Digital Analytics Fundamentals #3/1 – How Google Analytics works

Unit 3/1 - How Google Analytics works
Unit 3/1 – How Google Analytics works

The Google Analytics Academy started a new course (March 11th 2014) called “Google Analytics Platform Principles“.  Though not required, it is recommended completing the “Digital Analytics Fundamentals” course on Analytics Academy before beginning this course:

The first part of the third lesson provides some insights to how Google Analytics works.

It consists of four major parts data collection, configuration, data processing and reporting.

Collecting data from a website works by adding a piece of JavaScript code to each page that should be tracked. When a user visits those pages information about the page (e.g. the URL), the user (e.g. browser name, language, operating system) and the referring page is collected and sent to Google. It is possible to sent additional information by adapting the JavaScript code.

Collecting data from mobile apps works by using device specific methods. Instead of tracking page views, certain “activities” are monitored which need to be handled by the device. If a device is not online all the time, activities can be cached and are dispatched when the device reconnects to the Internet.

At Google the data is processed, e.g. by categorizing certain information like the type of the device.

Depending on your configuration, filters – to include or exclude certain types of data – are applied and finally the data is stored in a database.

Reports can be accessed via the web interface or via the Core Reporting API.

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