In this fast-paced world where terms like big data are becoming fairly common both in discussion and in practice, an online business or a website without having adequate data-tracking and analytical tools cannot survive for long.
Getting a million hits per month on a website is great but the key to success lies in understanding the sources, demographics and interests of these visitors and making well informed, data driven decisions based on these findings to better align yourself with them.
Google Analytics (GA) is one of the many, but arguably the most popular and reliable tool to be able to track, measure and report such data.
For online businesses that are actively involved in various forms of online marketing, Google Analytics is the go-to platform for website metrics, capable of tracking and measuring almost any action taken within your site.
Google Analytics, when implemented and used properly, has provided businesses with a competitive advantage over their rivals.
But it may not be long before it becomes a necessity rather than an advantage for businesses.
Ensuring Trust in Your Data
Data is great but in order for you to make precise decisions at the right time, you must ensure that you are relying on accurate data.
Inaccurate data can result in uninformed (bad) decisions.
Even worse, is that this can result in mistrust or loss of confidence in your data.
If you and your organization cannot trust the data, you will be less likely to rely on it, thereby continuing to make decisions blindly and/or misguided.
How Does Bad Data Occur?
I said it before, Google Analytics is relatively easy to implement. It is based on this ease of implementation that the majority of people don’t give it much thought after the fact. I call this the “set it and forget it” reasoning.
In this particular situation, which befalls most organizations, the lack of consideration for something that is already in place, makes it easy to forget about it when making any sort of website changes and additions.
Your website evolves over time and so should your Google Analytics.
For those unsure as to what I mean by that statement, you might be leaning more towards the “novice implementation reasoning.
Much like the set it and forget it, there is an idea that Google Analytics setup is purely based on placing a tracking code on your website.
Though Google Analytics is universal, the setup was never meant to be.
Customizing your implementation allows you to tap into advanced, customized reports that are critical to your organization.
Collectively aggregating your data from third-party sources and setting the right goals is paramount for making well informed, data-driven decisions.
Data Quality Solution
Identifying Poor Data Quality
It can be difficult for an average web owner to differentiate between reliable and poor data quality. However, the following may be good indicators of poor data quality:
- Bounce rates that are either inaccurate or completely unbelievable
- Non-alignment of transaction and conversion data with the actual performance of the business.
- Personally Identifiable Information (PII) being collected by your system as it might put your data in harm’s way as it is a clear violation of Google Analytics Terms of Services (both 360 and Standard). In such a case, Google would delete complete data set (not merely the PII).
- Non-alignment in performance of the marketing channels, usually between GA Marketing Channel reports and third-party reports, such as Google Ads.
- Missing Data. Remember Data Collection is not a straightforward task and it requires a thorough configuration to ensure Google Analytics is up to date at all times.
Poor quality of data not only wastes time and monetary resources but as mentioned, it also creates an unwanted environment of mistrust in data. Teams may end up not using data at all for decision making which could be catastrophic for most online businesses.
Auditing your Websites’ Google Analytics Setup/ Implementation
Google Analytics is an amazing tool but not everyone gets maximum benefits from it, primarily because it can be tricky and technical to set it up in an adequate manner.
Performing a Google Analytics Audit provides you with a thorough evaluation of the Google Analytics implementation/ setup/ configuration. It focuses on ascertaining how reliable, actionable and qualified the data you are collecting is.
With periodic Google Analytica Audits, you get ‘peace of mind’ as you can be sure about your data quality.
If there exists a fundamental problem in the installation or configuration of Google Analytics on your website, a Google Analytics Audit will identify it.