There are many use cases for having multiple Google Analytics accounts, profiles or web properties. A consumer goods company with a website for each brand, a hotel chain with a site for each location, or an agency with many clients, for example.
Google’s front-end solution provides a summary of all your properties and allows you to access and export the data so that you can compare sites and segments. They also provide back-end access via the Analytics API to help automate extraction and generate reports summarizing your traffic.
When you have multiple properties to analyze it’s easy to get excited about the insights that can be uncovered when analyzing them together, like spotting search traffic anomalies, determining the impact of social media by region, or even comparing funnel performance between sites.
But that excitement can quickly get washed away with the anxiety of spending all your time exporting and combining data or bogging down Excel with too many rows and worksheets.
In this post we’ll look at how to use the front end method in Google Analytics and how to access the Analytics API using Analytics Canvas without writing code or SQL queries.
Front End Solution For Accessing Multiple Google Analytics Accounts
The Google Analytics web front-end allows you to see high level data for all your sites. Simply choose All Accounts then click Accounts List and Show Metrics. You’ll see visits, average session time, bounce rate and goal conversion rate for all of the sites under your account.
If you wanted to customize a dashboard and apply it to each profile, build it once then share it with yourself and add the custom report to each one of your profiles. It would be a little time consuming but if you rarely change your reports it certainly would work.
But what if you routinely perform new analysis and don’t know how to access the API or write SQL queries?
Use the APIs Without Writing Code
The Google Analytics Application Gallery has a number of desktop and web-based solutions to help you get at your data, automate reports, create dashboards and perform serious analysis.
For in-depth analysis, Analytics Canvas can be used to:
• connect multiple Google Analytics accounts to one dashboard
• run a monthly report for all properties with aggregate and individual Excel dashboards
• apply changes to some or all properties at once
• compare segments across sites
• automate reports and refresh them with the click of a button
For example, if we wanted to determine the impact of social media on traffic to our sites, we can use a visual interface with blocks and connectors to setup a canvas for our analysis.
First we’ll need to select the profiles to include. If you have many sites, use the filter to quickly find the sites you’re looking for. You can choose to create one block for all selected profiles or one block for each. In this case we’ll choose one each.
Then we’ll need to define the query. In this case we’re going to analyze the source, visits and avg time on site.
And finally setup our canvas. In this case we’re pulling all of the profiles into a combine block, performing a calculation, segmenting the data, summarizing it, pivoting our results, then exporting from the pivot block to 3 Excel data blocks.
The first export is our aggregate data block which summarizes all the accounts and the second two are sub-sets of the data that we want to report on.
During the course of our analysis we may find that we’re not looking at all the right metrics and in addition to tracking the average time a visitor spends on our site when referred from social vs other channels, we also want to see if they view more pages.
If you were pulling data manually into Excel you’d have to repeat a significant number of steps. With Analytics Canvas you simply revisit your query, choose the metric, update your blocks, and in no time your new data set is available.
The best thing about your new canvas? To refresh your report and publish it to a database or Excel template simply open the canvas and press “play”. You will be amazed at how quickly your reports are updated.
Whether you want to conduct a comparative analysis across profiles on keywords, referral sources, and location, or simply want an easy way to automate and update reports, Analytics Canvas has you covered.
Ready to get at all that data and create the reports you really want? Sign-up for a free trial of Analytics Canvas and see how easy it can be.