Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Google Analytics v3.0: my speculation

Digital Alex has an interesting post about what he think will be announced from Google at next week's eMetrics. Basically more social media measurement in Google Analytics trough the integration of MeasureMap.

Of course it's interesting to us, bloggers, but the next level of web analytics is not only about adding Feedburner, MeasureMap or YouTube data. It's about integration, customization, collaboration and visualization brought to the next level.

I think the last post about "The Action Dashboard" from Avinash might not be a coincidence...

Read on...

Google Analytics v3.0?

Here's my take on what I think (and would love to see) in Google Analytics v3.0:
  • API: simply put, all Google services have APIs and there is no reason why Google Anlaytics wouldn't have one... we've been asking for it for a long time. Bet it will be there!
  • Custom reporting: slicing & dicing of data is key. I want to use any metric, any dimension, any segment and create my multi-level breakdown report the way I want.
  • Custom metrics: one user variable? c'mon! I should be able to integrate all the data I want, either from offline sources (welcome API again!) or as new metrics gathered from the web. People have learned to use other fields and do all kind of acrobatics to use more than one user variable... it's time to make it official and easy. For example, wouldn't it be interesting to bring the 4Q data right into GA and correlate the results with user behaviour?

The killer: custom dashboards

Now it gets even more interesting!
  • Import/export: Google Docs spreadsheet doesn't allow you to import data from a web source. Either allow "Save to Google Docs" from the GA interface or import from a web source straight into Google Docs.
  • Google Docs: No more Excel? We all know MS Excel is the web analyst best friend. Why not bring that data into Google Docs spreadsheets? Leverage the collaborative capabilities of Google Docs to share in edit or read only mode and even use the discussion feature to comment it.
  • Charting & Gadgets: from the Google Docs spreadsheet data, it's very easy to build basic graphs and very sophisticated visualizations like Gauges, Time Series, Motion Chart, Timelines, Gantt and Org charts and new ones are being added by 3rd parties.
  • Dashboarding: bring that to the next level, create a fully customized dashboard in iGoogle and share it to whoever you like. iGoogle allows you to include several types of gadgets. Imagine a financial dashboard that would include Google News, Stocks and Web revenues! Imagine a marketing dashboard that would include competitive data, Google Reader RSS feeds from your competitors' blogs along your AdWords and conversion performance shown as gauges and timelines.
  • Alerts: The only thing missing are notifications when values get outside of the acceptable ranges. Google Docs already include the notifications when a spreadsheet, a range or even a specific cell. The only thing missing is allowing to send those notifications based on some rules. I'm sure that would be an easy fix.
Basically, the only missing piece of the puzzle is the ability to import/export to Google Docs! From there, everything else becomes possible...

If my predictions turn out to be true, I would easily see Google Analytics inching even more on the higher end players.

We'll see next week.