As we’re testing the Alpha version of our new product Analytics Canvas, it strikes me how well Google understands the importance of data. Even better, they understand the importance giving access to data widely.
While they provide fantastic tools in Google analytics, and keep expanding the platform, (witness some of the new features just released), they also realize that they can add even more to the platform by encouraging partners to build tools that take advantage of Google Analytics data.
Thats why, when nModal was considering the next place to implement our visual data framework, we realized that analytics was a great fit.
Of course, Google Analytics data export functionality already makes it easy to export small amounts of data. And it’s certainly a useful tool.
But when you have to export very large data sets from Google Analytics (thousands, tens of thousands, and even hundreds of thousands of data points) Google has provided the GData interface. There have been Excel add-ins that let you pull data into spreadsheets for a while. But with really big data, and a need to make your analysis repeatable and automated, messing around in spreadsheets alone is not going to get you far.
The Analytics Canvas tool gives you a whole new way to get at those large data sets- and lets you manage them as you need- taking snapshots and refreshing the data when needed. On top of this, it lets you pull data from other sources- both files and databases, to let you build powerful, automated data extractions and transformations that give you a whole new level of capability in analyzing your web traffic. For anyone who has a background in Business intelligence, you’ll recognize the frame work as an ETL tool (Extract, Transform, Load). But it’s an ETL tool that brings a whole new level of ease of use and built around a connector to Google Analytics that is dedicated to its particular type of data and data flow.
So hooray for the Google Analytics data API, and its ability to export large analytics data sets, and for Googles decision to support and promote third party tools that expand and enhance the Google Analytics product!
Give Analytics Canvas a try, sign up for the Beta now– discover a whole new way to see your Google Analytics data.