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Back in March, Google announced the new version of Google Analytics, Version 5, as a closed beta to users who requested it. But on Wednesday, April 20th, Google rolled out the update to all of their users. Users are currently able to switch back and forth between each version, and Google is soliciting feedback while prepping for more features to come. Godfrey was one of the lucky accounts that had access to the beta, and after using it for a little while now, I have some observations about the new interface that I’d like to share.
Here are some of the top items I’m most excited about:
(1) Goal tracking via events. While there are a ton of new updates, this one will revolutionize my life. In the B2B world, sometimes goal conversions are hard to come by. By being able to set a goal as an event it makes creating goals such as clicking on outbound links or counting a user watching a video easy as pie. I’ve been using it already, with much adulation!
(2) Custom Dashboards. This is a pretty amazing feature because now users have the ability to create up to 20 dashboards per user. And each of those dashboards can contain up to 12 widgets. What’s nice about this is that in the B2B world, I know there are specific people who need specific metrics – so you can easily create a dashboard specifically based on the needs of the recipient. But one huge downfall right now is that you can’t export any of these custom dashboards. At all. Yet...
(3) Updated Custom Reporting Tool. This feature is much more streamlined then the “and/or” custom-report-ways of the past. You have the option to create an “Explorer report” which is similar to the drill-down into additional data like the current GA reports or a “Flat Table” report where all dimensions are represented as columns. This Flat Table report is a nice addition since you’re now able to see very specific values in comparison with others. I put one together as an example below as I was looking for poor traffic to see if there were any commonalities in terms of browser:
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(4) Multi-Channel Funnels. This is a new feature that’s in limited pilot now (so unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to test this yet), but from Justin Cutroni’s blog, he mentions that these are “a series of marketing attribution reports that will help marketers understand how different marketing channels lead to conversion. These reports are full of strategic and tactical data.” How exciting!
(5) Plot Rows featured that can give quick snapshots on trending. It’s now sickeningly easy to compare two rows from a data table alongside an overview graph. I find this super useful to see how much a particular row contributes to the whole. The only drawback to this feature right now is scale – you can’t currently disable the overview line if you want to look closely at two rows with minimal data. To see how this feature is used, you can view it on YouTube.
Of course as with anything new, there are always going to be drawbacks to the change. Luckily Google is paying attention to the users’ feedback and trying to fix some of the issues with the new interface.
Have any of you used the new Google Analytics yet? What do you like? What don’t you like?