Google Analytics User Conference 2013 Q&A

GAUC2013-photos

GAUC2013-photos

This year's Google Analytics User Conference was bigger and better than ever – and attendees got straight onto the Loves Data social media channels to throw all kinds of questions at the panellists.

There wasn't time to answer everyone's queries on the day but we thought the Loves Data blog would be the perfect space to thrash out a few of the curlier ones for you. So without further ado, here is Part One of our special Q&A series from GAUC2013. Enjoy!

Q. How do you see GA tools applying to public sector/government as opposed to commercial purposes?

A. Public sector/government sites still have a purpose (often spreading information or generating engagement), which can also be improved using GA. You just need to work out what the website's objectives are, and then make those objectives measurable.

Q. "55% of marketers say senior management undervalues analytics.". What should analysts do to help demonstrate the value?

A. Make sure to measure business-relevant metrics and always, always tie them back to revenue. Beyond that, make your analysis and recommendations as engaging as possible – it's usually best if they can be bite-sized.

Q. With Universal Analytics, can the unique user ID be applied in restrospect? Eg after a customer signs up, would it apply to sessions that occurred before signing up?

A. Our panellist Peter Evans says Google is still working on what the answer to this question should be – but at this stage, they're leaning towards "no".

Q. How can you make a user ID not personally identifiable – particularly when it relates to a site log-in?

A. You can do this by using a function to jumble, hash or obfuscate the user ID so it's not readable/identifiable to a human.

Q. What's the chance of Google expanding the 30 day lookback window to something closer to 90 days?

A Multi-channel funnel lookback of 90 days is now being rolled out to general accounts.

Q. Is duration of visit still a good metric when visitors often leave their browsers open while doing other things?

A. It's probably more meaningful when the tasks users perform on your site aren't likely to lead to this behaviour.