Overview Of the Google Analytics Platform
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Overview Of the Google Analytics Platform


[Music Playing] NICK MIHAILOVSKI: In the past, analytics has
been, put some JavaScript code on your site.
There’s this black box called Google Analytics which processes this
data, and then you see the data in your reports. Can you talk a little bit about how the API
makes that process different?
And some of the components that had it and thought that went through
architecting this new API. RUTH DOANE: Sure.
We hope that the front end of Google Analytics has given you a lot of
helpful, good ideas, examples of how to interpret and understand your
data. But we think that you might have some good
ideas maybe even that we haven’t even thought of yet.
The API is giving you access beneath the presentation layer but still
letting you leverage all the computational and interpretive power of
the analytics back end. So like you said, let’s take a look behind
the scenes at what happens after your JavaScripts have missed that information.
Out here in the web, your JavaScript lives out here and is sending us
hit by hit what’s going on with your website. The GA collector receives that information,
and it’s going to store it in the form of the individual hits and the
sessions, the periods of interactivity.
And we’re going to store that. You can think of it like a database.
But it’s stored in a way that is ideal for efficient processing and
distributive computations. Then we’re going to precompute certain aggregate
tables tabulations of the answers to questions we think you’re most
likely to ask, so that we can give those answers quickly.
And let you drill down quickly, also. Then, you’re most familiar, probably, with
the UI here. That is asking questions of our query engine.
And the query engine knows where to find all this data, knows just
where to look and knows the fastest path to the answer to the question
to each report asks. We hope those are useful questions.
The custom reports give you an alternative to the preexisting reports.
So whereas in the UI, you’re directed to particular areas of interest,
like, let’s look at the geographic breakdown of activity or let’s break
it down by what search keywords brought people to my site.
But now what if you want to drill down across those different
questions? What if you want to breakdown geographically
the people that came with a particular keyword?
What if you want to take people that followed a particular link and
break them down by what browser they were using?
The custom reports also hit this query engine. And they have the full expressive power to
look at our pre-tabulated answers.
And also to dive back into the full history and tabulate on the fly
whatever question it is you want to ask. The Export API has that same expressive power.
It’s still going to this same query engine. And it can also drill across these different
areas. Maybe you want to take conversions and break
them down by what search keyword brought them to your site.
You can ask all those questions. But with a export API, you’re not only —
you’re not tied to the preexisting tabulations.
You’re not even tied to our visualization. So you can take that same query engine and
plug it into your favorite statistical package, a visualization that
you’ve just invented. You can get to the bottom of questions that
might not have been most clearly answered by the reports that we were
already giving you. So you get in the driver’s seat and take this
data where you want to go with it.

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