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Sharing Google Analytics Reports with Your Organization

Published July 24, 2014
You know the importance of data for making good business decisions. But, even the best analysis of the best data can only help your organization if the decision makers are using it. Good data left untouched is worse than collecting no data at all. Unfortunately, this is often the case when the people in your organization who need data the most aren’t getting it. They might not even be aware it exists.
Since we know our decision makers likely aren’t logging into Google Analytics regularly to check on website performance metrics, it is our job to package that data and deliver it to them in a useful and easily-accessible format.
In this post, we look at some of the features Google Analytics provides for sharing reports with your organization, as well as additional tools for reporting.

sharing google analytics data

 

Sharing Access to Your Google Analytics Account

Some colleagues in your organization may want to access Google Analytics directly. Having the ability may make them feel empowered and more likely to use the data. You can share your reports with them by granting access to their Google Account. If they don’t have one, they can create one here.

From the Admin section of your Google Analytics account, you can share access at three levels: Account, Property, and View. If you want to share access to all your data, use the Account level. For sharing data from one website, use the Property level, and from one View on a website, use the View level.

google analytics admin user management

 

Click on User Management, and enter your colleague’s email address in the field labeled “Add permissions for.” There are four permissions levels. For sharing access to data, the lowest level – Read & Analyze – is sufficient.

 

google analytics add user to account

 

Once you have added your colleague to your account, she will be able to access standard reports, but not your custom reports. That’s because custom reports are personal assets and are not shared along with the Account, Property, or View.

Sharing Custom Reports

To share one of your custom reports, open the Customization section of your account, click on the Actions button for the report and select Share.

google analytics sharing a custom report

 

A modal window will open where you can select “Share template link.” Click the “Share” button, and you will get a URL to share with your colleague. She can paste that URL into a browser and a page will open with instructions showing her how to add the custom report to the View that you shared with her.

Exporting Data in PDF, Excel and other Formats

Rather than log into Google Analytics, navigate the user interface, and find the data they need, many of your business colleagues may prefer to receive Google Analytics reports you have created for them, highlighting the data they need to support decision making.

To export the data from a report, click on the “Export” menu near the top of the report. You can select from a variety of formats including CSV, Excel, and PDF.

google analytics export menu

 

Select CSV, Excel, or Google Spreadsheets if you want to share the raw data. Select PDF if you want to share a document that includes charts and looks similar to what you see on your screen. Google Analytics Dashboards can also be exported in PDF format and shared with colleagues.

Automated Emails from Google Analytics

If you want to send the same Google Analytics report to your colleague every day, week, or month, select the “Email” menu item at the top of the report. You will be presented with a set of options enabling you to select how frequently you would like the report or dashboard to be emailed. Once you set this up, Google Analytics will automatically send your colleague the report at the designated interval for as long as you desire.

Your colleague will receive an email with a PDF copy of what appears on your screen. Since she will receive the data without any commentary, she will need know how to interpret the charts and data. If your decision makers are not expert at interpreting Google Analytics reports, you may want to use automated emails to distribute data as a warm-up prior to a “lunch and learn” that you schedule with them each month to review the analytics.

 

google analytics emailing a report

 

If your colleague leaves the company, or no longer needs the report, you can stop the automated emails from being sent out. To do that, navigate to the Admin page and select the “Scheduled Emails” item under the View menu. Here, you will see table listing your automated emails and you can extend or delete them.

 

google analytics managing scheduled emails

Data Confidentiality Concerns

Another reason why you may want to export or email selected reports to colleagues is data confidentiality. For example, you may want the editorial staff to have access to data about how well content is performing, but prevent them from accessing E-commerce data or analytics related to paid advertising.

In Google Analytics, access is managed at the View level. If a person has access to a View, they have access to all the data in that view. There is no way to give them access to only certain metrics.

In this scenario, you can export or email specific reports that contain only the metrics you want to share.

Tools for Enhanced Reporting

Depending on your organization’s needs, you may find that the export and email features in Google Analytics are insufficient. For example, you may want your reports to include multiple charts and tables interspersed with commentary that explains the data. Or, you may want to include branding (e.g., your logo) and a cover page. In addition, you may want to include data from sources outside Google Analytics in your reports, or your colleagues may request to only see specific data most relevant to them.

Unfortunately, this ability is not offered via Google Analytics.
Fortunately, there are a variety of tools to help you in this situation.

One such tool, of course, is Megalytic.

Digital agencies, marketers and business owners use Megalytic for faster, more insightful and better looking analytics reports. In addition, Megalytic enables you to include data from AdWords and Google Webmaster Tools in your reports.

One of Megalytic’s strongest agency reporting features is the ability to add comments to explain your analytics. Clients (and internal decision makers) often benefit from reading text commentary that explains the data shown in charts and graphs. With Megalytic, you can intersperse explanation with data and include a summary cover page.

When looking for a reporting solution, there are some other tools you should consider as well. RavenTools is popular, and offers access to 20+ SEO, social, PPC, and content marketing tools along with reporting. If you are looking more for dashboarding than reporting, check out DashThis. To see a full list of reporting tools that support Google Analytics data, have a look at the Reporting Tools section of the Partners site.

Most of the available reporting tools offer free trials. Evaluate a few, and select the one that best meets your needs within your price range.

Conclusion

For analytics to have an impact of decision making, it needs to be shared and explained. Google Analytics provides a variety of mechanisms for sharing data with your organization. For colleagues who are really into data, consider sharing access to your Google Analytics account. For others, you can take advantage of the export capabilities and send them just the data they need. And if you need it, Megalytic can help you share multi-page reports, with the ability to add commentary that helps internal stakeholders understand the data they are receiving.

ALSO IN THIS BLOG

When the client first came to you, you talked up the value of Google Analytics. You emphasized the importance of seeing where your traffic was coming from. You went on and on about how Google Analytics can show traffic sources to pinpoint whether people came from search, social media or a specific site referral, and how valuable this data was. You sold them on it, so much so that your client looked forward to receiving that first report, the magical day when they would finally understand where visitors were coming from.
But then the report came, and it looked like this:

 

 

It showed that 10% of your client’s traffic came from “(direct)/(none)”. What does this label mean? How do you explain Direct traffic to your client? Better yet, how do you explain “none”?
Let’s take a closer look at understanding Direct traffic in Google Analytics and how we can address it with clients.
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The same rules can apply to data. If you’re too close, you may miss the patterns and trends that are crucial to understanding your website’s performance. You can’t judge a site’s performance looking at data in the bubble of a single day, you must consider any day’s traffic compared to the days before and after.

Google Analytics makes it fairly easy to analyze trends over long periods of time. But it also allows you to stand right in front of that TV, to look at more granular levels of time, right down to the hour.
There’s a better way to get that close to the data, without burning your retinas. We’ll cover how to analyze traffic effectively in today’s post.
Digital marketers spend a lot of time focused on PPC and SEO campaigns in order to drive desirable traffic to a website. The phrases we’re ranking for and bidding on get meticulous attention, so much so that we often forget about some of the other ways that visitors find us.

We put a tremendous amount of the effort we put into reviewing organic search data and PPC campaign performance in analytics. But how closely do we monitor referral reports?

If that’s not a channel you review regularly, you may be missing out on seeing traffic that is coming directly from links you’ve obtained around the web, local business listings, news mentions, and more. Many times, links are only considered as a means to an end, a metric that Google uses in determining how to rank sites in the SERPs (search engine results pages). But the fact is, many of a site’s links may be directly contributing to its traffic.

In this article, we’ll review how to look at referral reports in Google Analytics, and some of the many ways to use that data to better inform your web marketing decisions.