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Google Analytics 360

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Author: John Kalinoski

December 11, 2018

Consumers today expect to find what they want any time, any place. They turn to smart phones, tablets, laptops and other devices to find stores, compare prices, check reviews, make purchases or look for information. These micro-moments — when people reflexively turn to a device — help them decide what to do, where to go, and whether or not to make a purchase. And they offer marketers more opportunities than ever before to connect and engage with consumers.

The challenge for marketers is to acquire a complete view of the consumer journey and understand it – micro-moment by micro-moment.

Google Analytics provides that lens. The question is, what solution is right for your organization? Will the free version of the tool – Google Analytics – do the trick or should you invest in Google Analytics 360, a more robust, enterprise-class solution?  It all depends. Make your decision after you consider the following insights.

Top 6 Benefits of Google Analytics 360

1. Unsampled data: With Google Analytics 360, you get access to all your data, so you can have confidence in the story the data is telling you. Within the Google Analytics 360 interface, data sampling does not occur until you reach 100 million sessions. Should you need to analyze a data set beyond 100 million sessions, you have the ability to download unsampled reports or access the data via BigQuery. Conversely, the free version of Google Analytics allows users to analyze unsampled data – that is, no modeling or approximations — only when looking at less than 500,000 sessions within a report. If your report is analyzing more than 500,000 sessions, the free version of Google Analytics extrapolates the data. As a result, your analysis and the decisions you make derive from an approximation rather than your true data set.

Google Analytics 360 image 1
Screenshot of sampled data notification within Google Analytics.

2. BigQuery: BigQuery is an enterprise data warehouse that supports importing and joining multiple sources of data into one data set. For example, users can leverage BigQuery to easily join their Google Analytics data with CRM data, offline POS sales data, or other data sets. As a result, your data is broader, more granular, and you can go deeper with your analysis than you can with Google Analytics standard or other web analytics platforms. In addition, you can easily extract this data through Data Studio, Tableau, or another data visualization tool for easier analysis and deeper reporting. Watch this video on reporting with BigQuery.

3. Greater customization: The free version of Google Analytics provides you with 20 custom dimensions and metrics. A dimension is an attribute of an individual who visits your website – say, age, gender, the type of device they’re using, or the type of browser for example. A metric is a number used to measure a dimension. With Google Analytics 360, you get 200 custom dimensions and metrics, which provides you with a greater flexibility around tracking custom data points that are important to your business and goals.

With the free version of Google Analytics, businesses often run out of custom dimension slots forcing them to make tough decisions on what data to track – and what to omit. With the additional custom dimension slots GA360 provides, businesses can easily track all of the information about their users, products, transactions, etc. It’s also important to note that all of these custom dimensions can be used in reports and segments to yield deeper insights into your business.

4. Roll-up reporting: Many organizations have data split across multiple Google Analytics properties. This setup may be done intentionally for businesses that have multiple brands or geographic locations.  Google Analytics 360 provides you with the ability to create a roll-up reporting property where data from multiple Google Analytics properties are joined together for a holistic view of performance.  Watch this video on roll up reporting.

5. Data Driven Attribution Model: The free version of Google Analytics provides users with a few different position-based attribution models (last click, first click, time decay, etc.) to analyze marketing channel performance. With Google Analytics 360, users will have access to an unbiased data-driven attribution model that uses data from your Google Analytics account to generate a custom model for assigning conversion credit to marketing touchpoints throughout the entire customer journey. Your custom data-driven model provides a more complete and actionable view of the digital channels, so you can make better investment decisions.

Google Analytics 360 image 2
Comparing marketing channel performance (fictitious data) using the data-driven attribution model vs a last interaction model.

6. Google Analytics 360 integrates seamlessly with Search Ads 360 and Display & Video 360 allowing all your click and impression data to flow into Google Analytics. This means that your attribution models can include impressions and allow you to attribute partial credit to ads customers have seen, but not necessarily clicked on.

Google Analytics 360 image 3
Fictitious click-through and view-through data inside of Google Analytics 360
Google Analytics 360 image 4
Fictitious data illustrating view through conversion paths

Should You Upgrade to Google Analytics 360?

Is Google Analytics 360 the right analytics platform for your organization? Ask LiveArea. We are a Google Analytics Service and Sales Partner that specializes in implementations, analysis and insights, and conversion rate optimization. As a Google Analytics Sales Partner, LiveArea is an authorized reseller of Google Analytics 360.

In the meantime, here is a full side-by-side comparison of Google Analytics and Google Analytics 360 to help inform your decision.

To learn more about Google Analytics 360 and how LiveArea can help you with your Google Analytics 360 implementation, drop us a line.


John Kalinoski

John is the Digital Analytics & Insights practice lead at LiveArea. Since 2004, he has been helping clients grow their businesses by leveraging data to make informed decisions. In addition to driving strategy, John also enjoys the technical side of analytics. He has a passion for designing and developing implementation plans and processes needed to generate actionable data and business insights for his clients.


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