How Are Accounts Organized in Google Analytics

How Are Accounts Organized in Google Analytics

Analytics uses Google Account to authenticate users. Once authenticated, your Google Analytics accounts can be grouped under an ‘organization’, which is optional. This allows you to manage your company’s product (Analytics, Tag manager, Optimize, etc), manage product users and permissions, display information like administrative content and company logo under one grouping. This can be accessed via https://marketingplatform.google.com/home. However, you will have to pay for a premium Google Analytics 360 if you want your accounts to be grouped under organization.

However, it is mostly big businesses or agencies which has multiple accounts whereas small and mid-sized companies have only one account. Whenever, we create an account, we create a property and, within property we automatically create a view for that account. Each analytics account can have multiple properties and each property has multiple view. For example, the user might want to track the data of all incoming traffic in one view and a specific page traffic in another view. Having different views helps to reduce the time to filter our choice of data each time.

Normally we create separate analytics accounts for distinct businesses or business units. It is the access point to Google Analytics. For example, Tata is a group of companies and all it’s companies if required can be kept under one account. Another example would be of TCS. It is one company of Tata and it can be a separate account with its subsidiaries across the globe can be included in one account. Thereby making it easy to navigate and access the data.

One important note when working with agencies. It is highly recommended to create your own Google Analytics account and then give access to the agency you are working with. This is because the relationship with the agency might not last forever and the data in the Google Analytics is not transferrable. So, you will have to start fresh if the agency is opening a Google Analytics account and giving you the permission because when they leave the account will be deleted by them. If you have the access then you can simply remove the access given to the agency and nothing is disturbed for you.

Every Google Analytics is basically organized into three broad categories:

  1. Properties
  2. Views
  3. Users

Properties

Each Google Analytics account has at least one ‘property’. A property is a website, mobile application, blog, or a device (e.g. point of sale or kiosk) that is associated with a unique tracking ID.

For example, zerosnones.net is the only website I own. However, at a later point of time if I also have a website names soulkiks.com then I can have two properties in one account viz. zerosnones.net and soulkiks.com. Or if I later decide to develop an app for zerosnones, this I can add in my app as a separate property under my website and track the data flowing into my app. Each property can collect data independently of each other using a unique tracking ID that appears in your tracking code.

You may assign multiple properties to each account, so you can collect data from different websites, mobile applications, or other digital assets associated with your business. For example, you may want to have separate properties for different sales region or different brands. This allows you to easily view the data for an individual part of your business, but keep in mind this won’t allow you to see data from separate properties in aggregate.

View settings

View is the access point or the gateway to your report. Just as we have seen earlier each account can have multiple properties, each property can have multiple views. There is a feature called as filter which helps us in configuring which data we want to see in which view.

This is a very useful setting as it reduces a lot of our time and we can have ready reports to view. For example, if we would like to track the data for a music download website for two separate categories. One for the United States and other for the rest of the world. We can create filters for that and without wasting time we can get real time data whenever we log into our analytics account. It not only helps in saving time segmenting our data but also helps in avoiding mistakes which might happen when we are moving from one segment to the other.

However, it is always advisable to have a full view and then sub-views as per our business strategy. The full view will include the entire data in one report without any filters which will help us to access anything and everything as per our requirement without any complicated clubbing of data together or if we have only one filtered view we would never know how the filtered part is working because Google Analytics would not collect that data.

The different types of view are:

  • Raw data view – This contains the master data or All website Data view. Google analytics creates this by default.
  • Test view – This view is to test whatever changes we want in our report before finalizing it in our account and create a separate view.
  • IP-Filtered view – This filter will help us to not count the views of the website by any team member or by ourselves. This will help to get a clear understanding of the traffic and not get an inflated traffic because of our internal staff visiting the website.
  • Target market view – This will help to understand the traffic from a particular region. This becomes important if the business works in a particular region.
  • Subdomain/subsite view – This helps to track the data from specific sub-domains and would help us to understand how is each sub-domain working.
  • Device-specific view – This helps us to understand from exactly which device are we getting our traffic.
  • User ID-Based view – If we want to track users based on their user id then Google Analytics gives us an option to do so.

Similarly, it can be very useful for setting goals which might vary for different place. Just as in our case of music download website. If the music label company decides to sell a music track for different price point in different parts country. Then according to the price points, the countries can be segregated and different views can be created for each country with a personalized goal. This will help us to track how close we are on achieving our target and understand whether we need to rework our strategy.

However, it is important to set accounts, properties, and views because once set we can not change the data which has been collected by Google Analytics. Whenever, we create a new view, it will start collecting the data from that day onwards which means if we have a new view of music track download in India starting from the month of February and we were tracking the entire download since January then the new view which we created in the month of February will not contain any data from January even though the other view will have that data. Once a view is deleted we cannot recover the data unless the administrator does not recover the view within the stipulated period of time which will be notified via email.

User permissions

Permission is assigned at account, property or view level. Each level inherits the permission from the level above it. Your decisions here rely on who you want to have access to what data and how you want them to be able to use the account.

For example, if you get access to an account then automatically you will get the same access permission to the properties and views underneath that account. It follows a top-down approach which means that if you can access only a view then you will not have access to the property and the account in which the view belongs.

When there are multiple departments in an organization and each department would need access to data to their department’s data, we can give specific access to them. In some cases, when there is an agency working with the company in those cases depending on the nature of relationship, specific access can be given to the agency.

Google Analytics provide the following permission to the user via the administrator:

  • Managing users – This helps users add or remove user access to the account, property or view. This means they can decide who has access to what and at what level. This is the level of access you give to someone who has the primary responsibility of managing the account.
  • Edit – This lets the user make changes to the configuration setting, customization setting, setting up goals, etc. This is generally given to an agency who can have the freedom to work on your Google Analytics and yet not have managing users’ rights.
  • Collaborate – This allows users to share things like dashboards or certain measurement setting. This is a great permission choice if you have an analyst who you want to be able to use your account to see data, create reports, etc., but don’t want them to make any administrative changes with users, settings or data collection.
  • Read and analyze – This allows users to view data, analyze reports, and create dashboard, but does not allow them to make any changes to the settings or adding new users.

It is vital to give a lot of thought when organizing our account at account, property, view level because this affects how your data is collected. Always try to understand what is your business objective before implementing any changes to your Google Analytics account.

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