What is Google Analytics (GA)?

Published by Kyle Zinn in Marketing on September 19, 2019

Google analytics, often abbreviated as GA, is a web analytics service provided by Google that tracks and reports how users interact with your website. The business intelligence GA provides allows marketers to gain a deeper understanding of a website’s users, and more importantly, their online customers.

With this data, marketers can build reports and make informed decisions backed by data on how to optimize aspects of your website, including:

  • Buyer journeys
  • Conversions
  • Site speed
  • Site search
  • Goal completions

Understanding Access levels

There are four user permission levels that can be assigned at three different view levels.

What’s a view level?

In Google Analytics, views exist as a way to organize your account and control access. You can have up to 100 accounts, with up to 50 properties in each account, and up to 25 views in each property.

While this probably doesn’t exist in any real-world applications, it is possible for an account to have 1,250 views, so it makes sense that you can limit a user’s access to only certain views.

However, in our (and most other agency’s) standard setup, there’s typically one account, with one property for each website, and two views – a filtered and unfiltered view. In the filtered view, internal traffic from our marketing team, which may pollute your data, is filtered out.

Common examples of why we create filtered and unfiltered views would be:

1. It’s normal for a marketing team, which actively works on a website to create hundreds of sessions in Google Analytics. GA tracks this data and reports on it. You don’t want to make marketing decisions based on this data as it does not represent the true users of your website.

2. Say we create a conversion goal, which tracks successful submissions of the contact form, and we want to send a test submission. We don’t want this test submission to count as a goal, but we still want to know that the goals are counting correctly. In the filtered view, we’ve blocked traffic from our internal IP address from showing up in the data. The conversion goal, correctly, does not show here. In the unfiltered view, we’re not blocking traffic from our internal IP address and the conversion goal shows up.

What are the different view levels?

You can find the three view levels in the Admin section in Google Analytics.

Google Analytics View Levels

Account: The account level is the highest tier. You need to create an account first before you can add properties and views. Sharing access at the account level also shares access to every property and view in the account.

Property: You can have multiple properties in an account. A property can be created for any website, mobile application, or device in which you want to track data. If your brand has two websites, it may make sense to have a single account with two properties, one for each website. Sharing access at the property level also shares access to every view in the property.

View: When you create a property, an unfiltered view called All website data is automatically created. A property can have more than one view. In fact, it’s common to have multiple views segmented based on the needs of the business. A view is just a way of looking at reports based on that view’s filtered data. You can create additional views and apply filters to them as needed. Above we explained how we use this feature to exclude traffic from our internal IP address from reports. Another example is if your website uses subdomains – it’s common to create a separate view for just traffic to the specific subdomain.

For more information about view levels, check out this Google help article.

What are the different user permission levels?

User permissions can be broken down into four permission levels that can be applied by themselves or in combination.

Google Analytics Permission Levels

It is important to understand that these user permission levels can be applied at the AccountProperty, or View level and these levels will greatly impact the access a user receives.

Read & Analyze: This is the lowest level of access and grants access to see the data, but not make any changes.

Collaborate: Collaborate gives the same access as Read & Analyze and in addition allows the user to create, edit, delete, and share personal assets, such as custom reports, segments, dashboards, and channel groups.

Edit: Edit gives the same access as Collaborate, but also allows the user to create, edit, or delete properties, views, filters, goals, etc. To create filters, such as an IP filter, you need Edit Permissions at the Account level.

Manage Users: Manage users grants Read & Analyze permissions, with the ability to add or remove users. A user with Manage Users permission can grant full permissions to any user, including the ability to grant Collaborate or Edit permissions to themselves, based on the view level access they received.

For more information about user permissions, check out this Google help article.

How do I grant access to a Google Analytics account?

As stated above, you must have Manage Users permission to grant access.

To grant Google Analytics access to a user, follow these directions:

Step 1. Go to https://analytics.google.com and, at the top right, switch to the Google account that has access to the Google Analytics account.

Step 2. Select the account you wish to grant a user access to.

Step 3. Click Admin located at the bottom left of your screen (see the settings cog in the first screenshot).

Step 4. Click User Management (note: This selection exists in all 3 columns on this page, as mentioned above, you can provide access at an AccountProperty, and View level).

Step 5. Click the blue + at the top right and select Add users.

Step 6. Enter the email address of the user and select the User Permissions (see the above second screenshot)

When working with a marketing team, you want to grant the highest permissions possible so they have access to everything they need to help you and can adjust and optimize things as needed. Unless you have a good reason to restrict access, this means you’ll grant them full, unrestricted access to the account.

The highest access possible is: Edit access with Manage Users at the Account level.

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