As most of the world has heard already, SwellPath has recently been accepted into a very elite group of Google Analytics (GA) professionals. SwellPath has recently become a Google Analytics Certified Partner (GACP).
What’s a GACP?
Being a GACP means that Google has validated SwellPath’s work in regards to advance implementation of the solution, advanced analysis and very importantly a proven and effective process for engaging our customers and understanding how their business needs translate into web data, insights and areas for optimization. As a member of the GACP, we now have access to new GA features that are in the testing phase, access to the GACP forum for shared QA among partners and the Google Analytics team and finally an invitation to the annual Google Analytics Partner Summit.
While the majority of the amazing improvements to the platform are not public yet and therefore confidential, we can’t mention specifics on new features or release dates. GACPs got an inside look at demos of new features that will be rolled out to the public soon and others that are still in the testing phase. The main takeaway from the new feature demos is that Google is really putting a lot of resources into improvements in data collection, speed, UI and data access.
What does this all mean?
The gap between the large enterprise solutions and GA will be diminishing over time. The new features will make GA an even more robust solution and narrow that gap where the current large enterprise solutions have the advantage. SwellPath has helped clients migrate from enterprise solutions to GA and the “easy” part was building a custom tagging strategy that met the client’s needs and provided, at the very least, the same data collection as they were getting from their enterprise solution. The big difference was in the UI and reporting options/features/visualizations that the enterprise solutions offered once the implementation was complete. The enhancements to GA that are currently in the queue will meet or exceed what the other enterprise solutions offer.
So what does Google get out of this?
Google does like to do things for “free” but why are they aggressively making improvements to GA that will help all of us non-paying GA users do our job? The writing on the wall was there if you looked at it. Deeper validation and attribution of ad spend and social media investment. Can you hear a CMO asking what was our ROI for that $20k social media campaign?
At the Summit, Google showcased some amazing features of Android and Google+. Why? The data is showing that social spend needs to be justified and therefore measured more precisely (PostRank acquisition) and the dramatic upward momentum in the mobile world is where more and more people will be connecting with the internet, maybe the majority in the near future… With these massive changes in how and where people engage with the web you can either be reactive and roll out solutions to solve the tracking issues once they surface or proactive and develop a tool that will be prepared to incorporate the changes before they are occurring. An example of this is the release of the Multi Channel Funnels report. The data is there for everyone to see but are we even ready to use this data to drive our marketing mix strategy? Maybe and maybe not quite yet. Have CMO’s been asking us for the top multi-session funnel paths? Providing inherent value to each user touch point across multiple sessions from multiple sources is a pretty advanced tactic to try and determine your perfect marketing mix. What it does do is provide more data to validate marketing spend across different ad space via the metric of “assisted conversions”. BTW – Google makes money selling ads.
There are lots of exciting improvements and announcements coming down the pipe from Google Analytics. Keep an eye out for some big announcements coming soon and new reporting features being rolled out in the near future.