Thursday, May 20, 2010

Takeaways from Google Analytics, End-to-End

I'm trying a new technique, taking notes in the blog and then posting speed updates to buzz. Short buzz updates are more conversational. The blog post is more archival but can be commented on.

Analytics is now about measuring performance in applications. This makes perfect sense. We go from web development to app development. The two are merging.

He's organizing the talk around:

  • Interpret
  • Extend
  • Integrate

Google is clearly making a big push here with its moves into virtually every information business.

Now four components:

Core processing

How does this actually work? He's about to tell us how GA collects data and processes it. This is actually fairly opaque to the average user. Google has 80 dimensions and 95 metrics that can be applied to those dimensions.

Some key measurement opportunities:

  • visitor
  • session
  • hit

He's actually showing code for how metrics are calculated. It's basically a lot of counting. If you've used analytics extensively, this is fairly obvious.

How does this tie into the developer platform? Well, you can now specify variables for collecting data. You can also export about 90% of your data using reports. The query explorer for this looks cool.

How can you integrate analytics into your web site

Shows a conceptual overview of how you can generate a most popular pages list based on visits.

Code walk through shows async tracking code. The push approach they're now using is clearly a declarative programming approach on the javascript end.

The query code is a little more complex. He says they will open source the query example (a good thing). Not sure when it will appear.