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    Todays Clicks

      New trend option: ‘vs last year’

      posted by clicky 7:55 PM
      Sunday, April 6, 2014

      We have a new trend comparison option that lets you compare reports and graphs vs the same date or date range from the previous year. For example, April 6 2014 vs April 6 2013, or April 1-6 2014 vs April 1-6 2013.

      You can see this new option in the date menu for any graph:

      You can also set this as your default trend option in your dashboard preferences. In this case, vs last year will always be the default graph comparison, but last year will also be used in to calculate the trends we report (the red/green percentages next to each number in most reports).

      Universal Analytics: Out of beta, into primetime

      posted by Google Analytics 1:00 PM
      Wednesday, April 2, 2014
      Universal Analytics is the re-imagining of Google Analytics for today’s multi-screen, multi-device world and all the measurement challenges that come with it. Since we launched UA in beta, we’ve seen some exciting use cases. Today we’re happy to finally announce: Universal Analytics is out of beta and everyone can use it with the same robust set of features you’re used to with classic Analytics!

      Feature parity with Classic Analytics, new reports, better user-centric analysis
      When we first introduced Universal Analytics and ran the beta trial, the number one request from our testers was for full access to all Google Analytics features and tools. Bringing Universal Analytics out of beta means that all the features, reports, and tools of Classic Analytics are now available in the product, including Remarketing and Audience reporting.
      We’re also gradually rolling out the User ID feature to help you better understand your customers’ full journey. This feature shows anonymous engagement activity across different screens and visits to your site to provide a more user-centric view of your traffic, and help you build a more tailored experience for your customers as well. It will also enable new Cross Device reporting that shows how your users are interacting with your business across multiple devices. 
      Additionally, Universal Analytics is also now covered by our Premium service-level agreement, which means that same level of service and additional product features Premium users have come to expect will stay the same when their accounts upgrade to Universal Analytics.

      New Cross-Device Reports in GA let you see the full customer journey (click image for full-size).

      Time Zone Based Processing: Fresher, more timely data
      Today, all properties are processed in Pacific Standard Time. If you’re in a different time zone, this can create a lag in the data you see in your reports. With time zone based processing, you’ll see fresher data in your reports in a more timely manner.
      Updates to the Measurement Protocol: User Agent / IP Override 
      A top developer request, this feature allows developers to proxy data from devices and intranets, through internal servers, and finally onto Google Analytics. To support this, we added two fields to set the IP address and User Agent directly in the Measurement Protocol. With these features, we are also announcing the deprecation of the legacy mobile snippets. Users should update their code to use the Measurement Protocol
      Our early Universal Analytics adopters have already seen some great results. This case study highlights some of the inspired ways our Certified Partner InfoTrust LLC has helped Beckfield College unlock the full capabilities of Universal Analytics including the use of Remarketing and Audience Reporting:
      “Once we saw more than 25% of visits to Beckfield College’s website were coming from a mobile device, we migrated them to Universal Analytics with plans on leveraging its cross-device tracking capabilities, and better understanding the full visitor journey across devices.” — James Love, InfoTrust LLC
      If you use Google Analytics today, get started with Universal Analytics by upgrading your account. Learn more about the process in the Universal Analytics Upgrade Center, including auto-upgrade process, and timeline. 
      If you are new to Google Analytics, learn more about Universal Analytics in the Help Center. 
      We’ll share more creative implementations, case studies, and Universal Analytics resources in the coming months that we hope will inspire you to continue to grow your business with the insights you gain using Google Analytics. 

      Posted by Nick Mihailovski, Product Manager, Google Analytics

      HTML5 audio, embedded actions, tracking code verification, and better cookies

      posted by clicky 5:25 AM
      Wednesday, April 2, 2014

      We wanted to let you all know about some of the bigger things we’ve been working on the last month that you may not have noticed. None of them felt major enough to warrant their own post, so we were waiting until we had a nice collection of goodies.

      HTML5 audio, and automatic HTML5 video/audio tracking

      We’ve had support for HTML5 video tracking for a while, it simply required adding an additional javascript file to your code. We just added the ability to track audio as well. We combined video and audio together into their own report, now called Media, since they are quite similar in terms of the metrics we track — and it’s unlikely that many sites would have a mix of both.

      Even better, we made it so you no longer need to include the extra javascript file at all. When the tracking code detecst any video or audio elements on your web site, it will now automatically inject the other javascript file into your page so we can track the video and audio files without you having to do anything. Don’t worry, if you already had that file included manually, you don’t need to delete it. It will work either way.

      Embedded actions in the visitors report

      This new preference, disabled by default, adds some additional detail into the standard visitors report. Now you will no longer need to click through to see the actions (page views, etc) of each visitor. The first five actions will be displayed right beneath each visitor, with a link below them to see full session details if there are more than five actions.

      Note that this will slow down the loading of the visitors report by a somewhat noticeable measure since we have to query for a lot more data, but, it’s pretty nice if that’s what you’re into.

      Here’s what it looks like:

      Here’s where you enable this new preference:

      Tracking code verification

      We released this feature a bit prematurely, not expecting too many people to notice it right away, but we got bombarded with emails immediately saying the verification doesn’t work! Whoops. There were a few bugs that we got quickly fixed.

      This is a nice feature to check out if you think you got the code or a plugin installed but you’re not getting any stats. This will verify for you that the code is at least installed on the site. You can access this feature on your tracking code page:

      Better cookies

      The cookie system we have been using since October 2012 to authenticate yourself when you’re on your own web site (which then auto-ignores your visits and loads the on-site analytics widget)… was a bit less than ideal.

      The biggest problem was that we used a single cookie for two different features (widget and auto-ignore). On top of that, the cookie was always set, and it would stay set (for a year) even if you clicked the logout button. The reason we wanted it to stay set was so that your visits would always be auto-ignored, but it was a bit of a security issue in terms of the same cookie being used to authenticate on-site analytics. The chances of anyone ever seeing anything via the widget that they shouldn’t have were microscopic (it would only happen on a shared machine and only if you logged into both Clicky and your web site, and someone after you looked at your history and also visited your web site), but that’s no excuse.

      So, we’ve changed several things here. There are now two unique cookies for each feature: one for the widget and one for auto-ignore. When you logout, the widget cookie is deleted, but the auto-ignore cookie stays set so your own visits will continue to be ignored. Last, the expiration time of the widget cookie was shortened to 90 days (from 1 year previously).

      That about wraps it up for now, but there’s plenty more in the pipeline!

      Mastering the science of random chance: Dataless Decision Making comes to Analytics Academy

      posted by Google Analytics 10:07 AM
      Tuesday, April 1, 2014
      The world of digital analytics changes fast. From Attribution Modeling to Universal Analytics. From App Analytics to Remarketing. From Tag Management to Audience Reporting. We’re constantly trying to help analysts and marketers measure their business and make better decisions. But sometimes we ignore alternative ways to make business decisions.
      That’s why we’re excited to introduce our next Analytics Academy course: Data-less Decision Making.

      In this four-unit course, we’ll present some of the most popular ways to avoid using data when making business decisions.  We’ll cover everything from mystical tools, like crystal balls and divining rods, to traditional data-avoidance techniques, like coin flipping. You’ll find that once you adopt these methods you’ll be able to make hundreds, and maybe thousands, of decisions a day!
      Still wondering if this course is right for you? Check out our FAQ for more information.
      We hope you enjoy the course!

      Posted by the Google Analytics Education Team

      Web analytics help marketers measure success of social media campaigns

      posted by visistat 5:07 PM
      Monday, March 31, 2014

      Analytics can help marketers
      improve social media campaigns

      In social media marketing, small adjustments can make campaign performance soar or cause efforts to fall flat. Web analytics can help marketers make these miniscule adjustments that can make or break a campaign.

      For example, during major events, Twitter users may not be unified on which hashtag they are using in tweets. Many people

      Sending data from Lantronix to Google Analytics

      posted by Google Analytics 6:25 PM
      Friday, March 28, 2014
      The following is a guest post from Kurt Busch, CEO, and Mariano Goluboff, Principal Field Applications Engineer at Lantronix.

      Google Analytics makes it easy to create custom dashboards to present data in the format that most helps to drive business processes. We’ve put together a solution that will make several of our devices (networking and remote access devices) easily configurable to enable delivery of end device data to Google Analytics. We use the Lantronix PremierWave family of devices to connect to an end device via a serial port like RS-232/485, or Ethernet, intelligently extract useful data, and send it to Google Analytics for use in M2M applications. 

      What you need
      To get started, grab the Pyserial module, and load it on your Lantronix PremierWave XC HSPA+. You’ll also want a device with a serial port that sends data you want to connect to Google Analytics. A digital scale like the 349KLX is a good choice.

      Architecture overview
      With the Measurement Protocol, part of Universal Analytics, it is now possible to connect data from more than web browsers to Analytics.
      Lantronix integrated the Measurement Protocol by using an easy to deploy Python script. By being able to natively execute Python on PremierWave and xSenso devices, Lantronix makes it very easy to deploy intelligent applications leveraging Python’s ease of programming and extensive libraries.
      The demonstration consists of a scale with an RS-232 output, connected to a Lantronix PremierWave XC HSPA+. The Python script running on the PremierWave XC HSPA+ parses the data from the scale, and sends the weight received to Google Analytics, where it can then be displayed.
      The hardware setup is show in the picture below.

      The technical details
      The Python program demonstrated by Lantronix uses the Pyserial module to parse this data. The serial port is easily initialized with Pyserial:
      class ser349klx:
      # setup the serial port. Pass the device as ‘/dev/ttyS1′ or ‘/dev/ttyS2′ for
      # serial port 1 and 2 (respectively) in PremierWave EN or XC HSPA+
      def __init__(self, device, weight, ga):
      while True:
      serstat = True
      ser = serial.Serial(device,2400, interCharTimeout=0.2, timeout=1)
      except Exception:
      serstat = False
      if serstat:
      self.ser = ser
      self.weight = weight = ga
      The scale used constantly sends the current weight via the RS-232 port, with each value separated by a carriage return:
      def receive_line(self):
      buffer = ”
      while True:
      buffer = buffer +
      if ‘\r’ in buffer:
      lines = buffer.split(‘\r’)
      return lines[-2]
      The code that finds a new weight is called from a loop, which then waits for 10 equal non-zero values to wait for the weight to settle before sending it to Google Analytics, as shown below:
      # This runs a continuous loop listening for lines coming from the
      # serial port and processing them.
      def getData(self):
      count = 0
      prev = 0.0
      #print self.ser.interCharTimeout
      while True:
      val = self.receive_line()
      if (prev == weight.value):
      count += 1
      if (count == 10) and (str(prev) != ‘0.0′):“{:.2f}”.format(prev))
      count = 0
      prev = weight.value
      except Exception:
      Since the Google Analytics Measurement Protocol uses standard HTTP requests to send data from devices other than web browsers, the ga.send method is easily implemented using the Python urllib and urllib2 modules, as seen below:
      class gaConnect:
      def __init__(self, tracking, mac):
      self.tracking = tracking
      self.mac = mac
      def send(self, data):
      values = { ‘v’ : ‘1′,
      ‘tid’ : self.tracking,
      ‘cid’ : self.mac,
      ‘t’ : ‘event’,
      ‘ec’ : ’scale’,
      ‘ea’ : ‘weight’,
      ‘el’ : data }
      res = urllib2.urlopen(urllib2.Request(“”, urllib.urlencode(values)))
      The last piece is to initialize get a Google Analytics connect object to connect to the user’s Analytics account:
      ga = gaConnect(“UA-XXXX-Y”, dev.mac)
      The MAC address of the PremierWave device is used to send unique information from each device.
      With these pieces put together, it’s quick and easy to get data from the device to Google Analytics, and then use the extensive custom reporting and modeling that is available to view the data. For example, see the screenshot below of real-time events:

      Using Lantronix hardware, you can connect your serial devices or analog sensors to the network via Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or Cellular. Using Python and the Google Analytics Measurement Protocol, the data can be quickly and easily added to your custom Google Analytics reports and dashboards for use in business intelligence and reporting.
      Posted by Aditi Rajaram, the Google Analytics team

      Tell a Meaningful Story With Data

      posted by Google Analytics 10:25 AM
      Wednesday, March 26, 2014

      This article was originally posted on Google Think Insights.

      Most organizations recognize that being a successful, data-driven company requires skilled developers and analysts. Fewer grasp how to use data to tell a meaningful story that resonates both intellectually and emotionally with an audience. Marketers are responsible for this story; as such, they’re often the bridge between the data and those who need to learn something from it, or make decisions based on its analysis. As marketers, we can tailor the story to the audience and effectively use data visualization to complement our narrative. We know that data is powerful. But with a good story, it’s unforgettable.

      Rudyard Kipling once wrote, “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” The same applies to data. Companies must understand that data will be remembered only if presented in the right way. And often a slide, spreadsheet or graph is not the right way; a story is.

      Executives and managers are being bombarded with dashboards brimming with analytics. They struggle with data-driven decision making because they don’t know the story behind the data. In this article, I explain how marketers can make that data more meaningful through the use of storytelling.

      The power of a meaningful story

      In her “Persuasion and the Power of Story” video, Stanford University Professor of Marketing Jennifer L. Aaker explains that stories are meaningful when they are memorable, impactful and personal. Through the use of interesting visuals and examples, she details the way people respond to messaging when it’s delivered either with statistics or through story. Although she says engagement is quite different from messaging, she does not suggest one over the other. Instead, Aaker surmises that the future of storytelling incorporates both, stating, “When data and stories are used together, they resonate with audiences on both an intellectual and emotional level.

       In his book Facts Are Sacred, Simon Rogers discusses the foundations of data journalism and how The Guardian is using data to tell stories. He identifies ten lessons he’s learned from building and managing The Guardian’s Datablog, a pioneering website in the field. I found three of the lessons particularly insightful:

      1. Data journalism (and analytics in a broader sense) is a form of curation. There is so much data and so many data types that only experienced analysts can separate the wheat from the chaff. Finding the right information and the right way to display it is like curating an art collection. 
      2. Analysis doesn’t have to be long and complex. The data collection and analysis process can often be rigorous and time consuming. That said, there are instances when it should be quick, such as when it’s in response to a timely event that requires clarification. 
      3. Data analysis isn’t about graphics and visualizations; it’s about telling a story. Look at data the way a detective examines a crime scene. Try to understand what happened and what evidence needs to be collected. The visualization—it can be a chart, map or single number—will come naturally once the mystery is solved. The focus is the story. 

      Stories, particularly those that are meaningful, are an effective way to convey data. Now let’s look at how we can customize them for our audiences.

      Identify the audience

      Most captivating storytellers grasp the importance of understanding the audience. They might tell the same story to a child and adult, but the intonation and delivery will be different. In the same way, a data-based story should be adjusted based on the listener. For example, when speaking to an executive, statistics are likely key to the conversation, but a business intelligence manager would likely find methods and techniques just as important to the story.

      In a Harvard Business Review article titled “How to Tell a Story with Data,” Dell Executive Strategist Jim Stikeleather segments listeners into five main audiences: novice, generalist, management, expert and executive. The novice is new to a subject but doesn’t want oversimplification. The generalist is aware of a topic but looks for an overview and the story’s major themes. The management seeks in-depth, actionable understanding of a story’s intricacies and interrelationships with access to detail. The expert wants more exploration and discovery and less storytelling. And the executive needs to know the significance and conclusions of weighted probabilities.

      Discerning an audience’s level of understanding and objectives will help the storyteller to create a narrative. But how should we tell the story? The answer to this question is crucial because it will define whether the story will be heard or not.

      Using data visualization to complement the narrative

      Analytics tools are now ubiquitous, and with them come a laundry list of visualizations—bar and pie charts, tables and line graphs, for example—that can be incorporated into reports and articles. With these tools, however, the focus is on data exploration, not on aiding a narrative. While there are examples of visualizations that do help tell stories, they’re rare and not often used in meetings and conferences. Why? Because finding the story is significantly harder than crunching numbers.

      In their “Narrative Visualization: Telling Stories with Data” paper, Stanford researchers discuss author versus reader-driven storytelling. An author-driven narrative doesn’t allow the reader to interact with the charts. The data and visualizations are chosen by the author and presented to the reader as a finished product, similar to a printed magazine article. Conversely, the reader-driven narrative provides ways for the reader to play with data.

      With the advent of data journalism, we’re now seeing these two approaches used together. According to the Stanford researchers, “These two visual narrative genres, together with interaction and messaging, must balance a narrative intended by the author with story discovery on the part of the reader.”

      A good example of a hybrid author-reader approach is the presentation of The Customer Journey to Online Purchase tool. A few short paragraphs explain why the tool was created and how it works, and an interactive chart allows marketers to break down the information by industry and country. Additional interactive data visualizations provide even more context.

      Another extremely efficient and visual way to tell a story is by using maps. In a tutorial on visualization, I show how a large data set can be transformed and incorporated into a story. It’s an example of how to take charts and graphs to the next level in order to add value to the story. In this case, I use Google Fusion Tables and some publicly available data to illustrate analytics data with colorful, interactive maps. The visualization provides more content for those interested in diving deeper into the data.

      A good data visualization does a few things. It stands on its own; if taken out of context, the reader should still be able to understand what a chart is saying because the visualization tells the story. It should also be easy to understand. And while too much interaction can distract, the visualization should incorporate some layered data so the curious can explore.

      Marketers are responsible for messaging; as such, they’re often the bridge between the data and those who need to learn something from it, or make decisions based on its analysis. By rethinking the way we use data and understanding our audience, we can create meaningful stories that influence and engage the audience on both an emotional and logical level.

      Posted by Daniel Waisberg, Analytics Advocate

      Understand the full value of TrueView ads with the new Video Campaigns report

      posted by Google Analytics 5:25 PM
      Tuesday, March 25, 2014
      Advertisers know that video ads have the ability to reach and convince customers in ways that other formats can’t, but traditional TV ads are often prohibitively expensive, difficult to target, and hard to measure. That’s why so many advertisers have looked to YouTube TrueView ads for their video needs.  With more than 1 billion unique users each month from across the world and with 40% of that traffic on mobile, YouTube is one of the best places to reach your target audience with high-quality, compelling video.
      We’ve heard lots of feedback from loyal Google Analytics users asking for better TrueView reporting, which is why we’re so excited to announce a new Google Analytics Video Campaigns report that focuses on your TrueView ads. With this new report rolling out over the next few days, users can now see the detailed effects of their TrueView campaigns on their website traffic and revenue. You can access the new report under Acquisition > AdWords > Video Campaigns.

      Click for full-size image
      If you’ve never created a TrueView ad, it’s easy to do with AdWords for Video. Just head into AdWords, and under the +Campaign button, select Online Video.  

      Once you’ve created an auto-tagged TrueView ad in AdWords and linked your Google Analytics and AdWords accounts, your TrueView-ad-driven traffic will show up in the Video Campaigns report after about 24 hours. This report has the familiar look and feel of the other AdWords reports but includes TrueView-specific metrics like Paid Views, Cost Per View, and Website Clicks. There are also new metric groups like Engagement, which helps you understand how users engage with your video and your website.  
      Using this newly available data, you can fine-tune your TrueView campaign settings to optimize for views, clicks, or goal conversions. You can also segment the reports by Ad Content or Video, helping you analyze the quality of your video creatives in the context of your website goals. 
      In addition, since TrueView ads are often more brand-focused, traffic they generate to your site will often be indirect traffic.  In order to analyze this type of traffic, check out the new Google Display Network Impression Reporting pilot, which can help you understand conversions that resulted from unclicked impressions or video views.  With this report, it’s possible to see how your TrueView ads are generating value beyond just direct clicks; you can dive deeper to understand how impressions, views, and clicks all contributed directly or indirectly to conversions on your site.
      Click for full-size image
      To get started with Video Campaigns reporting, simply link your AdWords and Google Analytics accounts and start an auto-tagged TrueView campaign via AdWords for video. After that, head over to the new report to fine-tune your budgets and targeting.  See you on YouTube!
      Posted by Jon Mesh, Google Analytics Product Manager

      3 tools to measure B2B lead generation

      posted by visistat 8:25 PM
      Monday, March 24, 2014

      Web analytics can help marketers measure
      the effectiveness of their campaigns

      Marketers know they need to measure the effectiveness of their
      campaigns, but there are several other factors that can influence
      conversion. B2B lead generation
      is more complex than B2C because of the longer buying cycle, and if a
      website has a poor user experience, it can sway prospects in the wrong

      It’s a great day for us here at ClickTale! We’ve just announced our integration with Adobe Analytics, a key solution in the Adobe Marketing Cloud.

      Ashish Braganza, Director Global Business Intelligence at Lenovo was quoted as saying, “The ClickTale and Adobe Analytics integration has given us a much deeper understanding of how different customer segments experience and navigate our website,” said Ashish Braganza, Director Global Business Intelligence, Lenovo. “It’s the perfect combination of segmentation and visualization.”

      The integration of ClickTale and Adobe Analytics enables users to:
      • Identify and assemble high-value audiences/segments
      • Analyze custom Adobe Analytics segments within ClickTale’s reports to deliver specific observations and recommendations
      • Optimize conversion paths for chosen Adobe Analytics segments
      • Watch videos of anonymous visitors’ browsing sessions to reveal the factors driving or impeding customer success
      • Use the insights from ClickTale to test and deliver optimal user experiences for each audience defined in Adobe Analytics

      This week the ClickTale team will be exhibiting at the Adobe US Summit held in Salt Lake City, UT between the 24-28th of March. Dr. Tal Schwartz, ClickTale’s CEO, will also be speaking at the summit conference on Wednesday 26th March together with, Ashish Braganza from Lenovo where they’ll discuss how to make big data actionable along with Lenovo’s utilization of this integration.

      Adobe US Summit held in Salt Lake City ClickTale Integrates With Adobe Analytics to Reveal 360 Degree View of Customers’ Digital Experience

      Please share your thoughts in the comments section or on Twitter, or Facebook where we are always listening.

      Want to learn more about how the ClickTale system can help you optimize your website and increase conversion rates? Click here.


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