Google recently launched Universal Analytics in beta. This new platform offers a new interface for customer data integration within Google Analytics that will allow a customer centric analysis. It will collect data in a different way, using an anonymous ID to link all the data belong to a specific user. If standard GA was more “visit centric”, the new Universal Analytics is definitively “visitor centric”.
The Google Analytics support page clearly tells the users not to make use of “any personally identifiable data, within their GA account” due to the fact that an anonymous ID could be used to collect and store data. Universal Analytics’ client ID should be anonymous to Google. However, if the same ID later logs back from i.e. an iPhone, GA will interpret it is the same visitor visiting the website, but via different device and will be able to identify the user and could link his data to a specific profile.
Universal Analytics has been built to track data across different platforms and devices, and can track activity on any web-enabled device including mobile apps, point-of-sale systems and some offline systems.
In addition to the standard Google Analytics feature, Universal Analytics offers you the following 3 key features:
1. A Simplified Feature Configuration. With Universal Analytics is easier to customize configuration settings such as your campaign time-out handling as well as search term exclusions.
2. Custom Dimension and Custom Metrics. Users have to create their custom dimension and custom metrics and these will become their default metrics.
3. Multiple Platform Tracking. With a measurement protocol, as well as additional collection methods that have been introduced by Universal Analytics, you can collect and transmit incoming data from any digital device into your Analytic account. Thus, you will be able to track websites, non web-based system and off line conversions such as cash transactions and store visits.
The new Google Analytics Measurement Protocol also allows developers to measure how users interact with your business by providing a more comprehensive analysis of the marketing funnel.
To track visitors, universal analytics only use a single first party cookie that will last on the visitor’s computer for two years. Additionally, users can determine the duration of a session; the minimum duration is 1 minute and the maximum is 4 hours. With standard analytics, if a visitor doesn’t generate new data within 30 minutes, the following activity will be part of ‘a new visitor’ data.
Universal Analytics provides a wider range of possibilities to track online and offline conversions whilst improving marketing campaigns objectives.