Google Analytics Changes: Visits and Unique Visitors now Sessions and Users

Google Analytics rolled out some changes in April 2014 rather quietly, changing the naming of some of their most important metrics. The terminology changes were made to better support Google’s new Universal Analytics, which can measure traffic across both web and apps.

SessionsUsers-GoogleAnalytics2

Visits is now Sessions

The first major change is that Google Analytics has changed Visits to be called Sessions. The concept of sessions has always existed in Google Analytics, as a way of measuring actions a visitor takes on your web site within a given timeframe. Google Analytics defaults the session length to 30 minutes, though it can be customized to between 1 minute and 4 hours.

This means that if a user visits different pages on your web site, downloads files etc., and then views more pages several hours later, these are considered separate sessions (and previously would have been labeled as separate visits).

 

Unique Visitors is now Users

Secondly, the previous app metric Active Users has been combined with the web metric Visitors, and both are now just combined under the same name, Users.

In addition to unifying the reporting across web and app reporting for the new Google Analytics Universal Analytics, it also makes things a bit less confusing as Visits and Visitors often caused confusion since the terms are quite similar. This is why Visitors were generally referred to as Unique Visitors — and now they are Users, which makes more sense still.

 

For any users of the CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards, which imports Google Analytics data into Salesforce to be displayed as part of your Salesforce dashboards, we will be updating the labels on the fields and reports in our next release in early June. That release will also include geographical data and improvements on reporting on Users (formerly Unique Visitors).

 

5 Big Ways to Maximize Your Salesforce Dashboards (Guest post on the Salesforce blog)

Today we published a guest post on the Salesforce blog titled “5 Big Ways to Maximize Your Salesforce Dashboards”. The post details a number of high level steps you can take to really make the most of Salesforce dashboards, including links to a number of free dashboard packages on the AppExchange and other resources.

So much of our critical data is stored in Salesforce, and dashboards provide an easy visualization tool that automatically refreshes with the latest data, no spreadsheet updates required. If you are a Salesforce user and you are not using Salesforce dashboards, check out the post and then get started!

The 5 topic areas covered, that will help you make optimal use of Salesforce dashboards, are the following:

  1. Agree on Metrics
  2. Start with Existing Templates
  3. Have Main KPI / Executive Dashboards
  4. Bring other data into Salesforce
  5. Email Your Dashboards

Check out the guest post now on the Salesforce blog.


 

Other resources mentioned in the article:

If you are new to Saleforce dashboards, check out our other recent post on How to Customize Salesforce Dashboards.

Setting Goals for Your Site: An Intro to Google Analytics Goals

Setting goals for ourselves is one of the best ways to achieve things personally and professionally — so why should your web site be any different? This quick introduction shows you how to use Goals in Google Analytics to measure some target objectives you have for your web site.

Goal-setting in Google Analytics is simpler than many goals we have in life. A Google Analytics goal is just a measure of how often visitors to your web site complete a certain action, such as spending a certain amount of time on a page, visiting one page after starting on another, or events such as form submissions or eCommerce transactions. Each time a user completes one of the Goals you have set up, it is recorded as a conversion in Google Analytics.

GoogleAnalyticsGoals

Setting Up Google Analytics Goals

You can create up to 20 Goals per View (formerly called Google Analytics Profiles). To create a Goal:

  1. Cick Admin, then select an account, property, and a view.
  2. Click Goals, then Create a Goal.
  3. Choose a Template to start with some prebuilt goal examples, or choose Custom to create your own goal from scratch.
  4. There are 4 basic types of goals you can create:
    1. Destination – a specific location loads, or path taken through your site
    2. Duration – how long a visitor session lasts
    3. Pages/Screens per session – how many pages or screens a visitor views
    4. Event – something happens such as a video play, social share
  5. Optionally set a Goal Value, which is the monetary value of a user completing the Goal.
  6. Click Verify to test the setup of your goal
  7. Save the Goal

Once you create a Goal, it starts recording data for all current and future sessions. Goals cannot be deleted, but they can be turned off, or edited to become a different goal.

If you have set the optional monetary Goal Value, you can start evaluating goals by that measure. But even without it, you will start seeing Goal Conversions (a visitor session that completes your goal is considered a Goal conversion in Google Analytics).

Note that Goals related to Ecommerce tracking require additional setup and configuration. Event Goals may also require that you set up Event Tracking in Google Analytics prior (especially as they relate to events such as events such as downloads), which often needs to be done by a developer.

 

Viewing Google Analytics Goal Conversions in Salesforce

If you are using Salesforce in addition to Google Analytics, you can import Google Analytics Goal Conversion data to Salesforce, for web site conversion visibility alongside the conversion metrics that are the mainstay of Salesforce (leads to accounts, and opportunities to closed won deals).

Our CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards application automatically imports a number of metrics daily from Google Analytics and displays it in Salesforce dashboards. All 20 Goal Names and Goal Conversion numbers from each Google Analytics View are imported and displayed in 2 Salesforce dashboards. The Google Analytics Goal data is also stored natively in a Salesforce custom object, so you can also use it in other reports and dashboards if you wish.

CloudAmpGAMetrics-Goals1-10_small

The “goal” of the Analytics Dashboards app is to make it easy to have daily visibility into the conversion Goals you have set up for your website, right inside Salesforce where you work on a daily basis. Getting this visibility before visitors would typically enter Salesforce as leads can help improve your conversions and optimize marketing efforts earlier in the funnel.

Questions? Have some favorite Google Analytics Goals you like to track? Please leave them in the comments below.

 

April 2 Salesforce Data Analytics Meetup: DxContinuum & GoodData

Thank you to DxContinuum and GoodData for sponsoring and providing the food and drinks, as well as demos of two very interesting data analytics platform for Salesforce.

DxContinuum is an early-stage startup gaining significant traction with Fortune 1000 clients due to their predictive analytics capabilities around which leads and opportunities in Salesforce will close. GoodData showed off their embedded business intelligence and analytics tools for Salesforce, with some great looking data visualizations that are setting the standard for the next generation of BI.

Meetup04-02-14

The videos below are by Aline. For all your video blog needs contact her at 415 377 0245

Next Meetup is June 4, 2014 - register here free.

Satish Kumar, DxContinuum

Satish Kumar is the Director of Product Management at DxContinuum. He has been in Software Product Management for the last 12+ years, with rich experience in CRM, Enterprise Big Data, and Analytics. Satish is passionate about driving business value using analytics. His experience in analytics ranges from  statistical analysis based reporting, scorecard applications, dashboard / visualizations, through predictive modeling & optimization. Prior to DxContinuum, Satish had been in Risk Management Solution (RMS) and Automatic Data Processing (ADP). Satish has a degree in Engineering from Annamalai University (India) and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

Product / Demo brief

What if you can predict which leads and opportunities will become wins with 85%+ accuracy, with existing data in Salesforce? What if you can focus on the right leads & opportunities, enhance conversions & win rates, and increase revenues by 25%, with the same resources? We shall look at how to leverage predictive analytics to accomplish these business goals and answer questions such as:

1. What leads should be prioritized for a call right away?  What leads should be nurtured over time?

2. What is the quality of opportunities in the pipeline? What proportion of active opportunities are likely to be won?

3. Will quota be met? If not, what is the expected shortfall, and what can be done to reduce it?

 

Kyle Pistor, GoodData


Kyle Pistor is a Senior Solutions Engineer at GoodData. He is responsible for the presales technical evaluation, building proof of concept projects, as well as architecting the appropriate solutions for clients as they move from evaluation to implementation. Kyle has been with GoodData for two years, and has seen many clients – large and small – use GoodData to quickly go from messy, disparate data to clean automated data, reports, and dashboards. Prior to GoodData, Kyle worked at pre-IPO SolarCity, as well as a smaller solar company that collected and monitored massive data sets on large photovoltaic systems.  Kyle has a B.S. and a M.S in Engineering from Santa Clara University.

Kyle demoed GoodData’s Salesforce Sales Analytics capabilities, which deliver more relevant sales analytics, cross-object reporting, historical trending and beautiful, easy-to-use dashboards.

How to Customize Salesforce Dashboards

In this post I am going to show you how to customize existing Salesforce dashboards, such as those provided in apps you install from the AppExchange, or dashboards you may have inherited from a coworker or Salesforce consultant.

For examples I will be using two of my own Salesforce apps,

but the tips and techniques here are applicable to any Salesforce dashboards and reports.

This post also assumes you have the proper Salesforce permissions to modify Reports and Dashboards, and have some basic familiarity with Salesforce reports. If not, you may want to start with Salesforce’s Reports and Dashboards Quick Start documentation.

With all that out of the way, let’s get started!

Clone / Save As

The first rule of customizing dashboards and reports — and this is especially important if you are new to Salesforce’s reporting capabilities — is to ALWAYS make copies of the dashboards and reports you are modifying. That way you always preserve the original copy, in case you need it later.

For Dashboards, just click the “Clone” button that is above every dashboard. This creates a full copy of the dashboard you can rename and save.DashboardClone.png

For reports, after you click the “Customize” button, be sure to click “Save As” to make a copy of the report before going any further. This is even more important than cloning dashboards, since a report could be used in one or more dashboards, so modifying a report that you did not create might cause changes you did not expect in dashboards where that report has been used.ReportSaveAs.png

Changing Date Ranges or Date Groupings

One of the simplest changes to make in your dashboards is adjusting the date ranges displayed in the charts. Sometimes date ranges are just based on personal preference, but often you need to modify them based on your business. If you measure sales on a monthly basis or want to be able to see the immediate impact of a campaign, you may want to see shorter time periods, but if your sales cycle is long or you want to understand longer term trends, then seeing longer periods makes sense.

To edit the date range in a Dashboard chart, simply click on the chart to get to the underlying report, modify the “Time Frame” drop down, and click “Save As” (you can also do this through the “Customize” button, but Salesforce gives you the option of changing date range without changing the underlying report as well).ReportTimeFrame.png

Depending on how much data you have of a particular kind, you may also want to change the groupings of the dates. Salesforce Summary or Matrix reports can be grouped by any field in the report, which cause reports to be summarized by those groups — for example, you could group leads by Lead Source, or by Created Date.

When you group by a date field such as Created Date, you have a choice of multiple date ranges to group by — everything from days to years. As you can see by the graphs below, two charts showing identical data look quite different when one changes the grouping from daily to weekly. Changing the grouping to monthly would decrease the number of data points even further. It would smooth out the curve to show the month over month trends more clearly, but for some purposes it might not show enough data (for example, if you had atypical traffic spikes on a particular day, those events would not be visible in the monthly graph).

DashboardsGroupedDailyversusWeekly.png

To change a report date grouping, go to the report and click “Customize”. The groupings are shown in the shaded blue sections. Click the down arrow on the left side, and then select “Group Dates by” and change how you wish the range to appear. If you click “Save”, the dashboard that uses the report should automatically refresh the chart when you return to it. If you click “Save As”, just go to the dashboard and drag the newly named report onto the appropriate chart to update the dashboard.

DashboardDateGroupings.png

Remove Charts you don’t need

Some existing Salesforce dashboards will have a number of charts for areas where your company may not have data. For example, the CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards have charts for all 20 goals that you can define in a Google Analytics account, but most organizations only have a few goals set up for their web site.

In these cases, after first cloning the dashboard it is easy to remove unused charts from the dashboard, and reposition the ones that are in use. Simply click “Edit” on a dashboard and click the “x” in the upper right hand corner of the charts you wish to remove. Any charts below will shift up when you delete a chart, so you may have to drag the remaining charts to reposition them as you wish.

RemovingUnusedCharts.png

Change Chart Types

I prefer line graphs for most of my dashboards, but you may prefer bar charts. Or perhaps your boss just loves pie charts. Depending on the type of data in your report, it may not be advisable (or technically possible) to switch to a certain type of chart, but generally it is quite simple to change a chart type in Salesforce dashboards.

After cloning your dashboard, just click “Edit”. Then go to the “Components” tab in the left hand side, select the type of chart you want, and drag it over where your current chart/report is positioned. That’s it.

ChangeComponentType.png

Use Charts Elsewhere

A final common task when customizing existing dashboards is the need to add certain charts to other dashboards. You may have an executive dashboard where you may need a certain chart of a key performance indicator (KPI), or be tasked with building a dashboard for the marketing department to review in a weekly meeting, where everyone just wants to see the high level reports.

If you don’t have a pre-existing dashboard, a good way to start is to find a dashboard that has some of what you want, and click the “clone” button (shown above). You can then delete charts you don’t want (also shown above), move some charts around, and you have a good starting point.

To add a chart to a Dashboard, and click “Edit”. Drag the Data Source (report) you want onto the dashboard, then drag the Component (chart type) on top of that to format it (or start with the Component and then the Data Source — it doesn’t matter which one you drag and drop first). You will see a blue box with a dotted line highlight the places you can place the new chart as you drag it.

AddReporttoDashboard.png

There are many other options for customizing Salesforce dashboards and reports, but those are some of the basics. Questions? Favorite dashboard customizations? Leave them in the comments below, and thanks for reading.

Guest post on the Salesforce blog: 6 Ways to build a Salesforce Lead Machine

Today CloudAmp Founder David Hecht published a guest post on the Salesforce.com blog that outlines some best practices for lead management and demand generation using Salesforce. The article is focused on small and medium businesses (SMBs), who face some particular challenges regarding budget and staff resources when it comes to these issues. But the good news David outlines is that SMBs can build their own “lead machine” using mostly Salesforce CRM’s built in tools, with a few affordable add-ons. Read more on the Salesforce blog. David’s recommendations include:

  1. Establish a Lead Process
  2. Use Web-to-Lead Forms
  3. Use Salesforce Lead Automation
  4. Track the Sources of Your Leads
  5. Set up Dashboards
  6. Develop an Email Program

Salesforce.com Blog >

“6 Ways to build a Salesforce Lead Machine” guest post >

Feb 5 Salesforce Integration & Analytics Meetup: Tableau & Bluenose

We had a big crowd despite one of the first rainstorms of the California winter. Great demos by Tableau Software and Bluenose.

Thanks to Tableau Software for sponsoring and Geekdom for hosting the event.

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The videos below are by Aline. For all your video blog needs contact her at 415 377 0245

Next Meetup is April 2, 2014 - register here free.

Ellie Fields,  Senior Director of Product Marketing, Tableau Software

Ellie Fields is the Senior Director of Product Marketing at Tableau Software, responsible for new product launch, industry solutions and Tableau’s community. Her data geek credentials come from time served in technology and finance companies. She works with people from all over the world who are trying to tell stories with data, from journalists to hospitals to high tech companies. She’s seen a lot of ugly data, beautiful data, and downright mean data. She’s a passionate believer that data used well can inform, excite and create value. Prior to Tableau, Ellie worked at Microsoft and in late-stage venture capital. She has an engineering degree from Rice University and an M.B.A. from The Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Why do people hate their sales reports? Because too often, they are static, hard to understand, silo’d, and even irrelevant. We’ll take a look at what great sales reporting is and briefly discuss some of the best practices of information design that apply to sales dashboards. We’ll use Tableau Software to show you how to quickly create and modify sales dashboards using data from Salesforce, and how to keep them up to date automatically. We’ll see how to blend other data with your salesforce data, and finally how to embed reports right into Salesforce so your company can have the data where it needs it, to make better decisions.

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Don MacLennan
Don MacLennan is co-founder and CEO of Bluenose.  Previously, he has held leadership positions at AVG, RSA and SAP.  He helped build a SaaS company from pre-revenue in 2001 to its sale to SAP in 2006.

Todd Graham
Todd Graham is co-founder and CTO of Bluenose.  Previously, has has held leadership positions at VMware and RSA and is a prior startup founder.

Bluenose provides a customer success platform for SaaS businesses to increase revenue, using predictive analytics to engage at-risk customers and identify drivers of churn.  We will demo our application live, including our Force.com module for sales and account managers.

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