As a follow-up to my article a few weeks ago, Overview: The 'New' Google Analytics Platform, I'm going to provide a series of articles that dive into each one of the new components in more detail. For this article, I'm going to spend some time going through the look and overall navigation of the new Google Analytics platform.
If you've already logged into the new interface, you've noticed quite a few changes from the "old" version. Personally, I really like it and here's why: in general, I think Google has developed a much better flow of the entire interface. In the screenshot below, looking across the top bar from left to right, you'll see that the profiles are easily found right up front. It is then simple to choose between the Home tab (more below), your Standard Reporting tab or browse through your Custom Reporting tab.
We will go into a few more reasons why I think this interface provides a better user experience.
If you look over to the left panel, you see that Google has renamed the standard sub-reports. For example, check out the screenshot below and look at the Audience reports.
With this new interface, you get new sub-reports that are named to match the exact needs you're looking for. If you are logging into Google Analytics to check on your website visitor's behavior, simply click on that named sub-report. Want to see how your social media engagement is going on your website, click on that named sub-report, and so on. I find this navigation much more user-friendly than the prior version.
Now, let's focus on the Home tab. This is a cool new feature. Looking at the screenshot below, at the top left, you'll see three options: Real-Time, Intelligence Events and Dashboards (yes that's a plural!).
These are three important analytics functions. With Real-Time, you get to physically see who is viewing your website at that moment, along with where they came from and some navigation analytics. Did you just send out a big email marketing campaign and want to check in on real-time results? This report is for you!
Next up is Intelligence Events. Same idea as the older version, where you can look over automatic and custom alerts for your website, but in a better view.
Lastly, is Dashboards. This new feature allows you to set up multiple dashboards, not just one as in the older version. Now you can set up a dashboard for your IT team, a different one for your marketing team and a different one for your management team.
Where Are the Reports?
Even though the new interface is designed in a much more user-friendly way, most of us who have used the older version need a little learning curve to get used to the new reports. We've been so used to the old version that it may at times become frustrating for us to figure out where our favorite reports are now hosted. Don't worry, Google thought about this ahead of time. They've put out the Google Analytics Report Finder. This tool allows you to use a mock-up of the old interface, click over to your favorite report(s) and then the tool provides instructions on where the report is located in the new interface.
Speaking of reports, I want to end on one cool trick. If you have multiple profiles to view your web properties, you can simply navigate to one specific report, click on a different profile (top left), and it will automatically load the new profile, with the exact report and settings that you were just using!
I hope you're having some fun navigating through the new interface. Have a question? Go ahead and leave one in the comments below. In two weeks, we will focus on the customizing of dashboards and I'll offer some real-world examples of how you can take advantage of this new feature.
Editor's Note: You may also be interested in reading:
- Content Strategy: 3 Predictions for 2012
- 2012: The Year Consumers Lay Broadcast Marketing to Rest
- Content Management Surprises in 2011? Here Are a Few of Mine