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Google Analytics is the most popular web analytics tool on the market, with almost 45% of the top million websites on the Internet using Google Analytics. The reason for its success can be attributed to many things, like an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, powerful features, and speed you would expect from Google.

But, arguably its most popular feature isn’t really a feature, but the price. Which is $0. As in none. Or free.

This means anybody can use Google Analytics as long as you have access to the Internet, a Google Analytics account, and a website or mobile app to measure. 

For those of you with Google Analytics experience, you probably have heard about Google Analytics Premium, Google Analytics Standard’s more sophisticated sibling. One of the questions we hear a lot at InfoTrust is, “How do we know if we need Google Analytics Premium?” 

Well, friends, today I’ll answer that question for you!

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If You’ve Run Into These Issues, You Need Google Analytics Premium

 

1. Your Analytics Data Isn’t Available Quick Enough to Make Decisions

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One of the biggest advantages of Google Analytics Premium is a guaranteed data freshness of less than 4 hours (but the average is closer to 1 hour). This is a huge advantage for larger websites and ecommerce sites that need to constantly monitor traffic and revenue metrics for reporting and optimization purposes. 

Let me give you an example. Many publishers, from your local newspaper up to the largest content sites like BuzzFeed, utilize traffic and click data throughout the day. This data is used to optimize story and ad placements, social media promotion, and more.

For a large content site with thousands of pageviews every hour, that pageview and click data might not appear in Google Analytics Standard for 24-48 hours. For a newsroom or a data team trying to monitor the top performing stories, you can see where this would become a big issue.

 

2. Your Data is Being Sampled, But You Need The Accuracy of Unsampled Data

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For those of you with higher traffic levels, you’ve more than likely run into sampling. Essentially, to keep the GA user interface quick and responsive, Google will sample your data for two reasons (or a combination of both): 

  1. The total sessions in your selected time period are higher than 500,000
  2. You are using Advanced Segments, Table Filters, Secondary Dimensions, etc. to segment data, which requires Google Analytics to reprocess data

Obviously, you can see from the screenshot and red box that the above report is only representative of 3.90% of the total sessions during that time period. While sampling is popular and statistically significant way to analyze segments of data sets, it can be slightly inaccurate, causing differences in metrics.

For sites with larger traffic, especially ecommerce sites that depend on accurate sales and revenue data, it’s extremely important to have access to unsampled data. This is a major reason many large ecommerce sites use an enterprise web analytics tool like Google Analytics Premium.

 

3. Your Company Wants to Integrate Google Analytics With Additional Google Products, like DoubleClick for Publishers, DoubleClick Campaign Manager, or BigQuery

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With Google Analytics Standard, there is no available integration with certain Google products like DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP), DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM), or Google BigQuery. If your company utilizes any of those products, Google Analytics Premium might be the right choice for you.

For larger companies, having marketing and advertising data in different systems can be confusing and counterproductive. With the above integrations, analytics and measurement teams can utilize one system (GAP) to analyze integrated data sets to deliver better insights.

For example, with the DFP integration, publishers can now use GAP to analyze the sections, authors, or types of content that drive the most revenue on their site. They can also identify the sections of their site where users are most engaged, which is extremely valuable data for the sales team to use when selling ad placements.

 

4. Your Company Can’t Use Google Analytics Because The Standard Version Doesn’t Offer an SLA

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Often times, larger companies require a Service Level Agreement (SLA) for any type of software being used inside the company. An SLA is a service contract that outlines the level of service and support a service provider (in this case, the software company, Google) will provide.

With GAP, Google guarantees a 99% uptime for reporting and data collection, along with a processing time within four hours 98% of the time. The average processing time is closer to one hour, however.

And, additionally, if you purchased GAP through a Google Analytics Premium Authorized Reseller, like InfoTrust, you will receive additional support, including:

  • Implementation Support
  • Account Management
  • Training
  • Phone & email tech support
  • 24/7 emergency reporting support

 

If your company has run into these issues, it might be time to discuss Google Analytics Premium. Download our Google Analytics Premium Checklist to see the full benefits of Google Analytics Premium!

 



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About The Author: Andy is the Head of Vertical - News & Media at InfoTrust. He enjoys Dayton Flyers basketball, his pitbull rescue, Millie, and trying to figure out how to cook for himself. He's an expert with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, if you're into that kind of thing.