New and Improved GA.JS Documentation

Along with some other features, Google Analytics today launched Google Analytics Custom Tracking. This is a new website (code.google.com/apis/analytics/, a section of code.google.com) that deals with the Google Analytics Tracking Code. The site does a nice job of pulling together information about ga.js and Event Tracking. Plus it has a snazzy movie of Avinash, what a bonus!

While the new graphing features are nice, I think this is a very significant event. Google is really pushing Google Analytics and a data collection and analysis service, not just a web analytics tool. Sure, most of the data is generated via a web interface, but think of the proliferation of web-based applications and services.

Let’s not forget about Event Tracking. It’s not a rigid data structure that we have to adhere to. It is a flexible data model where we can define the data. It will work perfectly with web application.

I’d like to point out that the term API is all over this site. This has nothing to do with extracting data from Google Analytics. There is no API to extract data from Google Analytics.

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    Comments

    1. Steve says

      Just to clarify Justin, as I suspect you may have mixed a few words around:

      “a snazzy movie of Avinash” ?
      OR
      “a movie of a snazzy Avinash” ?

      Hang on a sec… what’s that bright red glow to the East? Ahh. Of course. Avinash is blushing. ;-)

      Cheers!
      - Evil Steve

    2. says

      Hi Justin!

      Late comment here, but I was curious to know if custom URL Coding will also undergo a change at some point, or does Google Analytics plan on keeping the “utm” naming convention for the campaign tracking dimensions in URLs.

      Thanks for your comments!!

    3. says

      Hi Joe,

      I don’t think that Google will change the link tagging parameters. There are too many people that have already tagged their lings using the utm_ parameters. With that said, we are talking about Google, and I wouldn’t put anything past them!

      Gary,

      I assume you’re talking about event tracking and why we should use it rather than creating pageviews with urchinTracker… The old method is a bit of a hack. Page level interactions are very different than page views, and should be collected and reported differently. Hence the creation of event tracking.

      Thanks for the comments,

      Justin

    4. says

      “There is no API to extract data from Google Analytics.”

      But WHY? I’ve been dying for this. Have been tempted for so long to use the CURL method of extracting data – but don’t want to go through the word because I just know a week later they’ll announce their own legit API. Ho hum.

    5. says

      Hey Josh,

      I agree, an API would be fantastic. But I think that Google faces a number of challenges when it comes to a data API. First there are obvious privacy and security issues that they must address. Second, I think there could be some technical issues. Analytics stores a lot of data and an API could put a tremendous load on the system (even for Google).

      I eventually think that there will be an API and Google will put their own unique spin on it.

      Thanks for the feedback,

      Justin

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