The New Functions in Data Studio

Google Data Studio was released into public beta in June 2016, since the release the usage of Data Studio has exploded, and Google has not been late to respond to the demand. Each quarter more than 20 updates to Data Studio have been released, the latest was released during Google’s Partner Summit in San Francisco. We will walk you through these updates and also give you a demo dashboard you are free to copy and use in your own organisation.

Calculated fields in specific charts

Until now the only person able to create new fields in data sources has been the owner of the data source, with this release that limitation is gone. With the function for calculated fields in specific charts, anyone with edit rights to the report can create new fields, but with the limitation that the field is only available in that chart. So now you can create calculated metrics without asking the data source owner for help and you can also create calculations with blended data – something you still can’t do via the regular way of creating fields. The ability to create fields with blended data is hopefully coming to the old fashion way of creating fields, but that will most likely take some time until that feature is released.

You create a new field by clicking on the chart you want to add the metric to, click on “Add metric” and then “Create field”. In the popup box you can use the same functions and expressions you are used to in the regular create field interface. This is a much faster way of creating fields, but with the drawback that the field is only available in that chart. 

Interactive charts

Interactive Filters in Data Studio

When activating the function interactive charts on a chart this chart will become like a filter for other charts. So, for example, clicking on a specific country on a map will filter all the other charts on that page (that are linked to the same data source) to only show data from that country. This function can be used to really filtering down your results in an interactive way, for example, first click on a Sweden, then on the part of a pie chart representing desktop devices and finally clicking on a specific product in a table to only get the sales for that product, in Sweden on desktops in a time graph.

This function is activated on a per chart bases – with the chart activated, look at the last option in the right-hand side menu – “Apply filter” and choose “Interactions”. This will activate that chart to be clicked on and able to filter all other charts on that page. If you want to limit the charts it can control, you need to group those charts together by selecting all the charts, right click and finally select “Group”.

Filters with search function

Filters with Search function in Data StudioAnother new filter function is the ”Search All” style of filter. This filter is a free text search on the field you have selected with different operators available. The operators you can select is “equals”, “contains”, “starts with”, “in” and “regular expression”, which in principal means that you can write any filter you want and search for the data you want instead of selecting exact matches from a list. So far, this function is only a search on includes X but I imagine that Google is working on an exclude X search function as well, then you could really create any filter you want to.

Improvements in multi-select function

The last and least impressive function, which you have missed unless you ever had the need to make changes to the size of multiple objects, is the improvements Data Studio has released to multi-select resizing. Now you can select multiple objects on the page and change the position and size on all of the objects at the same time. At the same time, the Data Studio team released functions to improve the visualisation of movement and resizing of objects that is overlapping. A very simple function but so useful when you need it!

Demo

I have created a simple example dashboard with some of the functions that you are more than welcome to play around or use in your own team. You can use the visual filtering by clicking on different charts, filter by search in the right corner of the dashboard. Also, a new function of Data Studio I utilise here is the possibility to have the dashboard display data year/quarter/month to date and have it updated automatically.

All the data in this dashboard is from the Google Analytics Demo Account, that you can import into Google Analytics and start using to visualise data in Data Studio if you don’t have any Google Analytics account you can use.

 

For me it is clear that Google is focusing on Data Studio and that even more functions will be launched soon. So, take this time to get to know Data Studio and what you can do, and if you haven’t already, create a Data Studio report for you or your team. It is just your ideas that set the limit on what you can create. And if you want more ideas or bounce ideas off somebody – feel free to leave a comment or contact us!

The Awesome Add 10 Extension for Google Analytics Reporting Bliss

Ever found yourself disappointed with the numbers displayed in Google Analytics? Fret not! Today, you can easily add 10 to any number you believe to be too low. Not happy with +10? Add 1,000! And if that is not enough, “Alt. Fact” will increase the figure with a random, but high, amount.

See larger screenshot

Never again show numbers in the red! Never again feel embarrassed about your data!

It will now be big and great. So big, and so great (really great.)

Some may call these numbers fake, but we’ve seen them in other places before. So they do exist.

Oh, and this is something that failing Adobe Analytics could never do. Sad.

Make Analytics Great (Bigly Data) Again!

Get the Extension for Chrome here!

Use at your own risk.

What Separates Exceptional from Ordinary in Conversion Optimization

By: Joni Lindgren

Conversion optimization is bigger than A/B-testing. It is to learn about users from data and to use that when you make decision about your communication or product. Speed in accessing that data and turn it to insights is what separates exceptional from ordinary because the faster a company can learn the bigger it can win. Speed is accomplished in two ways;

1. By wasting as little time as possible

2. Maximizing the amount of knowledge within the organisation at any given moment

Conversion optimization is bigger than A/B-testing. It is to learn about users  from data and to use that in decision making to reach business goals. Faster.

When I started out with conversion optimization, freshly squeezed and naively happy, I threw myself in to client tasks. I hypothesized and pushed out A/B-tests and occasionally I experienced what most optimizers do: not all people in the client organization was so keen on my ideas even though my variations won, it didn’t get implemented because of politics and opinions. I was loosing valuable time on organizational issues. So I stopped doing it like that and developed a different way of starting up new clients that would help me help them better. 

Assessing “readIness” before starting Will help you a lot

I started conducting an assessment to understand what was missing at a company for them to be able to both succeed with A/B-testing and actually use the insights it brings. You have probably read some posts on the topic of what you need to succeed with conversion optimization and I agree with it all but process and culture are the enablers of all the other stuff so I started from there. The assessment looks like this:

  1. Determine organisational readiness in process and culture
  2. Help the client understand their desired impact from doing conversion optimization
  3. Map out desired approach to conversion optimization in respect to step 1 and 2. (see model below)
  4. If needed: Take required actions to increase readiness to be able to reach desired approach

Outfox 3 approaches to conversion optimization

From my experienced there are generally three different ways that companies can do conversion optimization. I call them Detached, Attached and Integrated. The integrated approach is the one with the highest impact on bottom line because this is where your testing velocity has its max potential and the learning curve can reach steepest. For the scope of this blog post I will only give a brief description to each approach below.

CO copy

 

  • Detached – conversion optimization is separated from the “regular” processes. Usually but not exlusively performed by outside expert(s).
  • Attached – conversion optimization is a
    • an in-house consultancy that helps other departments when they want help
    • A role or tactic in one department, often marketing
    • an extern specialist is assigned to do the same.
  • Integrated – conversion optimization methodology and process is applied to or combined with other existing processes not exclusively in one department.

Every company should choose the approach that fits the organisational readiness and desired outcome. If you don’t have the readiness or desire to do an integrate approach you should obviously not do it. As you can see in the model, doing a detached approach still has an impact. Just not as high.

Company readIness: Process & Culture

I know you know why the process is important. To do anything at scale demands a structure. But why culture? Because of mandate:

Mandate has two legs and we need both. The official one you get from the bosses is called buy-in. You find it in every list on how to succeed with CRO because it is a must. The second, unofficial mandate is not often mentioned but very often experienced. This one is earned from the co-workers and is equally important because your co-workers are creating the company culture too. They also make decisions that effects the customer experience every day. For every person opting in to the optimization process and thus giving it unofficial mandate the faster and more often your company will make decision based on insights. Lets break down how we can gain speed:

  • Wasting as little time as possible
    • minimize time spent on implementing stuff that hurt KPIs
    • faster find out if a new campaign or product update is hurting KPIs (fastest way to do this i by A/B-testing)
  • Maximizing the amount of knowledge within the organisation in any given moment
    • more research and analysis done if more people knows how ask the right questions and where to find answers
    • possibility to test more and faster if IT process is aligns to the CRO process
    • insights reaches more people

live as you learn to reach an integrated CRO-approach

I love models. I can´t get enough. And as hard as it is, I aspire to live as I learn. Therefor I highjacked the Pirate metrics framework – AARRR that is used for growth. But instead of talking about product and clients I thought of it in terms of CRO and co-workers and created a framework for how I could succeed internally to get official and unofficial mandate for CRO. Here is a fictional  example:
AARRR for CRO scaling
To reach an integrated approach is not done in a day. Even if the company has organisational readiness it will take months. at least. But it is worth it.

Ok, so show me the real life stuff – or is this just theory?

It works for me and it works for Outfox. It has changed the way we sell, initiate, run and deliver client projects. At one of our current clients the sales curve looks like this:CRO real life results

This is a year on year sales curve. Sales. Money. Not conversion rate or test results. This client invested heavily in the process of conversion optimization. Every person happily invested in understanding it and gained from it. And we did not increase traffic during this time.

By: Joni Lindgren

Patrik Gamryd Joins the Outfox Board of Directors

At the Outfox annual general meeting on March 31, Patrik Gamryd was appointed a regular member of the board. Patrik is currently CEO of InkClub. His previous experience includes acting as CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Sweden and as chairman for several of its companies, including iProspect and Isobar.

In the Outfox board of directors, Patrik will contribute with his experience of developing companies with international operations and a global customer base.

Lars Johansson, chairman of the Outfox board, says, “Analyzing data with the purpose of increasing revenue, lowering costs, and boosting customer satisfaction is hotter than ever. We are looking forward to developing our operations together with Patrik – expanding our offering to new customer groups, creating even more value for our products and services, and increasing our international presence.”

“I’m genuinely interested in the industry that Outfox represents, and I share Outfox’s outlook on the potential going forward,” says Patrik Gamryd. “Over the years the company has been active, Outfox has achieved an impressively strong position, which I hope to be able to contribute to by further developing the company by contributing with my perspectives and experience.”

Patrik Gamryd

About Outfox
Outfox Intelligence AB is a fast-growing consulting firm that helps companies increase revenue, lower costs, and increase customer satisfaction by collecting relevant data. The company offers analysis services related to big data and conversion optimization. Outfox is one of the world’s leading resellers of Google Analytics Premium, now rebranded Google Analytics 360. The Outfox team helps companies in a wide variety of industries and in countries (together customers have operations in more than 50 countries). Several of the world’s biggest brands entrust in Outfox for the most qualified help with all aspects of digital analysis, both technical and business. Outfox is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.

Let’s Welcome Google Optimize 360!

Google has finally released its A/B testing tool, Optimize 360. We think this is great news, but you might be wondering why. There are already several other tools that can get the job done. And that’s true. But if you’re using Google Analytics (or even Google Analytics Premium, which is now called Analytics 360), you can now get even more out of your current analytics tool.


Let us take a look at what Optimize 360 offers.

Better Analytics When Comparing the Same Data

Analyzing your Optimize experiments happens directly in your analytics tool, which means that you never need to compare apples and pears; instead you are looking at the same numbers as in the test reports and do not need to spend time thinking about why your testing tool and your analytics tool are reporting different things. For example, if you have a view in Google Analytics where you filter out internal visitors, they will not be included in the test evaluation either.
Analytics 360

Increased and Simplified Segmentation

But it’s not just because Optimize 360 simplifies analytics that we want to work with it. We’re also looking forward to using our existing segments in Google Analytics to set up tests and start personalizing the experience for our visitors. We all know that what makes one target audience happy might not be at all appropriate for another target group, so instead of working with additional personalization tools, we can now use our Analytics segments for this.

Up until now, it’s been tricky to segment the target audience included in the test by using Google Analytics segments. Previous tools have had built-in support for the more basic target audiences, such as new and returning visitors, but now we can finally test specific segments of visits, such as whether visitors are coming from a specific campaign and are visiting the website for a third time and residing in Stockholm. We can even use metadata from custom dimensions to build these groups.

Say that you have data about which type of customer group your visitor belongs to, if she is a big spender or a more price-conscious individual. Instead of creating a website that appeals to everyone, we can now test what appeals to the different groups and adjust the messaging we aim toward them. Or, as an example, if you have data about when a customer first became a member and you know that customers on average churn after six months, you can then create tests to craft the perfect message in month five to retain them as customers.

The list of possible tests we can now run is endless and very exciting. Have you ever wondered what impacts your website’s conversion and why a test you ran never obtained a significant result? You might have been on to something, but it only suited a certain segment of visitors. The problem was that you tested your theory on all visitors. Now you can find a perfect balance.

Easy-to-Navigate Interface

In addition to everything mentioned above, we are grateful that Google has put an extra bit of focus on developing the interface so that even people without web development experience can use it and that they considered the feedback we provided.

Google aims to provide an extra intuitive tool, where people without programming experience easily can understand how the code is generated. These smart breadcrumbs let, for example, users keep track of how the HTML hierarchy looks for each selected element.

Previously Google’s testing tools (Google Website Optimizer and Content Experiments in Google Analytics) have not been able to offer a WYSIWYG interface at all, so there’s a clear improvement right there!

Geo Targeting

It’s even easy to specify geo targeting – no really, it is extremely easy. See here:


So, Here’s a Summary of the Benefits of Optimize 360:

  • It reports the same data as Google Analytics.
  • Streamlined geo targeting.
  • We can use our Audience Lists to direct tests at and change the experience for visitors.
  • Metadata in the form of Custom Dimensions becomes unbelievably powerful.
  • Tests that can use information in the data layer in Google Tag Manager.

– A little step for mankind, a big step for analytics!

Outfox is a reseller of the Google Analytics 360 Suite and, of course, Optimize 360.

Contact us for more information!

Why Lead Generation Should Be Integrated with Google Analytics

We caught up with Jaakko Paalanen of Leadfeeder to discuss lead generation. Read our questions and his answers below.

There are a number of lead generation/identification services such as Enecto WebLeads, Apsis Lead, etc. What makes Leadfeeder unique?

Jaakko: First of all our Google Analytics connection allows you to install Leadfeeder in couple of seconds. We then backload the data from 30-days, filter out ISPs (internet service providers) and bring you automatically a list of real companies and their behaviour. Backloading data is not possible for tools which require installing a tracking script, and almost all of our competitors do it that way. Also our data updates from Google Analytics every hour, so it’s almost in real time.

Our Leadfeeder software has learned over time to filter out ISPs and so on, giving more valid data around the world compared to other GA-connectors, and it’s getting better every day.

Our custom feeds allows you to create easily lists, e.g. companies who visited “from Finland”, went to our “/pricing page”, spent over “2 minutes” in our site and are from “marketing & advertising industry”. That as an example gives you an idea how you can easily create different lead feeds and send them to your email or CRM. It’s very fast and the user interface gains every day good feedback of its’ simplicity.

You have chosen to integrate tightly with Google Analytics. Can you explain why you made that choice and how it makes for a better solution?

Jaakko: Google Analytics is scalable for different companies as you don’t have to add any more scripts to your website. Also we have good relationship to Google Analytics team which made us sure this is the right thing to do. Over 53% of companies worldwide use Google Analytics, which makes it scalable and easy to setup. With Google Analytics connection we also allow sales and marketing people to work more closely together, for better leads, and for better sales.

Can you tell us anything about your plans for future additions to Leadfeeder?

Jaakko: This year next steps are more integrations. MailChimp integration should be ready in 1-2 months. After that if you send a newsletter out and somebody clicks from there to visit your site, you can see the visitor on individual level, e.g. nils.holgersson@leadfeeder.com 12th Feb 12:00:00 visited leadfeeder.com -> /pricing -> /blog -> /blog/leadgeneration and so on.

Other updates this year include Zoho, Salesforce and MSDynamics CRM-integrations. Mobile application is coming up too, to get your leads to your pocket as you go!

Towards the end of this year we are focusing on creating Leadfeeder to become bigger Account Based Sales tool, as we call it. We integrate different CRMs, email marketing softwares and other tools to harness sales and marketing people with more relevant data and possibilities, focusing on sales people’s needs.

What would you say is the most common mistake in lead generation?

Jaakko: It’s definitely the quality of leads. Marketing can push all kinds of “leads” to sales people, but what really is a lead? A lead in my opinion is a qualified prospect, who has shown an interest already. Qualified, so that we have enough information of the prospect, and interest, so that they have visited e.g. some product page several times during last two weeks. It’s an instant signal to a sales person that there’s a need that has to be filled.

Happy Holidays!

God Jul!

Merry Analyzing and Happy New Insights!

This year we’re celebrating by making a donation to UNHCR in Sweden.

In the illustration, made by Ola Skogäng, you can see the Outfox office (it’s the floor where the lights are on.)

Outfox + Optimizely

Last Friday Outfox went to Amsterdam to participate in a gathering for Optimizely’s partners. The meeting was successful in raising ideas on how to improve Optimizely to better help both end customers and partners developing the tool.

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Outfox Now Serves Award-Winning, Sustainable Coffee

Outfox is happy to be the first employer to sign a contract with Drop Coffee Roasters to offer high-quality coffee to its employees. It’s the coffee preferred by consumers with high demands and by chefs like Mathias Dahlgren. If you are a client of Outfox, or interested in becoming one, you’re also welcome to come by for a cup of really good coffee. If you like it, we’ll even give you a refill to go. We’re currently serving Wote and Mugaya. Yes, we have a barista too. Our analysts have many skills.

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