Google is encouraging users to feed additional data into Google Analytics - providing new ways and lowering the technical barrier required to complement the data it tracks with information you record about your business.
If you currently rely upon your website for lead generation, or if your customers engage with your services online in any form, identifying and monitoring these key actions using Google Analytics is vital. But what if evaluating these activities, and the success of the campaigns used to generate them, is dependent on information or actions not completed online? An insurance broker for example, does not receive commission by receiving a lead alone - it is provided upon a successful close of a sale. If you receive hundreds of leads each month, from a diverse set of marketing channels, how can you attribute success back to a particular initiative?
Google continues to build on a feature set within Analytics it hopes will solve this issue, empowering users to “unify” data from their different business systems.
In July, they launched a user friendly means to complete offline data imports, that even provides excel templates in a format ready for you to complete with the information you would like to include alongside analytics reports.
Google states the update will allow you to “organize your data the same way your business is organized” - which it hopes will lead to new insights drawn from analytics (assuming your business IS organised). Google elaborates that the Data Import revision:
“Will allow for more accurate analysis and bringing together previously disparate datasets into one complete picture. Using Data Import, you can upload your brand’s existing data into Google Analytics and join it with GA data for reporting, segmentation and remarketing”.
Importing offline data into Google Analytics is by no means new feature. By making the entry point easier for businesses, Google no doubt hopes it becomes a more widely used feature, with businesses benefiting from further insights from their data, and Google further consolidating its dominance in the web analytics market.