How Universal Analytics will Change Your Life

November 7, 2012

Google’s new Universal Analytics approach is going to change your life. In fact, it’s going to change everyone’s life. Our worlds become more and more measurement-enabled and data is continuing to pour through every facet of our beings.  This has significant implications on how we live our lives and how we analyze every action … and this means that we’ll need to do analysis on every unique activity. Enter Universal Analytics, which begins to tie all of our unique information together into one seamless thread of insight.

This post will only scratch the surface of what is to come but I wanted to get out a few thoughts on how this new user-centric approach to data analysis (that spans multiple platforms both on- and offline) is going to track change your entire life and how it will be impacting the way you analyze your data.

Better Reporting (based on Custom Dimensions infused with CRM data)

With the enhanced capabilities provided by Universal Analytics, you’ll now be able to tailor reports to the content/business/questions you have. Imagine having report suites in Google Analytics for each of your customer segments that includes data from your CRM tool in one place!

You’ll be able to see dimensions within Google Analytics as well as add offline information to help segment, like in-store purchases or demographic information. This will bring a whole new level of insights into your reporting that will help you and key decision makers improve digital strategy.

Cleaner, more accurate Data

With a stronger focus around user-centric tracking that ties multiple platforms to a single user ID, the picture around each person’s digital engagement is going to get cleaner. Data will now be focused around the user and not the session. So as users pass through multiple devices (and sessions) their data will be organized around them and not the session or their device. What this means is that as marketers we’ll get a better picture of user flow across multiple devices and how those experiences are linked around each user to achieve their goals. So instead of seeing multiple new visits within Google Analytics reports, you’ll now begin to see data consolidated around the user’s experience.

Keep in mind that as user engagement-tracking improves, these changes will impact return visitors and visits from “direct” sources so some of your key metrics will shift as a result. Thus, you should make note and track changes that occur when your team begins to rollout Universal Analytics.

Smaller gap to conversion

If you have any type of offline conversion information or other important value added metric, Universal Analytics will now allow you to close the gap between your online and offline experiences by importing that information into Google Analytics. This new information available will provide enhanced insights by allowing you to add offline goal conversions to your online analysis giving you a better wholistic picture at your online activities as they relate to offline ones.

Just the beginning

Keep in mind, this is just the beginning. As big data takes off and more and more of our experiences and activities are captured for analysis, it will become more and more important to tie these data points together into relevant context.