Google Analytics soon will be able to answer voice-based questions

Analytics

Google Analytics is far and away the most widely used web traffic analytics tool in the world. Large publishing companies, online retailers, technology vendors, bloggers — really, anyone with an interest in measuring the impact and reach of specific online content can easily set up and access a Google Analytics account.

But here’s a truth about Google Analytics that many users will recognize: Unless you use it regularly, finding the information you need in Google Analytics can be a challenge. The menu on the left of Google Analytics’s screen is somewhat inscrutable to the occasional user, who invariably will waste a lot of time poking around in report categories such as “Audience,” “Acquisition,” “Behavior” and “Conversions” to find meaningful data.

Let’s talk

Fortunately, help is on the way in the form of natural language queries that soon will allow users to ask specific questions of Google Analytics. The new service, called Ask Analytics Intelligence, is a set of features that rely on machine learning to help users better interpret and act on data.

“Ask Analytics Intelligence about your data in plain English, and get answers to a wide range of questions,” Google promises. “Analytics Intelligence will get smarter over time as it learns the types of questions users are interested in.”

Among the types of questions Google says users can ask Google Analytics:

Basic

  • “How many users did we get yesterday?”
  • “Where is my traffic coming from?”
  • “How many new users did we get last week on mobile?”

Performance

  • “Which channel converted the best for [Goal X]?”
  • “Which landing pages with over 500 sessions have the worst bounce rates?”

Trends

  • “Trend of new users this month?”
  • “Graph of sessions from Chicago vs Seattle in December?”
  • “Percent of direct traffic over time?”

This all sounds great, but does Ask Analytics Intelligence really work that well? I don’t know from personal experience because the feature currently is being rolled out and I still don’t have it. (Here’s how you can tell if you have access to it.) But TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha got a demonstration from Google and was duly impressed.

Product Manager Annissa Alusi asked three basic questions, and “in each case, Google Analytics answered her with the relevant data after just a few seconds,” Ha writes.

Using Ask Analytics Intelligence can benefit enterprises in three huge ways. First, it will increase the efficiency of employees whose job responsibilities include gathering analytics data. Now they’ll be able to do it faster. Second, putting more eyes on basic analytics data increases the chances that someone will find actionable information that will benefit the enterprise. And third, by empowering all employees with access to Google Analytics, enterprises enable their highly paid data analysts and data scientists to focus, as Ha notes, “on more complex, strategic issues.”

Do you have access to Ask Analytics Intelligence? If so, tell us how you like it in the comments section below.

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