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Unlocking More Data with Google Analytics 360

Google recently announced the launch of Analytics 360 with seemingly little fanfare. (I was hoping for fireworks, or at least a few streamers so my definition of ‘little’ may be a bit off.) The newer products all revolve around the core of analytics, but show some breadth and depth of trying to reach beyond just analytics and tagging to create better ways of using the data we have been collecting.20160404_154921_resized

What Is Google Analytics 360?

Essentially, Google Analytics Premium rebranded. Analytics 360 contains all of the great benefits of Premium, but has been given a new interface and some new tool integrations with even more expected to some.

Tag Manager 360

Much like the Tag Manager we have all grown to know, but this version offers a better API, and most interestingly, support. Container serving, configuration, and support specialists are all available to further enhance and streamline tag integration and implementation. I expect this product to grow and become the most refined over the next year. If even a few of the rumors about capabilities come true, tagging with a tag manager will be in a whole new realm.

Optimize 360

Ever felt limited with the capabilities of Google experiments? Optimize 360 is the response to many of the configuration, limitedness, and tracking issues dealt with by advertisers looking to do testing and optimization via Google. This is a revamped way to perform content testing and personalization providing expanded testing options, and direct integration with other Google tools (namely Tag Manager 360 and Audience Center 360).

Attribution 360

New name for a “newish” acquisition. In 2014, Google acquired Adometry – an advanced attribution company capable for both combining data sources as well as expanding on them. While the attribution reports in Google Analytics are nice, they often lack answers to some of our most important questions: How are view-through conversions being credited? And What was the impact of the last DRTV buy? Adometry, now Attribution 360, helps to gather together both the online and offline data into a consolidated view, and with that, provide additional details and opportunity for a better rounded and deeper analysis.

Audience Center 360

Tired of your data being piecemeal, or having to go through a complex process to try and tie data pieces together across systems?  This tool is meant  to gather data from all of the available sources (analytics, sales, crm, etc.) into a single platform. Ideally, this will be a data integration system used to better understand all aspects of the customer (anyone else feeling persona development?).

Data Studio 360

New ways to visualize data; nice-looking reports that are also insightful; real-time collaboration capabilities? Yes please! This is probably my favorite of all the new products. Data Studio 360 is an interactive dashboarding tool which enables a user to create reports using both Google data as well as data from outside sources. The intent is to make it easy to pull data and make it look good, thus allowing more time toward analysis and insights.

How successful these products will be in the long run will be interesting. I was fortunate enough to get to see and experience some of these products in test form at a past (2015) Google Analytics Partner Summit. I expect that as a larger public gets their hands on the tools and begins digging around, requests will be made and enhancements given.

I will say there is definitely an air of “competing with Adobe” in how some of the product capabilities have been split up, but unlike Adobe, these splits feel a bit more natural and intuitive. Nothing against Adobe, they have many great tools and service offerings to their own right. And to give further credit, Adobe has certainly been at the forefront of introducing compatible products to their analytics packages.

What happens next is up to you. Current basic Google Analytics users will not see much of a difference. There have been no announcement of any changes happening in the near future. Several of the new products will be sold as stand-alones, so depending on needs, there may be an option to get just the products you need, but not those you find unnecessary for the time being. Baby steps are okay.

Current Premium Analytics customers (ahem, now Analytics 360) will see more of an impact. Expect to see some rebranding within the account, if you haven’t already. While some of the products will be included in the standard package (in particular Tag Manager 360), the others are sold independently of one another.  

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