New Feature Release: Analytics Assistant

Grant Marlowe - October 24, 2016

Stop what you’re doing! There is a new feature release for Google Analytics and it is simply amazing. On September 2nd, 2016 Google officially announced the release of their automated insights tool, Analytics Assistant. The logic behind this new feature is for Google Analytics to work in the background to analyze the data in your reporting views and provide to you a summary of findings based on that analysis in the form of index card style notifications. Yes, you heard that right, Google Analytics is now helping you to report on and understand your data!

In a world where marketers are always hungry for more data, this new feature allows you to save time searching through different reports for information. By leveraging the machine learning of Google to monitor behavior and notify you of any alerts it may uncover, Analytics Assistant should quickly become your new best friend.

While these alerts are not necessarily the end-all-be-all of data analysis, and a deep dive into the numbers is most likely still required, the ‘head-start’ that Analytics Assistant can provide by notifying you of these performance changes will most certainly help expedite the process. This can, in turn assist in the analysis of the underlying cause responsible for the change in traffic, either positive or negative.

Analytics Assistant - Performance Change Mobile Screenshot

The insights that will be surfaced by utilizing this feature are sure to assist every analyst and marketing department in understanding behavior surrounding their company’s website. The fun doesn’t stop there. Over time, as Assistant accumulates more data and learns the behavior patterns of your site, the findings that Assistant shares are expected to become more intelligent and custom to each specific business. By using the “Was This Insight Helpful” function at the bottom of the notification card, the system will learn what data points you deem most important and then adjust based on your feedback.

Providing these custom notifications that, without Analytics Assistant, could arguably take several hours or days to pull together on your own is a huge time saver for anyone. And not just insights like, “Hey Bob, your traffic is up” but Assistant displays relevant and informative data points. For instance, a notification we received stated: “Organic traffic performs above average. 15.3% of your sessions from the Medium=Organic perform better on some key metrics.” The insight card displaying this alert then proceeds to provide the aforementioned metrics and show the exact stats it refers to.

Analytics Assistant - Insights Card Alert

As a way of wrapping it all up, Assistant then provides recommendations that can be actioned to get a better understanding of the alert. In this case Assistant recommended a number of options:

  • Creating a segment for Organic traffic in Google Analytics
  • Develop custom landing pages for this subset
  • Focus acquisition resources on them
  • Expand remarketing efforts

So within a single insight card, Assistant has uncovered a key finding within our data, then quantified the improvement over other traffic channels, reported on those improvements and then even provided recommendations we can employ to further augment the initial discovery.

As it stands today, the Assistant feature is only available on the Google Analytics Mobile App. Compatible with both iOS and Android, the Assistant can be found within the app by expanding the Menu and selecting the first option “Assistant”, just above Dashboard.

Analytics Assistant is an intuitive and simple to use tool that should shed light on behavior and performance as it pertains to your company’s website. While deeper analysis may still be required after review of the insight cards, the process for alerting you to these trends sets you off in the right direction, something that may have taken a day, week or even a month to realize without the help of Assistant.

Analytics Assistant Preview - animated gif

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