Tag Archives: analytics

date range problem analytics

Google Analytics Limits Date Range Reporting

Update:

Nevermind, this was obviously just a one day glitch. Phew

OH HELL NO.

I logged into my Google Analytics account this morning to pull some basic visitor data for the last 12 months and was shocked to discover that the ability to select a date range that long is no longer an option. In fact, I couldn’t select any date range longer than 192 days. Thinking something must be wrong, I went ahead and switched to a different site under my same account but the date range limit remained. What the hell Google?!

google analytics date range
note that anything after July 11th is unselectable…grrrr

I couldn’t find any mention of this on their blog, or elsewhere on the internet as of yet.

Why would Google do this? We already know that for large data requests, Google provides us with a ‘sampled’ set, or a reasonable estimation (which is debatable) of the actual numbers – so why the sudden change? My initial thought is that they want to force more businesses into using their premium service, which has a much higher data limit. But that would be so unlike Google to give us something for free, get everyone to use it, start taking things away and then forcing us to pay to get things back.

Fortunately, it looks like there is NOT a date range limit when using their API – at least not yet. I ran a quick query using Excellent Analytics within Excel and was able to pull back data for the last 18 months no problem.

Are you experiencing the same issues within your Analytics account? If so, sound off below and let me know what you think of this. Do you think it’s nothing to be concerned about, or a massive pain in the you-know-what?

 

Weighted Sort – Google Analytics Newest Feature Unveiled

weighted sort

Google Analytics tests out a new feature: Weighted Sort.

Ahhhh. 3 day weekends — a chance to finally relax, get away from the computer for a couple of days and let the brain swelling go down.

Too bad the heartless bastards at Google had to go and ruin it for me by sneaking a brand new feature into their online Analytics interface, once again.

To be fair, I shouldn’t be blaming the hard working engineers, I should blame myself for even getting near the computer on my day off, but what can I say?  I, like many of you — am a web analytics addict.

Maybe someday I’ll form a group where we can all meet, drink coffee, smoke, and pop no-doze all night while discussing the awesomeness of pivot charts, keyword segmentation and setting up bullet graphs for KPI reports.

But not today. Today we discuss the NEW GA feature: Weighted Sort.

What is Weighted Sort?

Using Google’s own words:

Weighted sort weights the results by the associated column, showing you the most actionable rows first.

Sounds interesting, if not overly confusing. I’ll simplify that explanation with an example, since I’m a visual learner.

google analytics referrals, sorted by visits
What we have here is your typical Traffic Sources >Referring Sites report. This is your default view, sorted by number of visits. Most of you slackers probably won’t have taken the time to add some cost values so you may or may not see any revenue in that last column.  For this example, however, it really doesn’t matter.

For many of our clients, this view may be more than adequate, especially if referring sites only make up a small percentage (20-30%) of your total visits, as you can pretty easily scan through a couple dozen sites on one page, and see who’s performing without much problem.

But what if you want to analyze Goal performance for a bigger sampling, say hundreds of referring sites? You might start by clicking on the Goal Conversion Rate column to sort by that dimension, perhaps?

goal conversion rate sort in Google Analytics

Oh, that’s worthless. If you’re like me, you might try selecting the comparison or performance graphing options to view the data in a different way, but you’ll find out that no matter what you do — you can’t trick this report into showing you the data in a multi-column sort view. At this point, you’d probably shrug, export the data to csv and open up excel, wouldn’t you?  Don’t do it.

The Payoff.

Depending on whether or not Google has activated this nifty little feature in YOUR analytics account, you may be introduced to the ‘weighted sort’ option at this point. Let me show you what it does.

Google Analytics weighted sort

After clicking to sort by the Goal Conversion Rate column, this little bracket appeared, begging me to click its’ empty check box…so of course I did and this is what I got.  You might still be confused so I’ll explain.

This solves the issue of drudging through insignificant data to find the little gems that actually mean something. For example, if you ran this on your keyword report, you’d no doubt find thousands of keyword phrases that converted, or bounced, etc…but you can’t effectively sort by goal conversion rate, or bounce rate, AND by total number of visits. It’s always been one or the other. Until now.

Here’s another example, from a different type of report.

keyword report - weighted sort

This may give you a better idea of usage. When combined with additional metrics, like city…

keyword report by city, weighted sort

you can now drill down into the best performing keywords for each city, by number of visits and bounce/ exit rate, or goal conversion rate. Without ever leaving the browser. sweeet.

It ain’t perfect.

As much as I like this feature, it does seem to have some bugs. If you look at the last screengrab above, you’ll see ‘vets in brandon fl’ has 31 visits, with 83.87% being new visits. So why does it appear lower than ‘veterinarian’ – which only has 19 visits – and an 89.47% new visit ratio?  Are the UNIQUE visits actually lower? It’s possible, but then that would require us to do some custom reporting…we could also get some of this data by digging into the advanced filters at the bottom of the page, but then we’re starting to get away from the ‘click and quickly analyze’ point of all this, aren’t we?

Admittedly, I only spent a half hour or so messing around with this, but I thought I’d give you all a little heads-up as to what you should keep a look out for.

If you’re using this currently, or have any other great analytics reporting tips or tricks, let me know in the comments!