We already know that Google Analytics is a powerful data tool for marketers to measure, monitor and improve on the success of their websites. GA already has a great variety of variables to slice and dice data but do you still find yourself wishing for more options to give you more accurate reports? What if we told you that you could import different data sets into Google Analytics and do exactly that! Well, the good news is that’s exactly what we’re telling you, with Google Analytics Data Import feature, you can.
There are a number of different types of Data that can be uploaded including User Data, Product Data, Content Data, Cost Data, Campaign Data, Refund Data, Geographical Data and the options still aren’t what you are looking for then, Custom Data, each offer their own unique benefits.
Why import data to Google Analytics?
Below are just a few great reasons to import data and what you may be able to learn through merging your offline data with Google Analytics.
CRM systems hold a lot of powerful infromation about customers, so having the ability to see if it was a customer’s first transaction or what their most recent transaction was and what types of products they prefer. User Data could help you to understand what content on your site resonates with certain audiences; this could be great insights for a remarketing strategy.
Or perhaps you would like to track more about your product sales; cost, profit margin, size, colour etc. with importing Product Data metadata you are able to track these through Google Analytics.
If your business doesn’t have a retail conversion there are still great reasons to use the data Import feature, importing Content Data could show you the breakdown of content being read by author, date published or article category.
Importing Cost Data can help to give a more complete picture of advertising spend as this feature allows you to import non-Google ad network clicks, cost and impression data alongside your GA data, making campaign reporting simpler.
Campaign Data import allows you to reuse existing non-Google campaign tracking codes if a single campaign ID is sent to GA.
If you are using Google’s Enhanced Ecommerce tracking Refund Data can be imported which would then enable your analytics data to reconcile with your internal Ecommerce reporting.
Importing Geographical Data allows you to group regions or countries in a way that makes sense to your business. Whilst Analytics already allows you to select, City, Country and Continent it may be preferable to your business to organise your data as an example to say, North Island and South Island.
If the import options above don’t suit your requirements then there is also a Custom Data import option, this was previously known in Google Analytics as ‘Dimension Widening’.
How Data Import works?
Importing data can be managed through the Google Analytics Admin tab.
When data is loaded into GA it is stored in a container, known as a Data Set, this data can then be joined with existing data held in GA. Once you select the Data Set type, for example, Content Data, Google will define one or more dimensions to use as a key. The key is used to match values in imported data with values in existing data.
Before embarking on importing data to Google Analytics, ask yourself the question: what am I trying to achieve and then take it from there.