Getting to Know the New Google Analytics Admin Interface

One part of Google Analytics that has seen very little love over the past few years is the administrative interface. Not any more! Google has rolled out a beta version of a new GA management tool that will have an immediate impact on how we set up and manage Google Analytics.

When you firs log in the new admin area will display a list of all accounts that you have access to.


Click to enlarge the image.

This tabular layout of accounts is new, and very helpful. If you’re an agency, or a large company, you probably have access to multiple GA accounts. This layout makes it easy to identify performance at the account level.

Key to the new layout is the addition of metrics. Available metrics in are:

* Visits
* Time on Site
* Bounce Rate
* Completed Goals

One column actually does a date comparison. Choose one of the above metrics using the drop down at the top of the column and a simple date range using the buttons at the top right corner of the screen to determine how said metric has changed over the past day, week, month or year.

Looking a bit closer, you’ll notice that each account name is a link. Clicking on the link will display all profiles within that account:


click to enlarge.

This is where things get really juicy!

GA is now grouping the profiles that have been created for each tracking code in an account. I’ve talked a lot about creating multiple profiles for a single site, and this is a great way to see all those properties in one place.

As an analyst I like the fact that I can view basic information in the admin area and do a quick performance evaluation. Would I like to see more metrics? Sure, but this is a great start. This literally turns the admin area into a basic dashboard for large groups of websites.

Another feature that I really like is the Favorites. Anyone that uses other Google products (like GMail or GDocs) will recognize this.

You can ‘star’ certain profiles and then display only those that you starred. This makes it very easy to zoom through all profiles and find the ones you regularly use. Unfortunately starring is not available in the account view, just the profile view.

Try changing the number of rows displayed using the drop down at the bottom of the table… Notice anything interesting? The new interface uses AJAX to dynamically pull back the data. Pretty slick.

Another interesting AJAX feature is the ability to rename accounts and profiles right from the table. Just click on the little pen icon next to an account name or profile name. Is this totally necessary? I’ll let you decide. But given the new interface I bet a lot of people are going to rename their accounts and profiles.

With the new layout of accounts and profiles we can eliminate the website domain name from the profile and account name and use a functional description that everyone can understand.

One thing that is missing from the new admin screen is a summary row. I think it’s critical to have a scorecard, similar to the scorecard in the reporting interface, that displays summary information for the profiles and accounts displayed.

Overall, this is a fantastic change that goes a long way to helping us manage and analyze large GA deployments.

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    Comments

    1. says

      Hi Justin

      Should I be concerned? I haven’t seen the rollout of GA’s new features yet with my profile. Are your clients still playing the waiting game as well?

      Keep up the great work!

    2. says

      Have seen the reporting and segments but I have not seen the new interface that you talk about above. When is this happening, its awesome, a dream, quick access to all our clients information.

    3. says

      Hi Justin,

      I have a GA question for you. Tried using your contact form, but saw that you would prefer I use this comment form. So, here’s my question:

      I have a page on my site where the user installs a browser plugin that (almost always) requires a browser refresh. This is confirmed by the fact that the post-install page (also on the same site) shows 80% landing visitors (in Navigation Summary report). So, it looks like GA is not keeping track of this session. How can this be achieved?

      Thanks much!
      -V

      PS: I have also put up this question on the forums – http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Analytics/thread?tid=4835814dd25cb65b&hl=en

      • says

        V,

        If the browser restarts the GA will always create a new session. Some of the GA cookies used to track visit length are session cookies. Once the browser closes those cookies are deleted, thus killing the visit. Unfortunately there is no way around this.

        What you could do is somehow use the Custom Segment cookie to get the data you need.

        Hope that helps and thanks for reading the blog.

        Justin

    4. says

      Hi Justin,

      Thank you so much for your quick reply. I am not sure I know what you mean by “custom segment cookie”. Do you mean setVar()?

      I am a bit surprised that GA can’t track this. I can think of several instances where Firefox plugins force a browser restart :)

      Thanks again,
      V

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