A Basic Guide to Google Analytics Intelligence

2019/01/11 08:00

analytics intelligence

What you need to know about Google Analytics Intelligence and how you can use it in your business.

If you’re new to Google Analytics or you’re managing large volumes of data, the Google Analytics Intelligence feature can make your job a little easier.

Using language processing technology, Google now makes it possible for users to ask questions about their data instead of having to sift through several tabs to find the information themselves. From questions about the basic performance of your website to measuring goals, the Intelligence feature can provide you with the answers to your data-related questions.

Get Immediate Answers to Data-Related Questions

Using plain English, you can ask Google Analytics a wide array of questions to make your reporting processes far simpler.

So, how does Google Analytics Intelligence work exactly?

All of the reports that you can access in Google Analytics is made up of dimensions and metrics, which is what you will use to create your questions. For example, a City or State could be your dimension, while Returning Users could be your metric. Combining these two elements will allow you to find out more many users from a specific city have returned to your website within a specific time frame.

Examples of Google Analytics Intelligence Questions

Here are some examples from Google of the types of questions that you can ask using the Intelligence feature.

google analytics intelligence
Google suggests the list above to start testing the capabilities of Google Analytics Intelligence – Source

To make your questions even more specific, you can also add a date range to them. If you leave this part out, Analytics will automatically apply the last 30 days as a default date range.

The Limitations of the Google Analytics Intelligence Feature

As with most digital marketing tools, this feature does have some limitations, including:

  • Answer reasoning. While this feature is great for getting speedy answers about your data, you’re still going to need to interpret the information yourself, which might take some practice if you are new to Google Analytics.
  • Answer quality. If you want the Intelligence feature to produce quality answers, it needs to have quality data to work with. What this means is that if you want very specific information such as answers about conversions, you will need to make sure that your Goals are set up correctly.
  • Forecasting. At the moment, the Google Analytics Intelligence function is only able to provide you with answers based on historical data. This means that you won’t be able to use it for forecasting.
  • Terminology. If you are new to Google Analytics, there will be a slight learning curve. The answers provided by the Intelligence feature will not give you any explanations about the terminology used, so this is something that you will need to learn yourself if you want to fully understand the answers.

Setting Up Google Analytics Intelligence

Here are the steps to follow to start using this feature:

  1. Login to Google Analytics and navigate to the reporting view for the property you want data on. The property needs to have at least 3 months of historical data for this functionality to be useful.
  2. Click on the Home tab on the left, after which you will see an Intelligence button on the right side of the screen.
  3. You will not be presented with the Intelligence panel and can use the Question text field to type out a question. Google will also provide you with some sample questions to choose from based on the words you are typing.
  4. There is also the option of voice-search functionality to ask questions, which eliminates the need to type out questions. To activate voice search, you will need to open the Google Analytics app on an Android or iOS device.

What Does This Mean for Digital Professionals?

A key benefit of the Intelligence feature is that it will cut out a lot of admin time for digital marketing teams in terms of creating a campaign and general progress reports. This leaves room for teams to focus on other tasks that will generate more conversions and boost income.

It’s never easy running a business, particularly in a highly competitive sector and sometimes, decisions need to be made quickly, something that the Intelligence feature will allow teams to do.

Overall, reporting and analytics are only a small part of what digital marketing teams are responsible for and anything that can be done to simplify these processes and free up time is a plus.

Google Analytics Intelligence is far from being a game-changing feature, however, it will definitely play a role in changing how digital marketing teams spend their time. There’s also no doubt that this tool will change and evolve as time goes on, which can result in deeper insights that can be used in new ways to boost business growth in the future.