Google Analytics Intelligence Feature Insights

google analytics intelligence dashboard menu

Google Analytics new intelligence feature is heaven sent.

The new intelligence option within your analytics account allows you to create non-destructive custom filters which are then immediately applied to both current andhistorical data.

This speeds up the analysis time immeasurably, as you no longer have to fumble through exporting data into separate spreadsheets and workbooks, refresh pivot tables, etc. to find the answers you’re looking for.



Google offers up some template starter alerts, which are fine if you only want to know if something horrible is happening, but creating a custom alert is so easy there really isn’t any excuse for not doing it.

You can only filter on 2 fields –

one dimension field:

dimension alert

dimension alert choices

and one metric field.


google alert metrics

but it does give you some pretty great info, for example:

google analytics custom report

google analytics intelligence report information

This comes in very handy if you’re running multiple campaigns across several different marketing channels, or you want to monitor changes in revenue from day to day from different visitor segments – there really is a lot you can do with this once you dig in.

And while this type of information is very nice, the frosting on top is this handy bar graph –

google analytics importance bar chart

This 'importance' bar graph helps you make sense of it all.

It’s too early for me to say how relevant this actually is, but the idea is solid. Get immediate insight into the data that matters. And you’re not limited to only daily alert views either, you can also choose weekly or monthly views – probably the better choice for analysis for most small to mid size companies running minor ad campaigns.

Gotta give some love to Google on this one.


Google Analytics New Pivot Table Feature Rocks!

Love the Pivot.

I flipped on my computer to give a quick glance at my clients’ analytics when I noticed a new option in the view bar:

The new pivot table icon in Google Analytics

The new pivot table icon in Google Analytics

Well, as soon as I saw that – my heart stopped.

Could it be the new pivot table feature I’ve been waiting on? Only one way to find out….

It keeps getting better.

I want to show you everything, but I also don’t want to be up all night writing this so I’m going to rip through some screenshots and then hopefully you can run along and experiment for yourself (assuming you’ve got access to this as well….)

There's a LOT of information for you to explore.

There's a LOT of information for you to explore.

Have you looked at the map location view by city and wondered ” I wish I could see which source brought the most visitors from that city…” only to realize that you’d have to create some advanced segment report to get that info?  Not anymore you don’t.

Or how about this –

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Which referring source sends the most engaged visitors from your top cities? This is a job for the pivot feature!

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And it works on the goal conversions tabs as well….

Maybe I’m just way more geeky than most people, but I get giddy with this stuff.

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So this is how it works from what I’ve messed with so far:

  • The 2 gray drop-down boxes above the table are the Metrics you can choose from (don’t shoot me if I’m wrong. my brain is a little fuzzy right now…) – both boxes contain the same selections, but it doesn’t really matter too much because…
  • The real attraction here is the pivot box (in blue – above the left column). It populates a row above the metrics you’re displaying – this brings the awesomeness.
  • yes – you can export as well, but it may take a little more tweaking on my side to figure that out properly. Selecting a pivot dropdown for keywords for example, creates a long list of columns- but it appeared that on export I only got the columns visible on the screen. Maybe it’s best to use the API for those type of queries..

…and that’s all I know so far. OH – except that it appears that you have some really cool grouping features in your advanced segments as well. Advanced segments with pivot table features – all without leaving the browser. How could you NOT think this is awesome?

Improve Your Analytics Analysis by Defining Users


This post will be discussing some of the more advanced reporting features of Google Analytics – be warned!

So you’re digging into your Google Analytics – whipping out custom segments, filtering out your office traffic, creating custom reports – when you notice that elusive, mysterious “user-defined” report staring at you from the visitors menu.

“What IS the User Defined Report?” you ask yourself….so you click it and get to a page that looks like this:

the typical user defined value page in Google Analytics

the typical user defined value page in Google Analytics

…which helps you – not at all.

Don’t feel bad, like you’re the only idiot that’s not using this feature. But also don’t ignore it, because it’s a powerful little feature indeed.

First off, to answer the question -“why would I WANT to use it?”, let’s consider a very common scenario.You’re running a website where you actually sell something, it could be an e-commerce site, a subscription based site, etc…

How are you going to differentiate those visitors that have already purchased from you or subscribed to your site from the typical repeat visitor? Sure, you can track visitors that log in, but what if they don’t log in during their visit?

That’s where our friend,  pageTracker._setVar,  comes in.

Navigate to the page where this visitor would complete their transaction, or registration, etc. Go to where you inserted your analytics tracking code on that page – now simply assign a label, such as “customer”, to the pageTracker._setVar variable, adding it into your existing tracking code, and PRESTO! – you are now able to identify those visitors that have purchased, subscribed, whatever…

Here’s an example from Google’s analytics blog discussing this subject.

<script type=”text/javascript”> var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.&#8221; : “http://www.&#8221;); document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src='” + gaJsHost + “’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”)); </script> <script type=”text/javascript”> try { var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-XXXXXXX-1”); pageTracker._trackPageview(); pageTracker._setVar(”customers”); } catch(err) {}</script>

The way this works is that you’re telling Google to set an additional cookie on the visitors computer that will report back to Google each time they visit your site – assuming they don’t delete their cookies during browsing sessions – or use a different computer to visit your site – or turn off javascript…( those are issues you have to deal with anyway, so nothing out of the ordinary)

This is an excellent way of segmenting specific user groups without wasting a lot of time.

There are some issues to be aware of though, as Google points out – most importantly the fact that Google Analytics is only capable of storing one custom segment at any one time for one website. They mention the LunaMetrics site, which has code which supports multiple labels, but I think there are still some issues there. Here’s the complete techie explanation on _setVar.

Google Analytics New Features – ssSMOKIN!!

Well, this is just one more reason why I should surf the net more. If you haven’t visited your Analytics account for a few days, make a point to go there now.

Google is fast on it’s way to releasing some AWESOME new enterprise level reporting features for Analytics. I’ve got most of these active on my accounts.

 Quoting from Google themselves:

They are…: Advanced Segmentation, Custom Reports, a data export API (private beta), integrated reporting for AdSense publishers (private beta), multi-dimensional data visualizations called “Motion Charts,” and an updated user and administrative interface.

For example:


Google's answer to Excel's pivot table.


If you’re not segmenting your visitors now, WHY THE HECK NOT? I’m drooling at how cool this is. But it gets better. WAY WAY BETTER.

I’m a visual person. Not to say that I don’t enjoy reading technical documents, because I do. I just don’t understand half of it until I put it in motion. So for all you people like me, take a sec and watch this video on setting up visual charts in analytics. Relax, put your feet up.

Way cool, right? yep. 

But now for the most super, ultra killer feature yet. The Data Export API. (still in private beta, unfortunately)

What can you do with it, you ask? Don’t ask me, ask Google – 

The Data Export API enables you to create software programs and applications using all read-only report level data from Analytics. The data exported can be used in any number of ways, such as building custom dashboards, creating data visualizations or interfaces, performing offline analysis, and combining/mashing Analytics data with other data sources. The API will be a platform for developers to extend Analytics data in new and practical ways, as far as can be imagined and implemented.

Now all I have to do is be the first one to develop something killer so I can give it away for free and get a crapload of backlinks. oh, what’s that? I have to go back to work and actually do something? arrrrgggh.

I really need another me.