Ask an SMXpert: New approaches in customization can build better analytics reports


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Simon Poulton SMXpert graphic

Data-driven digital marketing expert and senior director of digital intelligence at Wpromote, Simon Poulton, was one of the SMX East speakers during the “Making Your Analytics Work Harder And Smarter” session. There were a lot of questions during this popular program so Simon took the time to answer a few more. Here are five questions submitted by session attendees and his responses.

Do you have experience linking Google My Business Insights data into Data Studio in combination with Google Analytics?

Poulton: Yes, there are various solutions available here. If you’re just getting started, you can simply export the data from GMB Insights and pass this into a Google Sheet that has been synced as a data source within Data Studio.

For those looking for a more automated solution here, you can make this connection using a pre-built connector (Supermetrics released one earlier this year) or develop for the API yourself to pass this data into a sheet or a database that can be connected to Google Data Studio.

As far as I’m aware, there is no simple method to displaying this data coming from Google Analytics, and it would be challenging to tie this data to other user interactions on site, making it simpler to go with a GMB > Database (or Sheets) > Data Studio approach.

Any tips for integrating data that isn’t built into Data Studio automatically? For example, a call tracking platform that is not built into Google Data Studio.

Poulton: There are a number of platforms that do not natively connect to Data Studio – although based on how we’ve seen the number of connectors grow, I’d imagine more companies are looking to add a connection here. Many of these platforms – especially in the call tracking space, do have a native integration with Google Analytics where they pass back Event data to Google Analytics that can be tied to Client IDs and be unified with the rest of the user’s journey onsite. This is incredibly powerful and allows for the ability to connect these user actions with other data like an attributable source that can easily be visualized in Data Studio.

This is as simple as passing the Events for calls into Google Analytics from the 3rd party platform and visualizing these within Data Studio like you would with any other Event data. In general, if you can find a way to automate passing data into Google Analytics or Google Sheets, then there is a simple way to have this automatically update in Data Studio.

Can you import first-party audiences (e.g., loyalty members) into GA and/or Data Studio?

Poulton: On the surface – no, you cannot import first-party PII into Google Analytics or Data Studio. However, there is a method that you can use to append this type of data to users identified on your site using the Client ID.

Out of the box, Client ID is not an accessible dimension for matching to imported data. However, you can create this as a Custom Dimension, and work with your developers to push in the

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