Leonardo Da Vinci once said, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." This is certainly an ideology embraced by Google, who after years spent adding features and reports to their Google Analytics offering, have decided to go after a simpler yet functionality-rich version of GA. To this end, they've been working diligently to build a simpler Google Analytics that retains the core functionalities that people frequently use.
Their changes will become evident in a series of improvements due to be released gradually over the next few months. For now, users can expect to see the following changes, including simplified navigation and better administration, over the next few weeks, with the rest to follow.
7 Changes You Can Expect to See in Google Analytics
1. Simplified Navigation
In keeping with their passion for innovation and best practice, Google has set of Material Design standards that outline design principles and outcomes. Towards meeting these outlined objectives across their offerings, the Google Analytics UI sports a new navigation that includes both resizable left navigation options and the removal of the "Home Customization Reporting Admin" subheader bar. Admin is now pinned to the bottom of the navigation for easy access.
2. Intuitive, Streamlined Login Flows
On logging back into GA, you'll automatically be taken to the last Analytics View you were viewing the last time you logged in.
3. Quick and Easy View Switching
Changing views has been made faster and easier by the establishment of a new picker in the header that allows users to switch views from any page in the product. This replaces the previous old "Home" account/property/ view picker page. It's important to note that if you're using Analytics 360, you may need to switch organisations to see the sets of accounts you're trying to view.
4. All-in-One Customisation
Everyone loves customisation. Previously, Google opted to spread customisable items across Analytics, whether it was Custom Reports, Alerts or Dashboards and Shortcuts. Now all customisable elements can be easily found in one location – in a "Customization" left nav element.
5. Adjustable Default Date Ranges
With this first wave of GA changes, it's now possible to set a default date range that Google Analytics reports will load with on login. This means you've got the option to set it to shorter times that increase visibility for actions like website experiments and other campaign changes that might not be immediately visible in a 30-day view. For all standard GA users, the default range is now set to 7 days.
6. Unique Events Have Greater Visibility
The goal of unique events is to improve upon the GA Events feature by tracking unique event metrics. A unique event can differ depending on the attributes set to define it – it might be a download, ad click or video play. The nature is dependent on the attributes the user assigns to a designated unique event. The unique event metric tracks and counts these events as they occur within a single user session. The benefits of this a greater understanding of how users are interacting on your website, what actions they are completing and the nature of successful content on your website.
Analytics increments the count of Unique Events by 1 for each unique combination of event category/action/label received the very first time an action is seen within a session, but will ignore future events with the same category/action/label when computing unique event counts. The metric Total Events will count each event regardless of the uniqueness of the category/action/labels within it.
7. Better Administration
Roll-Up Reporting (available only in Analytics 360) allows users to aggregate data from multiple properties within a single account; while property moving facilitates the consolidation of related properties within a single account. Together these features combine to let you organize your data and reporting structure in the ways that are most relevant to your business.
And, as with any simplification process, there have been a few adjustments that have seen some features/pages disappear from GA. These include the following:
In keeping with the new format for customisation, Custom Alerts continues to function as per normal but has just been relocated to the new Customisation section. Automatic Intelligence Events has been removed from GA but is going to be replaced shortly with automated insights from Google Analytics Assistant.
If you're a regular user of the In-Page Analytics report, you'll notice it has been removed from the GA web user interface – but you can still access it from using the official Chrome Extension.
These are the first of the changes you can expect to see from Google regarding their GA offering, and we're looking forward to seeing them in action! After all, GA is a vital business intelligence and marketing tool, and we couldn't do what we do without it. Wanting some help with your Inbound Marketing strategy? We'd love to chat to you!