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Analyse this

By Simon Clayton, chief ideas officer, RefTech

Google Analytics was launched in 2005 and over the past 15 years has become the most widely used analytics service on the web, but with the introduction of the ICO’s new guidance on cookies, it could signal that it is time for companies to review how they use it. I do wonder how much of the data that Google Analytics creates is actually useful and actionable. Does the information really influence business or marketing decisions? Does the majority just confirm what you already knew about your audience, or simply provoke a ‘that’s interesting’ reaction? 

The traditional event cycle means that most websites are pretty quiet for six months of the year and then there’s a frantic marketing push pre-event. If you have thrown all of your marketing at an event (like many organisers do) then how can Google Analytics tell you which techniques have had an impact?

Another thing to consider is that Google Analytics is free for a reason; the data it collects is feeding the massive Google machine and is doing this for their benefit, not yours. You’d be rather naive to think that they’d give a powerful, world-class analytical platform to us free of charge purely for our benefit. 

Perhaps a return to the simpler, log-based analytics may mean less but more useful and usable data?