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Does anyone find Google Analytics useful?

I've been working with Google Analytics for quite some time now and I'm still learning about all the features that it has to provide. I find the dashboard and all the options put together to be quite a bit confusing and hardly useful for the information that I want to get out of analytics.

I'm interested whether anyone has found a happy workflow with google analytics, whether it has been very useful for them and whether you use google analytics along side any other tools to make it more useful itself.

10 Replies

Paul O'Brien
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Paul O'Brien Entrepreneur • Advisor
Tech Economic Development and VC CMO
In my experience, raising capital, scaling, and optimizing, it should be considered critical. Few startups (and fewer startup founders) appreciate how and give it the attention it needs but at the end of the day, I believe the majority of startups that fail largely fail because of ignorance (among other things). Ignorance is an inexcusable point of failure when the tools exist to avoid it; and investors, though perhaps ignorant of how Google Analytics works, are able to sniff out companies that really have no idea what's going on.

Dashboards and other considerations such as cohort analysis, event tracking, and segmentation are frankly rather advanced capabilities and often the reason people are overwhelmed by Google Analytics. Instead, start here with the fundamentals and familiarize yourself with what the data enables your business to do.


Full disclosure : that is an article that I wrote but I'm not selling anything nor am I for hire. I'm sharing my own content (How Startups should use Google Analytics) as the question of Google Analytics is a particular passion of mine in early startup development and a topic in which, clearly, I believe education will enable more to find success. Good luck!
Beatriz Datangel
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Beatriz Datangel Entrepreneur • Advisor
Co-Founder at Stealth Services Company
Try focusing on two key topics and expand from there. Yes, the features are overwhelming. Dashboards and shortcuts help make it all come together.

Want to learn learn more about which social channel to promote the latest feature? Check Acquisition and Traffic. How many of your visitors come back? Check out frequency and engagement for return visitors.
Gregory Figuereo
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Gregory Figuereo Entrepreneur
Growth Hacker and Marketing Consultant

If you need a simpler, easier to use dashboard for analytics then go with https://mixpanel.com. Definitely check them out: https://mixpanel.com/engagement/ - get comprehensive stats, measure and track, and do it all in a UX friendly dashboard.




Christina Hall
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Christina Hall Entrepreneur
International Marketing Manager, MBA
Google Analytics has a wealth of information. You need to figure out what you want to get out of the data and then follow it. If you don't know what you are looking for, no system will be very helpful.
Andreas Ramos
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Andreas Ramos Entrepreneur • Advisor
VP Marketing at Zenyx Inc.
OMG. this is like asking if a chef's knife is useful in the kitchen.

and the answer is... it depends. it depends on what you're doing.

Google Analytics (and I've used all of them: Omniture, Coremetrics, Clicktrack, etc.) is a basic must-have tool for SEO. analytics shows you who is coming to your site, how they came there, what they're looking at, and how they are converting. SEO can't be done without analytics.

analytics tools however have thousands (not kidding) of reports, most of which are useless. companies ask for these and the developers are obligated to add those reports. so, yes, these can be wildly overwhelming. i've rarely worked with a client (actually, never) who knew how to use analytics. they just poked around in it.

but it's hard to tell others how to use it. you kinda have to already know. i've been using analytics tools since 2002-3 when Clicktracks came out.

don't pay for Omniture or Coremetrics. Google Analytics produces the same results and it's free.

other useful (i.e., must-have) tools for SEO and digital marketing incl. Google Adwords, Google Webmaster Tools, and Bing Webmaster Tools. you use all of these together as a tool set.


Michael Masello
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Michael Masello Entrepreneur
Digital Marketing Professional
I'm a fan. It's a tool for insights and to answer specific questions. It has pretty good flexibility.

If you'd like any assistance where you say it's "hardly useful for the information that I want to get out of analytics", I'd be happy to try and help.
Aaron Lim
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Aaron Lim Entrepreneur
Data & Analytics | Product Management | Entrepreneur
Yes, absolutely. Even the basic analytics of viewership, segmentation, and usage trends can be crazy useful in understanding your users and their flow through your site, which is an invaluable insight into what you're doing right and what you can improve.
Eli Katz
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Eli Katz Entrepreneur • Advisor
Entrepreneur, E-Commerce Veteran, Advisor & Ecommerce Coach
For the price (free), it's the best thing you can get. Once you are prepared to shell out you can certainly do better.
Alon Z
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0
Alon Z Advisor
CEO at Talsona
With a little bit of javascript, you can set up custom events, which will basically let you track anything you need, combined with the goals and experiments features, I find it to be extremely powerful. If you are interested, pm me and I'll send you some examples of how it works.
Sue Duris
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Sue Duris Entrepreneur
Data-Driven Marketing & CX Strategist | Product Marketing | Content Marketing | Brand Development | Writer & Speaker
Google Analytics tells me how my pages. posts, etc. are doing. Also once you get your GA page up, head over to visual.ly and they will create a free weekly GA infographics for you that they send which further helps you manage your website, etc.
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