Google Analytics 360 & Data Governance Features
By Charles Farina of Analytics Pros
Thanks so much. I hope everyone’s enjoying the summit so far. Really excited to be here and share with you about the google marketing platform. So, my plan for this afternoon is to go over some key features and announcements and updates with the google marketing platform, specifically around data governance. And in addition, what I’d like to do towards the end is actually show off some of the new features that are inside this google marketing platform that are kind of tied to improving your ROI and the marketing that you’re running.
So, what I wanted to do to start off is first again review the plan for the session. So we’ll go over the google marketing platform. I’ll go through what that means with the merger of double click and GA360 in a single platform. We’ll talk about the data governance features that are now available and that have been added to the interface in the various products. Then towards the end we’ll review some brand new features and functionality that I’m personally very excited about in the platform.
So, I’ve mentioned I’ve been working with Google Analytics for about 10 years. So, when it started as Google Analytics, some of my colleagues worked with it when it was Urchen, then it was Google Analytics Premium then 360, and now we have this google marketing platform.
One thing that’s really exciting about this google marketing platform is Google's merge both the advertising and the analytics sides of their stack together in this single unified view. That’s going to give us some really exciting features and functionality that often was a struggle to actually make happen.
So, as a quick overview of this google marketing platform, what we have first is some new names and products. You’ll see on the analytics side we have this Google Analytics 360 Suite.
Everything’s pretty much stayed the same on that side. We have Analytics, Data Studio, Optimize, Surveys, and Tag Manager. Then on the ad side, there’s some pretty big changes over here. We have a new product called display and video which is going to combine functions from doubleclick bid manager and campaign manage to a new unified product. Then we have Search Ads 360 which used to be double click search. And then overtime the various features of functionally with Campaign Manager, Audience Center, and Studio will be integrated into those core products. And we’re going to start to see really tight integrations across this full stack in the coming months.
So, what I wanted to start off with was actually reviewing some really key functionality around this data governance theme with the launch of the new google marketing platform. What we’re going to review real quickly is what an organization is and how you can create one, if you’re not familiar with that. Overview of how products are linked. As well as different features and functionality around managing users and settings within the platform.
So, with this what I’d like to do is actually go into the platform itself and show off some of these new features and functionality that exist here. So, with that let me drag over my window, and we’ll go into the Platform Home.
So, what we’re going to find out with the platform home is there used to be something called 360 Suite Home. Now with double click being brought in and everything connected, it’s now called Platform Home. On the right hand side we’ll see the three key features that we want to review today: Integration Center, the Administration functions, as well as Recently Visited.
In the Administration section one thing that’s important to highlight is there’s a concept of an organization. Many companies have a number of different products like you might have a mobile app, you might have the website, you might have different brands. So, in this new Platform Home we’re going to have a new concept of an organization that covers both the double click or the ad side as well as the analytics side. Right now we have organizations that exist in the Google Analytics 360 Suite which is what referenced here. This allows you as an organization to have kind of a single administration show over all of your google products and technologies throughout the entire stack which gives you a very valuable set of governance and functionality to really scale and manage and be efficient around who has access, what’s linked, when are things being used, that you can’t really get any other way.
So, some of the exciting parts in here is that we actually have a new integration center. In this new integration center, this is where we can really for the first time get an overview around what Google products are sharing data with other Google products. So, in here, we can see for example, what kind of properties do we have that have linked display and video with Google Analytics. Or where is search consult linked to Google Analytics. We can go in here and we can manage and see everything that is linked, unlinked, as well as add new integrations that we need to really manage this at an overall level across everything that we’re running.
The other thing that’s really relevant in here around various different products is going to be the user management features that exist inside suite home. And for the user management part of this product we’re going to have a really key set of tools, and I’ll show those off in the 360 Suite Home where we can get a good overview of what this looks like. But in here, we can come in and we can actually manage users and see when they actually last logged into a product. So, for example, with Google Analytics, when was the last time any of our employees actually logged in and used any of the product that we’re referring to?
In addition, on the right hand side, you can easily actually visually see what products they have access to. Is it tag manager? Is it optimize? It is google analytics? Attribution? Kind of anything along the lines of that. And my favorite part is there’s actually been new features specifically around data governance that Google had to help manager permissions and access at much larger scale. So, one thing we can do is we have options to download a CSV, to do Excel lookup tables, we can add filters. For example, easily identify any email address that contains gmail or maybe a non-corporate email address. We can also come in and start to add new users across all of those products. One of the things that you’ll see when we do these filters is we can actually set up user policies where if some administrator adds, for example, someone with gmail access, we can actually have in here a flag that someone that doesn’t meet the criteria that we set, that they shouldn’t have access to that product.
So, this gives you a quick overview of the new Platform Home and the suite home functionality around the different sorts of functionality we’re going to have with the Integration Center, the Administration, being able to come in and see what the last views that were accessed was, all within one central shell.
So, I’m really excited about this update and the functionality that comes along with that.
So, the next piece that I wanted to highlight was a little bit about google cloud identity. So, one of the key questions that we get asked at Analytics Pros sometimes is around how you can maybe sync your users with an active directory or support that single sign in type service.
And a lot of people aren’t aware that Google launched a service called Cloud Identity which allows you to effectively have G Suite like services and interfaces to manage users and their Google accounts even if they don’t have a core G Suite service. So, as an example, if you use Microsoft and Microsoft’s suite email and other services, you could actually come in and use cloud identity to connect those different directories together. To manage across that full ecosystem that you’re using.
So, this is something that I think is really important to point out from a data governance perspective because Google Analytics, for a long time, it’s been very easy to go in and add users at any time. And now with that platform home as well as the features like cloud identity, we start to have much more enterprise features that come in and really restrict and understand who has access to what. So we can really keep an eye on what’s going on with the organization around that.
So, one other thing that I think is really important to highlight, especially with all the things happening around GDPR and privacy, and some of the US Legislation that’s happening, is focusing around some of the new features that Google has launched recently to help address and comply with different sort of governance that you might have even from a legal standpoint.
So, one of the things that Google has added is they actually have a new data retention setting. You can actually set this in the user interface, and for the first time this actually allows you to come in and essentially expire user data. And the important thing to note about this is this expiration just affects the individual user level behavior. It doesn’t affect any of the aggregate information you have about your users. So, if we come in here and we say that as an organization we want a 26 month data retention policy, what that means is if we have data longer than 26 months we will still have that for aggregate data like traffic sources and our device breakdowns. Any of the standard reports on the left hand side of google analytics, all will still retain the data, but what ends up happening is any of the drill downs for anything longer than 26 months will no longer have the data supported for that. So, we can’t really go down to that individual user level. Which allows you to really have a really robust retention policy that you can change depending on what date you might be looking for for that.
And one thing to note for larger users of Google Analytics is there’s an API which you can use to set this across your entire org. So, if you have hundreds of Google Analytics properties or even a couple dozen, this API can be a really quick way to go in and do this programmatically without having to spend a lot of time going into the interface to do this yourself.
Another really important aspect with that GDPR and other nuances is around user deletion. So deletion of data itself.
So, they’ve actually added a feature, so this is the user explorer report in Google Analytics. In this user explorer report we can see we can actually have individual ID’s. So kind of anonymous cookie ID of a user. And with that there is now a mechanism inside the GA interface to actually come in and delete this user data which is exciting to have as an option.
And just like before, there’s also an API which you can use to do this as well. So, if you have, for example, users that are emailing you to maybe request being deleted from Google Analytics, or you have an instance where this might be important for you. Again, you can do this at scale through that user deletion API which is really important.
And one of the favorite topics I have with discussing data governance and google analytics is around PII. Personally Identifiable Information.
And one of the things that is exciting is Google has actually added a new data deletion request. So, if they ever do find that your account contains PII, Simo Ahava published this not too long ago where we can actually see what this looks like in the interface where you can actually identify when PII was first sent, when it was last sent, and then there’s an approval que that you’d go through with Google to verify you’re no longer sending in this PII.
And this example that we’re looking at here is something that you ultimately never want to actually get because it does result in potential data deletion. It’s really serious. One of the things that most people aren’t aware of is that it’s actually really easy to collect PII in Google Analytics.
Often times it happens when you collect the URL string in the format and maybe a service like a password reset or some sort of form appends an email address into the URL. And then Google Analytics captures that through the request. That is actually a violation of the terms of service because then you’re collecting email address in GA.
So, one of the interesting things that we have for this is we actually have a tool that we built, and in this tool, which is really cool, this is an Analytics Pros tool, one of the things Google Analytics that we’ve wanted for a long time is the ability to actually have real-time alerts. We built a tool where you can actually come in and setup real time alerts. So if you wanted to be notified say within 30 minutes, if Google Analytics receives something that could potentially be PII, you could just come in and say, for example, I’d like to know any time we receive any sort of URL or page that contains anything that has an email address associated with it. So we could just say the GA page path, for example, equal that email address. And then set up our trigger. And this is a good way you can use the Google Analytics real time API to help with compliance issues around that PII. So, this is something that’s really important to look at with data governance and the google analytics suite. So definitely wanted to highlight that.
What I wanted to go over next was some features actually in Google Tag Manager that most people maybe aren’t even aware that exist that are really important around data governance.
So, with this you actually have a great new feature with google analytics 360, it is a 360 only new feature, to come in and actually be able to start putting data governance around who has access of permissions to do what across the organization.
And this feature builds really nicely on top of work spaces. Which is another relatively new feature in the past few years. Where if you have multiple developers or even agencies working in a common tag management system, you can actually start to have work spaces where you can check out and have individual spaces where you’re not overriding or conflicting with everyone’s work.
And that builds in really nicely with approvals. So, this is a really nice feature where if you have people coming in and adding tags you can now set assigned users where any changes have to be actually submitted to that user to go through to actually be published on the website. So it’s a real great place to start removing one user in the organization who has access to do everything and start building more of a governance and oversight into what’s happening in the site and what’s being published where.
And with that, what I wanted to do next is I think that highlights a really good summary of some of the new data governance features in google analytics and the google marketing platform. We have features in google tag manager like zones and approvals, and then we have the platform home where we can have an organization, user management, we can link our products together, and we have other things like data delete requests.
What I wanted to show next was actually show off some new features in the Google Marketing Platform that I think are actually really relevant to helping improve your ROI and your marketing. So one of the brand new features that was added not too long ago was something called advanced analysis. And this is a brand new feature that’s one of my most exciting additions because this is where it allows us to take some of the exploration that we can do in Google Analytics to the next level.
So what we can do as an example, is there’s this feature called segment overlap which is a type of exercise that we can do. And with this what we effectively have is the ability to come in and we can actually import any of the audiences that we have in Google Analytics. So, if you built an audience, for example, of your engaged users or maybe anyone who purchased, or whatever you want, there’s really no limits. What you can do is you can start to take these audiences, and we can actually start to bring them on the canvas, and with this, what we can do is we can actually start to analyze the audience themselves with other audiences. So, here is the actual intersection of users that our desktop has purchased and were also very engaged on my website. And we can actually take action from this new feature that google has.
So, as an example, if I click “view users” it actually takes you into Google Analytics. It builds the combined audience for you. And now we can come in and we can actually look at any of the individual users in that audience and understand everything about their behavior. So, we can see, for example, what their LTB was, how they navigated our website, everything about them.
And also what’s really important is with a single click you can actually build this audience and from there you can actually immediately make it available back over in adwords or double click to take action on.
And this is a really important workflow because with that, what we effectively have, is we have the ability to actually come in and do different types of treatment.
So, with the remarketing feature for that advanced analysis, many of our clients will use this to do things like bid adjustments, look alike audiences, you could do dynamic remarketing, or state based audiences. But it gives you the ability to activate on that google analytics data and actually change the way you’re interacting or interfacing with your consumers through your digital media immediately without having to build pixels or floodlights. It’s all natively connected which is exciting.
So, as an example, if we published that audience into AdWords, it would immediately be available, and this is now called Google Ads. But that audience would immediately be available
and even have a look alike audience that you could use to execute on as well.
So, one more thing that I wanted to highlight before we start to wrap up, is one of my favorite additions in data studio which is Google’s kind of free version of a Tableau product. For me, it feels very much like Google Docs. Incredibly easy to use. You can do powerful kind of deep dives on the data in a way that is very visual and friendly for the end user.
And one of the things that the data studio team launched very recently was a new feature called data blending. Which effectively is the ability to actually join different data sets together directly in data studio.
So, what we can do with data studio is we can create a simple report real quick to highlight the value of this. So, I can come in, I can actually link this to Google Analytics in a matter of seconds. So, I’ll select Google Analytics as my data source and then here’s my account property and view and we’re ready to go and start creating our dashboard together. So, again, with data studio, super easy to get data on the canvas. You simply drag and drop and have full control over everything we’re doing.
But one of the exciting additions with this new data blending is with a single click, we can take a table of data and we can start to actually blend this with other data sets. So, I can come in and grab some other data set that I have. I can simply add this to the canvas and then I can select what I want to join off of this. So, we can see it actually already added the source for us, and now I can simply start to create this combined data set. And I’m good to go. So, once I save this, now in the table, we’re going to start to see that we have two different Google Analytics data sets together with just a few seconds of work to actually make that happen.
So, this is a really exciting addition because now we already had the ability in Data Studio to come in and connect to multiple data sources. I could bring in Facebook, I could bring in AdWords, Bigquery, whatever I want, but now we have an easy way for marketers to come in and actually blend data like CRM data, data from Google sheets, kind of whatever you want to do to join and start to provide that integrated view you might be looking for for your consumers.
So, this is a really great addition in Data Studio that allows us to come in and really take what we’re doing to the next level.
And the last piece that I want to leave with before we open up for questions is the also relatively recent launch of cross device in google analytics.
So, what this is, is for the first time we actually have cross device capabilities directly in the google analytics platform. So, what this means is this cross device solves a challenge marketers have, which is “how do we connect users together across different devices?” And with this new feature, google will allow you, if you opt in, to connect to their cross device graph.
So, these are the google identifier. It’s users logged into android or chrome or gmail or youtube, if they’ve opted in and are sharing their data and you’ve opted in as well, you can actually use that cross device graph to connect this user data together across devices for you. And this starts to actually come in and give you overlaps for how your users are actually interacting or engaging with your brand across devices. And even bring in, of course, the marketing component to understand how digital marketing is different from attribution perspective when we move away from a single device and we start to look at more of a cross device look or feel for that.
So, I’m really excited about this cross device feature. It’s bringing some of the existing capabilities from Google Ads as well as display and video or doubleclick campaign manager into the GA360 and even the free version of Google Analytics so that everyone can benefit from this to hopefully make that attribution story more easy.
So, with this, I’m really excited to have shared all of this with you. I think this did a good overview of hopefully introducing you to the google marketing platform. We covered how doubleclick and google analytics are now together as a single integrated suite. We’ve gone over some of the data governance features that are now available in this google marketing platform to easily manage users across the entire ecosystem, actually put in different restrictions and policies for who can have access, or when the last time a user did access any of your data.
And then also, in some of the individual products like Google Analytics or google tag manager, there are product specific features like zones or user deletions or all sorts of API’s that we can hook into as well.
And then, I hope at the end, I showed you some new exciting features that I’ve found to personally be some of the first views of where this platform is going. And I’m really excited about some other things that Google has in the works to hopefully come out in the coming months and year.
So, with that I’d like to pause and see if there’s any questions and thank you guys so much for joining.