lightbulb (bright idea?)
Analytics Intelligence introduces query and response to Google Analytics and Google Analytics 360 PHOTO: Diego PH

People are getting more and more accustomed to asking their computer devices questions these days, so it shouldn’t be surprising that software outside of virtual assistants is beginning to accommodate those behaviors, too.

Nor should it come as a surprise that a leader in analytics — namely, Google — is also pioneering in the area of non-virtual-assistant-powered software that accommodates back and forth queries.

Introducing Analytics Intelligence for Desktop

Enter Analytics Intelligence, a new feature that introduces query and response to Google Analytics and Google Analytics 360 without requiring a deep familiarity with the reporting interface.

Analytics Intelligence is aimed at giving data analysts more time to focus on strategy, while also providing stakeholders from other disciplines with the results and information they need for decision-making.

Intelligence has been available in the app for some time, but now Google has added the feature to the desktop.

Drilling Down into Data Sets

Users access Analytics Intelligence by selecting the circle icon with dots in the upper right corner. Users can then ask questions based on dimensions and metrics in Google Analytics.

Analytics Intelligence supports ‘what’ and ‘how many’ queries about given sets of data, such as questions regarding chart trends or comparisons between date ranges.

Users can then ask follow-up questions to confirm and expand upon information, which mimics the qualities of voice user interfaces such as Amazon Echo.

Going Beyond the Basic Questions

In the case of Google Analytics, this protocol of question-following-question can save a data analyst time in digging for key answers. On its webpage detailing the features of  Analytics Intelligence, Google explains that Analytics Intelligence was developed to address the needs of “web analysts who say they spend half their time answering basic analytics questions for other people in their organization[s].”

The page goes on to note a recent Forrester finding that “57 percent of marketers [found] it difficult to give their stakeholders in different functions access to their data and insights.”

This points to the growing importance of allowing analysts to focus on the most productive tasks, while also providing managers and stakeholders with rapid access to needed information.

Learning to Tackle Strategic Questions

Some queries are not yet supported. For instance, Google notes that Analytics Intelligence it is not designed to answer strategic questions. But as Google promises on its product page, as analysts provide more queries, “Analytics Intelligence will learn what you care about and expand the range of questions it can answer.”

Analytics Intelligence may not replace the need for data strategists anytime soon (phew!) but it should bring real relief to business managers who need to master a few insights quickly to make better analytical decisions.