Google Analytics is the most popular reporting platform in the world, helping businesses of all sizes generate insights from their data and get a deeper understanding of their customers. One of the main reasons behind its amazing popularity is the fact that Google provides GA for free, but companies can upgrade to the paid version of the solution if they scale. 


However, that’s not the only reason. GA has incredible integration with other Google Marketing Platform solutions, such as Google Tag Manager, BigQuery, Ads, Data Studio, and many more. 


In the first post of this series, we presented the top 7 features of Adobe Analytics, one of the top tools used by Fortune 1000 companies around the globe. 


We will continue the series with Google Analytics and Analytics 360, a direct competitor from Google. 


Top 7 features of Google Analytics and Analytics 360

1) Access your data everywhere. On top of the cloud-based web application, Google Analytics offers Android and iOS mobile apps, email alerts, an external reporting API, and integrations to multiple Google products. Analysts can take data with them everywhere and never miss an insight. 


2) Amazing customization possibilities. Analysts can customize their data to meet their needs with advanced filters, custom channel groupings, content groupings, and calculated metrics. Analytics 360 users, and those with Firebase-connected apps, can get even more detailed filtering with the built-in connection to BigQuery, Google Cloud’s enterprise data warehouse. 


On top of built-in funnel analysis, such as Shopping and Checkout Funnels, Multi-Channel Funnels, or App Events Funnels, Analytics 360 professionals can build Custom Funnels, which can be configured at any time, not just during implementation. This can help analysts visualize the steps their users take to complete an event. This feature can be used to improve sites and reduce inefficiencies in the user flows. Analysts can also create an audience list to re-engage users who drop out of the funnels.


3) Built-in reports to cover every need. You can easily understand how customers are interacting with your site and apps, and easily share insights across your organization with a variety of reporting tools. Users have access to reports such as Audience, Advertising, Behavior, Acquisition, Conversions, User Flow, or Custom Reports.


With Roll-Up Reporting, analysts can get an aggregated view of all data from their Analytics properties to see global metrics or isolate individual brand performance across countries. Another unique report is the Data Freshness report, where you get updated insights as quickly as every 10 minutes, so you can evaluate your performance in near real-time. You’ll be able to understand what your users are doing right now and how changes to your site or new content affect their experience.


4) Analytics Intelligence. Analysts can quickly generate insights and get answers fast to questions about their data by tapping into Google’s AI capabilities. Google’s AI engine also allows people that don’t know how to use GA to actually get insights by asking their questions directly into the product.


On top of that, analysts can access Smart Goals, Smart Lists, and Session Quality data, which use machine learning to help drive more conversions.


5) Advanced Data Collection. Analytics supports multiple Javascript libraries, mobile app SDKs, and an open measurement protocol that allows you to import interaction data from any internet-connected third-party system.


Analysts can also import customized data easily. Custom variables, including custom dimensions, custom metrics, and calculated metrics can monitor a variety of structured or unstructured text or metrics.


Get fast, unsampled data for your most important data sets. The Custom Tables feature allows analysts to get fast, unsampled data by specifying a combination of metrics or dimensions Analytics should process unsampled on a daily basis.


6) Data Activation. GA offers Anomaly Detection and Predictive Analytics capabilities. Smart Lists identify which users to re-engage with ads, while Smart Goals predict which on-site actions are most valuable.


Analysts can also learn a lot about their users by tapping into Audience Demographics, where they have access to data such as age, gender, and interest of their users.


7) Last, but not least, integration. Google Analytics has an amazing integration with other Google products from the Marketing and Analytics cloud, but also with third-party connectors. Connecting with tools such as Google Ads, Google Tag Manager, Data Studio, Optimizely, and a whole suite of products can really save time. 

About the author

Sebastian Stan

Sebastian is a journalist and digital strategist with years of experience in the news industry, social media, content creation and management, and digital analytics.

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