intended to replace the standard javascript snippet method for data collection of web traffic. Rather, its for app developers i.e. mobile apps and Internet of Things. Importantly, the Measurement Protocol also solves the issue of tracking e-commerce when the actual transaction place takes OFF-SITE i.e. via a third party payment gateway e.g. Paypal etc. From my studies (post coming in 2 weeks!) most visitors that complete their purchase via a third-party gateway do not return to the original site – there is no need to from their point of view – so that means the transaction tracking is often lost. More info coming soon…

      • Bjoern Sjut says:

        @Brian: thanks for your reply!

        I actually didn’t mean that measurement protocol was intended to replace website measurement. I meant that Google’s strategy was to tell e.g. retailers: “Hey, why don’t you rewire your cash register system or backend to fire store purchases into the Universal Analytics data model”. Which in my opinion never really took off – it also doesn’t make sense to rewire all sorts of external data sources into Google Analytics; it makes much more sense to have a mapping/matching solution on top to connect the data source and show integrated metrics (i.e. use a customer ID that is present in both Google Analytics and the cash register data).

  6. Adrian says:

    I think it’s really an interesting product, but it would be nice to know how much it will be. In the past, they have priced their items (like GA Premium) at a level only a company with serious buy-in could afford. It’s much easier to convince management in most companies on something at a value under 1k a month. It’s a lot harder at $100K. I guess we will see if they offer some kind of reasonable plan with this offering.

    • No prices available just yet – I anticipate actual product launches to roll out during the course of 2016. Hopefully there will be a low volume version of at least the Optimise and Data Studio products so people like us can train themselves up…!

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