Google has unveiled a new version of Google Analytics, with "machine learning at its core" in order to provide new ways to monitor and track key data trends, and alert marketers and business owners to new opportunities.
Enhanced trend monitoring is the key evolution here - using Google's evolving tools, the new Analytics can automatically alert users to significant changes in their data:
"Like products seeing rising demand because of new customer needs. It even helps you anticipate future actions your customers may take. For example, it calculates churn probability so you can more efficiently invest in retaining customers at a time when marketing budgets are under pressure."
Google has been improving its data tracking within Analytics for some time, even providing natural language queries within its Analytics search options back in 2017 to make them more universally accessible. Most Analytics users still only use the tool to track website traffic and activity, but the more advanced reporting tools can provide some powerful insight, especially for eCommerce businesses and those looking to conduct more activity online.
Which, in 2020, is basically everybody.
Google's also added new predictive metrics, including potential revenue you could earn from a particular group of customers.
"This allows you to create audiences to reach higher value customers and run analyses to better understand why some customers are likely to spend more than others, so you can take action to improve your results."
You can now also create audiences for Google Ads, based on your Analytics data, in order to reach more focused customer segments, aligning with trends, while users can also now measure app and web interactions together, which means that you can monitor conversions from, say, YouTube video views alongside conversions from Google Search, and Google Display campaigns.
You can also include organic channels, like Google Search, social, and email, within these comparisons, providing more insight into your broader marketing efforts.
Google says that it's also simplified and re-organized reporting so that users can find marketing insights based on what part of the customer journey they're most interested in.
"For example, you can see what channels are driving new customers in the user acquisition report, then use the engagement and retention reports to understand the actions these customers take, and whether they stick around, after converting."
That gives you more ways to dig into the data, and hone in on specific trends.
It'll take some time to fully flesh out the value and utility of each of these new elements within your own process, but Google has essentially made it easier to attribute specific actions and impacts, which means that if you can think of what you need to know, Analytics will now be better able to connect the dots for you, and provide more valuable insight.
Google also notes that the new data points have been designed "to adapt to a future with or without cookies or identifiers". Given increased data regulation, tracking via cookies is slowly being phased out, which means that businesses need new ways to monitor audience activity, and attribute that to their efforts. The new Analytics tools could end up being key on this, with Google's data collection tools able to attribute activity without the use of cookie tracking, while still providing accurate, valuable insight.
It's difficult to outline the full value of these new features, as they'll come down to variable use cases, but they are most definitely worth exploring, while it's also worth considering what information you really need from your website data, and what you can use to maximize your campaigns.
Some of that will likely come through experimentation, and by seeing what's available, but the more you look, the more likely you are to find increased value in the new Analytics options.