Google Analytics is a gold mine of data, and the backbone of many digital marketing processes. But with so many insights available, it can, at times, be difficult to find the points of most relevance.
This has been a recurring theme in research reports relating to data usage - last year, a study from IBM found that just 3% of marketers categorized their ability to act on insights derived from customer data as 'excellent', with 54% labeling it either 'poor' or 'very poor'.
Yes, social media and digital channels have given us more access to data and information than ever, but with the rapid pace of change in the online space, many businesses are simply struggling to keep up, which is especially true of smaller organizations who have no capacity to hire data experts for such analysis.
Google's well aware of this, and they're working to address it.
Take a look at their latest innovation within Google Analytics.
Google's adding in a new natural language query process which will help users find relevant insights quickly and easily. It may not solve all the problems with data translation - you still, of course, need to know the right questions to ask - but if it works as advertised, it could definitely help, a lot.
The update was flagged last year, and is part of Google's wider effort to improve the functionality of Google Analytics. Last September, they added Automated Insights which aims to highlight relevant fluctuations and changes in your Google Analytics data to help keep you on top of all the important measurements.
Google also upgraded the layout of Google Analytics back in April, focused on making the tool easier to use.
This new option builds upon these changes - the ability to ask direct questions is part of Google's Analytics Intelligence, which can be accessed within both the desktop and mobile versions of the app.
So what can you ask Google Analytics? Google has provided a table of potential questions to consider.
Google does say that the system may not be able to answer all of these queries, as it depends on the surrounding context, but they are working to improve and upgrade the system based on use. So it should, theoretically, be able to provide more context over time.
It's a good update, and one which will no doubt come in handy for a great many digital marketing managers who are looking to make more informed decisions, or get more accurate, up to date overviews of critical data shifts. If you're not utilizing Google Analytics data, along with the data available through the various social platforms, you're missing out on the opportunity to optimize and improve your process, which could be costing you, both in terms of revenue and time. In order to ensure you're focused on the right elements, and are improving in line with user trends, you need to be constantly analyzing and assessing your performance - this can be hard to do in amongst your various other day-to-day tasks.
Hopefully, Google's new Analytics options will take some of the hassle out of the process, enabling more logical, accountable actions, based on in-the-moment trends.