If you create weekly, monthly, and/or yearly reports using Google Analytics, you might have experienced some of these frustrations.
- Sampled Data Reporting – For certain reports, particularly custom ones, you’re limited to a sample of up to 500,000 visits. From my personal experience I do not trust sampled reporting for its accuracy.
- Not enough dimensions – Because of this, you might have to pull multiple reports in order to create the single report that you’re looking for.
- Limitation of 5000 results – This is another inconvenience which may require you to download multiple reports. It also leads to the next frustration.
- Slow interface / Crashing – Some of the reports you request for may take a really long time for the interface to load. Sometimes the requests just crash too.
An alternative approach to solve these issues is using the Google Analytics API. This might sound complicated, but fortunately, David Sottimano from Distilled has published an awesome blog post called “Google Analytics API made easy – Google docs Magic Tutorial“
It’s a tutorial on how to use the Google Analytics Report Automation (Magic Script) to help automate reporting. For some of you, you might be able to save a day or week’s worth of time in minutes by leveraging this. For a great start, implement the first three steps below. Once you see the power and potential of this, take a deeper look by reviewing David’s post.
Step 1 – Installing the Google Analytics Magic Script and connect the Google Analytics API
Step 2 – Open Google Analytics Query Explorer and watch this video
Step 3 Get your data and understand the Google docs setup / output