The amount of online marketing data that is — or is able to be — collected today can be overwhelming, to say the least. There are myriad questions to be answered, ranging from What to measure? to the arguably more important question, Why? There’s a third, question that’s also critical to the conversation, which is What measurement tools make the most sense to use?
At Adswerve, we help our clients address these types of challenges every day. We’re Google enthusiasts through and through but, even when you work within Google’s ecosystem, choosing between the free and paid versions of Google Analytics can be a very important and tough decision. Here are some ways to determine which solution your organization needs.
What’s the Difference?
There are some key differences between Google Analytics 360 (GA360) and standard Google Analytics beyond just the obvious one — cost. One of the biggest is that, at a high-level, GA360 allows you to have more visibility and control of your own data, instead of what Google curates for you. This is true in a number of ways, and one of the most important is the export of your raw, first-party data into BigQuery. The applications of this data are almost too many to summarize, but one way to think of it is like getting access to the raw ingredients of what users are doing on your sites. From there, the opportunities to make it more relevant to what it is that your business does are numerous.
Another example is simply the removal of sampling. One of the costs of success is that the more traffic you get to your site, the more likely it is that you won’t see all of your data in the free version of GA. Google samples data after 500K sessions, which could mean looking at reports that are so low in their statistical significance that it might be better to just guess.
Integrations are another big differentiator. With the free version, you can send audiences to Google Ads, but with GA360, you can create a full-stack solution, integrating with Display & Video 360, Campaign Manager and Search Ads 360. Using these tools together allows you to create strategically segmented audiences for advanced targeting and retargeting that boost your conversion rates across tactics. GA360 also connects with Optimize 360 for personalization and targeted A/B testing and integrates with third-party platforms like Salesforce.
Another difference is that while the free version has some attribution models included, like linear and first-click, the modeling in GA360 allows you to dive deeper and see how the results are calculated to ensure you’re getting — and using — the accurate information you need.
Here’s a comparison snapshot:
|GOOGLE ANALYTICS STANDARD||GOOGLE ANALYTICS 360|
|Ad-Hoc Report Sampling (link)||Yes, after 500,000 sessions||No, up to 100,000,000 sessions|
|Hit Limit (link)||10 million per month||Dependent on chosen tier (e.g. 500 million per month)|
|Data Freshness (link)||24+ hours||1-2 hours (4 hours max)|
|Max Data Rows (link)||50,000 rows||3,000,000 rows per export|
|Guaranteed SLAs (link)||No||Yes (Freshness, Collection, Reporting, Google Tag Manager)|
|Custom Dimensions (link)||20 per property||200 per property|
|Custom Metrics (link)||20 per property||200 per property|
|Calculated Metrics (link)||5 per view||50 per view|
|Rollup Reporting (link)||No||Yes|
|Unsampled Data Export (link)||No||Yes|
|BigQuery Export of Raw
Hit-Level Data (link)
|Custom Table (link)||No||Yes|
|Custom Funnels (link)||No||Yes|
|Query Time Data Import (link)||No||Yes|
|Data-Driven Attribution (link)||No||Yes|
|Google Marketing Platform Integrations (link)||No||Yes|
|Product Support (link)||No||Yes|
Which Is Right for Your Business?
Here are some ways to tell that you need to move beyond standard GA to GA360.
- You aren’t seeing all the data. You’re reviewing reports and finding you’re only getting insights from a percentage of the data you actually need.
- You want integration to the media stack and you can’t get it.
- You want to integrate your email campaigns, CRM data and more but can’t.
- You’re spending more than $1M in media a year, but are unable to connect your dollars back to user activity.
- You don’t have full visibility and complete details into how your media projects are performing; your funnel analysis is limited.
- You’re getting questions from someone you’re reporting to and feel uneasy on how truthful your answer is because you’re not sure about the accuracy of your data.
While all Google tools in the Google Marketing Platform are powerful, GA360 is an enterprise-level solution, and standard GA is a free version. There are limits to what you can do with your data in GA. That may work for where your organization is today, but it may not meet your needs tomorrow. So if you find yourself in the position of needing more, know that you can get it from GA360 – and we can help.
For more information on GA360, or any other Google Marketing or Cloud platform tools, please don’t hesitate to contact us.