Google Analytics continued

As the date to take the Google Analytics Certification exam quickly approaches I’ve watched the tutorial videos and reading other blogs that have tips on how to successfully pass the GAIQ exam. Let me just say the opening sound and closing sound of the tutorial videos is officially stuck in my head, thanks Justin. As the 70 question examination quickly approaches (HELPP) here’s what I’ve learned so far and some of the key takeaway points.

For today’s material, I found it similar to the previous 6 units however I liked how it delved even deeper. It dealt directly with the four stages Google Analytics goes through when analyzing data:

1. Collection: Which is collecting the raw data from various sources such as websites, mobile apps, and there’s even a way to collect offline purchases, purchases that occur in stores, to be able to have this customer data as well.

2. Configuration: Configuration is taking the raw data from collection and altering it by apply filters. NOTE: once you apply these filters it can’t be changed because GA simply won’t pull this information at all. For example, if you were to take out employees from the collection phase using a filter this couldn’t be changed and their data wouldn’t be included in the final report.

3. Processing: In the processing phase, GA will take all of the data it has collected so far from all platforms (website data, mobile application, and offline data ) and combine it using the filters that were applied to the data in the configuration phase.

4. Reporting: Finally, in the reporting phase GA is able to take all of the data that’s been processed and put it into reports. The GA report is a dashboard that is easily accessible and can be interpreted easily as well. After playing around with the dashboard site for a while I found it to be much easier to use than I expected and a lot of the features were fairly intuitive. I was initially surprised because Google Analytics had always intimidated me however after realizing GA simply collects information about a specific user, records how long their session on the site is, and finally records all of the interactions they have during their session it became way easier to understand how GA works.


On the main Google Analytics page they take about some of their success stories (as seem below):


I delved further in depth and read the attached PDF on the AccuWeather success story using GA. I found it interesting that before using GA, AccuWeather was unable to track interactions customers had with their mobile app and how many customers opened their alert emails. Through using GA and their four platform principles, AccuWeather was able to understand more about their customer interactions with their site and determined that their custom email alerts had an 80% open rate among customers. They were able to also determine that 10% of their customer traffic used the mobile app. AccuWeather was able to determine this percent using the Measurement Protocol feature in the dashboard in the reporting process. Through this report, I was able to see the four platform principles in use in a very applicable way, which is something the video tutorials didn’t go over in depth.

I found it interesting how the videos also discussed the hierarchy of users, sessions, and interactions and the importance each one has on business data and the final dashboard reporting in GA, such as determining the demographics of the users and the number of hits the site has on a particular day. I personally enjoyed the tutorial videos from today more because they discussed the coding aspect and I was able to use some of my previous CS knowledge to understand the JavaScript code that Google Analytics inserts into the beginning of the document, before the closing tag in your HTML (this is IMPORTANT), to collect raw data from various sources and pull it into GA for further analysis. Though it was overwhelming at first, I’m enjoying learning more about Google Analytics and preparing for the certification on Monday.

Wish me luck on studying and until next time,



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