Thank you, Google.
Thank you for offering us such great value over the years. Thank you, especially, for Analytics. Google Analytics has been a mainstay in our statistical web traffic reporting for years! You were our main constant, Google. You made reporting on client website traffic easy to implement and automate. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Let’s talk about this new version of Google Analytics (G5) you’ve just blurted out onto the world. No doubt it’s powerful, but I’m wondering–for the love of all that’s holy–why did you put a three year old in charge of the roll-out?
For it must be a three year old at the wheel. Who else could take what was easy (automating scheduled emails of a single, complete web traffic report) and make it ridiculously painful and patchwork to pull together the same information and deliver it to a client?
Who else would send an entire industry scrambling to migrate all their clients’ reports to this same, disjointed cluster of reports?
Who else would miss migrating those email addresses and report schedules?
As a father of four children, I know a thing or two about three year olds and I can tell you none of my three year olds have known how to use Google Analytics. Apparently, neither does the Google project manager who spearheaded this effort, for he or she would have figured out how vital the delivery of these reports are to customers all over the world.
Alas, it is apparent the Google project manager who owns this worldwide debacle wasn’t terribly familiar with this part of the process. Or maybe their Google superiors were asking them to cut corners. Whatever the reason, between this and the ghost town that is Google+, I think Google may be losing their clue. Maybe they’ll get caught up again. I hope they do.
If you saw your traffic reports go away this week, we were warned it would happen. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing (ranting,) it appears there is no solid solution for getting the old, user-friendly reports automated again. Until that is developed, here are some of the “patchwork” reports I referred to earlier. Each has pieces of what you’re accustomed to seeing, but not all of what you were seeing. If you want to have these reports emailed to your inbox regularly, you now set this up on a dashboard-by-dashboard basis.
So, whereas you once received one succinct report delivered to your inbox, now you can receive four or five partial reports, all sent via separate emails. Clever!
I will update the following list of Google Analytics report templates as more become available. If you come across other report templates, PLEASE SHARE THEM IN THE COMMENTS!
Andover IT. Google Analytics Report Templates. Retrieved from http://www.andover-it.co.uk/tools-tips/google/google-analytics-report-templates/.
Watson, C. Free Google Analytics Dashboards and Custom Reports. Retrieved from http://www.smileycat.com/miaow/archives/002851.php.
Kaushik, A. 3 Awesome, Downloadable, Custom Web Analytics Reports. Retrieved from http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/best-downloadable-custom-web-analytics-reports/.