With great patience, we’ve all been waiting for Google Analytics to roll out new features on its swanky, contemporary interface. As the resident analyst here at Delegator, I admit I was wary of the new Analytics when it first appeared this past fall. I compulsively clicked the “Old Version” option in the top navigation bar upon logging in for a couple of weeks, but I gradually (begrudgingly) trained my eye to the new look and feel. And as any good love story goes, distaste slowly transforms into bedazzlement for my new GA beau as each refined feature appears.
The first thing that stood out to me on the new interface was how much more user-friendly it is than the old version, which meant it didn’t appear to be quite as analyst-friendly as I desired. It was easier to find the quick hit metrics, but I didn’t initially see how the layout was as conducive to cross-metric analysis. As each new feature is released, however, I find my worries falling away one-by-one. There are a couple of highlights worth noting already, and they haven't even rolled out the custom reporting PDF or email features yet (hint hint)!
1. Multi-Channel Funnels
Most notably, the multi-channel funnel feature has improved my traffic sources-conversion analysis beyond compare. I’ve singularly used this tool to optimize a small AdWords account within the past month, which resulted in truly staggering ROI results. For companies with fewer conversions, having this ability to optimize for assisted conversions adds a level of unprecedented refinement to data analysis that I didn't even think to request.
2. Converting Standard Reports Into Custom Reports
I'm trying not to go too crazy on this one. When I saw the "Customize" option in one of the Standard Reports tabs, I gasped thinking of the endless reports I could build from these standard platforms. However, I do urge caution on this frontier. Building custom reports from scratch may be a pain, but they remain my most valuable reports. I can imagine this customize feature being incredibly useful in instances where you really do just need to add one or two more metric columns to a standard report, but I don't think it should supplement the careful planning that typically goes into a custom report. Customize wisely, my analytical brothers and sisters.
Much to my delight, the new Analytics interface is beautiful and fast. With fresh new buttons, streamlined categorization, and new dashboard building options, it seems Google is finding that sweet spot where Analytics will please both the average user and the analytics guru alike.