There are many use cases for having multiple Google Analytics accounts, properties and views. 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 each individual view 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 Reporting API to help automate extraction and generate reports summarizing your traffic.
When you have multiple websites 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 Reporting API using Analytics Canvas without writing code.
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 login and click the Analytics icon in the top left corner. Since you will only see high level metrics for starred views, you must star each of the views you want to compare, then hit refresh. You’ll see sessions, average session duration, bounce rate and goal conversion rate for all of the sites that were starred (excluding App + Web views as they are not yet supported).
You can build a custom dashboard in the GA interface, then apply it to each profile. Simply build it, then share it with yourself and add the custom report to each one of your profiles. It will be a little time consuming but if you rarely change your reports it certainly will work.
But what if you want to get beyond the basics and need to eliminate sampling or perform some data cleansing before you can compare your sites?
Use the APIs Without Writing Code
There are a number of desktop and web-based solutions to help you get at your data, automate reports, create dashboards and perform serious analysis on your Google Analytics data.
For in-depth analysis, Analytics Canvas (a Google Marketing Platform Technology Partner since 2010) can be used to:
• connect multiple Google Analytics accounts to one dashboard
• run a monthly report for all properties with aggregate and individual summaries
• apply business rules (data cleaning steps) to some or all views at once
• compare segments across sites
• automate reports and refresh them with the click of a button
• load and refresh a Google Analytics data warehouse
For example, if we wanted to determine the impact of social media on traffic to our sites, instead of writing code or manually pulling data from the web interface, we can use Analytics Canvas and an intuitive user interface to create the query and download our data.
First we’ll need to select the profiles to include and Canvas allows you to access all of the views available to your Google account.
If you have many sites, use the filter to quickly find the sites you’re looking for.
Then we’ll need to define the query. In this case we’re going to analyze the source, sessions and average time on site. Using the visual query builder, we simply point and click our way through the dimensions and metrics we’re looking for:
And finally we setup our canvas. In this case we’re pulling all of the views together into a single table using 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? It is already automated! To refresh your report on demand, simply press play to run the report. You can also schedule the report to run in our cloud or on your server – all without the help of a developer or an IT resource.
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.