Monday, December 7, 2015

Understanding and Using Google Analytics Data-Lesson 3.1 How Google Analytics Works

Google Analytics has 4 main components: data collection, configuration, processing, and reporting.

Google Analytics collects user interaction data from websites, mobile apps, POS, kiosk, or any other digitally connected device.

Website:  To track analytics, a small piece of javascript code is placed on every page of a website. This collects data about how users are engaging with your site.  Javascript can collect information about your URL, language, browser, and operating system used to access the site. This piece of code can also store information about the referring source that brought the user to your site.  This information is then packaged and sent to Google Analytics.  These packages are referred to as hits or interactions. These pieces of information are automatically tracked, Google Analytics has many other possible customizations depending on your measurement planning process. Every time a user views a page tagged with the Google Analytics a hit is sent.

Mobile does not use javascript, there is a different method to collecting information depending on what specific operating system the site visitor is using.  Also, page views are not tracked, activities are.  You will need to customize which activities you would like to track on mobile using a custom piece of code. Every time a user completes an activity that has been tagged with Google Analytics, a hit is sent.

Because mobile apps are not always connected to the internet, analytics cannot be sent in real time. Google Analytics can store data and then dispatch once reconnected to the server again.

POS, Kiosks, etc.;
To track interaction data in Google Analytics using different types of devices requires a knowledgeable developer.

The other three components of Google Analytics are Processing, Configuration, and Reporting. Processing transforms the raw data into something more useful.  The data is either categorized as mobile or non-mobile. At the same time, the configuration process takes place as well. If you have added filters to your data or chose to include or exclude certain types of data from the final report. For example, you may add a filter that excludes reporting hits from your own employees. Once the data is stored in the database, and has been processed and inserted it cannot be changed.

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