What is Google Analytics Version 4?
Google Analytics Version 4 is where Google places its new development focus, so improvements they make there will are now available to users of the Excel Addin.
Does this impact your existing solutions?
Good news: The prior version 3 will continue to be supported as long as Google allows it, and this update will not affect already built reports. It’s a completely separate and no changes were made to the Version 3 support that you’re used to.
Curious about what it looks like? What this short video:
Why is this superior to using Google Analytics on its own?
We’ve thought long and hard about where NEXT Analytics can add value to Google Analytics.
Firstly, it must save you time during report development.
Your chosen reporting tool has to be supported. Just because you build the report in Excel, doesn’t mean you have to deploy your reports in Excel. It must save the data to where you intend to use it, whether it be Excel, Google Sheets, Power BI, or a remote or local database so that you can take advantage of the organization’s chosen BI platform.
After the solution is built, it must operate reliably and with no need for the author to come back and make changes. Automated rolling date periods are big help, but also the value-add scripting lets you build without having to open Excel and do anything after a download. Really, Excel is just the authoring environment. The Excel workbook becomes a script that can publish updated data to things like databases, files, and Google Sheets. Or, if your users are agreeable, you can distribute Excel workbooks that they can update on their own. This is a true time saver for report authors.
What other value-adds are available by using NEXT Analytics
Aside from being superior at data access, we also add value to the data itself. This includes things like multiple views and segments on a single report, but also extra reporting periods, and solution specific date columns. Add to that, and the NEXT Analytics data engine will download large volumes of data, breaking up queries so that you can avoid data sampling without Google A360 Premium fees, and automatic post-download sorting, filtering, data transformation, pivoting, and dimensions and metric normalization.
- Let’s you request past and year ago periods. This makes it very easy to prepare comparative calculations of, for example, current period against the same period a year ago.
- Past and Year ago are also nice to have available if you want to show the trends of the current year as compared to the previous and year ago matching periods.
- The ability to restrict Google Data sampling. This works by invisibly dividing your query into day by day queries. The will often have the effect of keeping the size of the Google query to something where they don’t sample your data. When you add this feature, the day by day is automatically included in your query result. You probably can drop the Date field, and that gives you access to one extra dimension.
- If you set a Baseline date, that becomes an anchor and a comparison for several automatically included relative dates. These are labelled as “Org” meaning organizational dates. You get them automatically in your reports and are very convenient for reporting to business users in the date ranges that they find meaingful such as fiscal periods, campaign start dates, or dates with historical significance such as new aquisition. The baseline is on a per report basis, so you can have different baselines with different reports, letting you build reports for marketers with specific campaign dates, versus some other report which might be monitoring ad spend on a fiscal period basis.
- We have always had a very rich scripting tool that automates many of the tasks you might normally do in Excel. By having it automated, your Excel workbooks can be data-refreshed by Windows Scheduler or Microsoft Azure CRON job. All the post download processing is automatically re-applied when fresh data is downloaded. This includes things like filtering, data transformation, pivoting, post-pivot sorting and filtering, and much much more.
We’d love to hear from you about what else you do with NEXT Analytics, plus any ideas you have that we could add as an improvement.
Get the software you need to:
- Download Google Analytics data to your computer.
- Work with the data in Excel.
- Publish your workbooks or store the data in a database or Google sheets for use by query and reporting tools.
Just $49.95 per year.