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For years, Marketers have used Google products to measure audience engagement data on their website (using Google Analytics), and for their apps (using Google Analytics for Firebase, or GB4F) – but getting insight into the full customer journey across both platforms has been a labor-intensive challenge.

Interestingly, although perhaps not surprisingly, many of the KPIs used in reporting across websites and apps are actually the same. These performance indicators can include information on the number of visitors over time, the content that is being viewed, where the user is located, what actions the user has taken such as form completions, file downloads, purchases, video viewership, responding to messages or promotional banners; and audience retention.

So it only makes sense that Google should announce a new property type, App + Web, which will allow businesses to combine this data for more unified reporting, analysis, and discovery of insights.  Jesse Savage, the Director of Product Management for Google Analytics said the intention behind the update is to provide “a single, consistent set of metrics for more integrated reporting and a more comprehensive view of the customer journey.”

Users should note that by unifying Google Analytics and GB4F, Google is moving away from the tracking method they’ve used for more than 15 years: Sessions and Pageviews. This data schema has been used to provide information which has become very familiar to marketers such as in the Audience Overview report shown below:

example of google analytics dashboard audience overview

The new data schema that will be employed in their new Google Analytics: App + Web is an Event + Parameter model, which is similar to what Firebase has used in their Firebase Analytics as well as the newer Google Analytics for Firebase (GA4F) shown below.

google analytics for firebase dashboard example

This is a new measurement model for web traffic, not just a simple roll-up method of combining App and Web data, so at first marketers may find it difficult to get used to this model (especially those who aren’t familiar with GA4F.)

As an example, pageviews and App screen views are events; the same holds true for users and sessions:

google analytics dashboard example

At the time of writing, the new App + Web platform is an early beta release and many features that marketers use currently in analytics, such as e-commerce reports, are not yet available.  It is expected that this new platform will be built out to include most, if not all of the current features marketers use, of course with the different data schema bent.

What remains to be seen is how Google will continue to invest in the current version of Google Analytics once this new platform comes out of Beta with complete functionality.

Additional information on the update is available via the Google Blog, and some useful guides can be found on Simo Ahava and Krista Seiden’s blogs.

For more information about Primacy’s Data Analytics practice, or to get started with Google Analytics App + Web, contact us here.

 

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Author: Alex Fraser

Alex brings more than 25 years of strategy development, marketing, public relations and client management experience to the Primacy team. Since joining Primacy, Alex has been a key team member in successfully developing strategic roadmaps for several of the company’s largest healthcare, financial services, and industrial manufacturing clients. Since 2009 Alex has served as an expert judge for Strategic Healthcare Communications’ eHealthcare Leadership Awards and is currently frequent contributor to their monthly newsletter.


Published August 2019


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