Universal Analytics: A Game Changer
With Google’s Universal Analytics now available to the public, many have speculated upon the impact it will have on the way businesses use data. The question remains, however – is Universal Analytics a game changer?
The majority of the benefits UA offers rely on two new changes to the platform – the ability to amalgamate data into UA from any source, and the shift from tracking site visits to tracking visitors.
The new “Measurement Protocol” provides the opportunity to send data to Universal Analytics from literally any device which captures and transmits data, from computers to mobiles, and even employee badges equipped with RFID chips.
This provides a convenient means of collecting data from a number of sources. It’s possible to send data to Universal Analytics about offline conversions – in-store sales and foot traffic or sales made over the phone, for example. Social interactions can also be monitored, providing stats on user interactions on sites like Facebook.
CRM data can also be sent to UA in order to integrate it with other metrics – a great way of finding out just what sort of demographic is signing into a site or app.
Universal Analytics roots lie in the Urchin product, which was purchased by Google in 2005 and initially designed to track visits to a website. Originally, it meant that if the same person visited a website from two different devices, it would be counted as two unique visits. Universal Analytics has a unique take on monitoring, taking into account user ID’s in order to build up a more accurate picture of user visits.
Is Universal Analytics really a game changer? Time will surely tell. There’s certainly more advanced thinking behind it, but in essence it’s hardly a completely new concept.
What is new, however, is the price tag – UA is completely free, meaning that sophisticated analytics are easily accessible to everyone.