Universal Analytics: Next Generation of Google Analytics
Universal Analytics is the new version of analytics that was launched by Google in October 2012 and very recently i.e. in April, 2014 they have just opened up the beta version for the public. The tracking code has been overhauled completely, and there are plenty of back-end improvements.
Even though there aren’t any new reports, all Google Analytics users will need to switch over to Universal Analytics sooner or later if they want to keep getting access to the improvements in Google Analytics. It’s not a quick upgrade, but they will need to set up a new property and replace all of the Google Analytics code on their site.
Before we get started with Universal Analytics, let’s see some of the benefits of using this over google analytics.
Benefits of Universal Analytics:
1. Connect multiple devices, sessions, and engagement data with the User ID
The User ID is a Universal Analytics feature that you can use to associate multiple sessions (and any activity within those sessions) with a unique ID. When you send an unique ID and any related engagement data to Google Analytics, all activity is attributed to one user in your reports. With the User ID, you can get a more accurate user count, analyze the signed-in user experience, and get access to the new Cross Device reports.
2. Get a new and more flexible tracking code that lets you collect data from any digital device
Universal Analytics introduces three new versions of the tracking code you can implement to meet your specific technical needs.
- For mobile app tracking – Google Analytics SDKs (v2.x or higher)
- For other digital devices (like game consoles and information kiosks) – Measurement Protocol
All of the new collection methods are developer friendly, so anyone can set up and customize tracking code more easily. Cross domain tracking for websites, in particular, is dramatically simpler and more accurate.
3. Use simplified and more accessible configuration options
With Universal Analytics, users can not only use all of the standard Google Analytics reports and tools, but they also get access to new features like:
- Organic search sources
- Session and campaign timeout handling
- Referral exclusions
- Search term exclusions
4. Create custom dimensions & custom metrics to collect data that’s unique to your business
Custom dimensions and custom metrics are like default dimensions and metrics, except users create them on their own and use them to collect data that Google Analytics doesn’t automatically track. Learn more about custom dimensions and metrics.