Google Analytics Is Changing
Google have announced changes to Google Analytics that will affect the way business owners use the tool. Google describe the changes as being the first in a series of improvements scheduled over the coming months. They also make it clear there will be some features removed from the tool, although the inference is that these are little-used.
What are the key changes users will notice?
- The Admin section has been moved and will now be pinned to the bottom of the left-hand navigation pane. This will make it easier to find the Admin section quickly.
- The left-hand navigation pane can now be resized. A great benefit for some of the reports that otherwise required a little horizontal scrolling.
- Centralisation of customisation options into the left-hand navigation pane. This is becoming the key location for user settings.
- Simplified switching between property ‘views’, using a new ‘view picker’ in the header bar. As a user with multiple accounts and views, this will be a real improvement for me.
- A login process that will remember your previous view on exit. This will be of limited benefit to users who remain logged in on their PC, but those who always log out will appreciate the change.
- The ability to control a default date range – now set to 7 days by Google. This will really benefit users who run multiple and regular testing they want to track.
What features are being removed?
- Automatic intelligence events are being removed. We’re promised a replacement ‘soon’.
- In-page analytics, which will now only be available via a Chrome extension.
The second of these might affect more people, with in-page analytics a great visual tool for seeing how users interact with your web pages.
Are these Google Analytics changes a good thing?
Probably. The vast majority of users will not be affected by the features being removed and the improvements to the user interface seem very sensible. The real test of that will come when we start to see them in real life. It does seem that Google is trying to help webmasters focus on the key metrics within their website data, but with the availability of the paid-for Google Analytics Premium & 360 Suite, there will be the cynics who feel this is the start of a process to drive more users down the subscription model!