Animating data in Data Studio

  • September 13, 2019
  • Michael Whitaker
I had a lot of fun building a new community connector for Data Studio: The idea behind it is to create a Top 10 List type bar chart and animate it over time. While animation should not be used gratuitously, it can work well when individual data points change significantly over time. See the growth of cities over time. What I like about Data Studio is that you can quickly and easily try the visualization with different data. Read More

Data Studio annotations

  • August 23, 2019
  • Michael Whitaker
Providing context in your reports and dashboards is a key part of any good analysis and I love annotations for that purpose. Annotations are not supported out of the box in Data Studio so I decided to roll up my sleeves and learn about community visualizations and D3. I adapted the wonderful d3-annotation package for use with Data Studio and this what I came up with: To use this in your own reports please check out this data studio report for instructions. Read More

Data Studio update for Shopify

  • March 27, 2019
  • Michael Whitaker
I made some recent updates to the Data Studio connector for Shopify. New data points added: SKU Vendor Open/Closed Orders Active/Cancelled Orders Discounts Tax cost Shipping Cost Refunds* Note that Refunds are attached to orders. So if you process a refund today for an order that was in the past, and you run a Data Studio report for today, the refund will not be listed in the report. Read More

New focus

  • March 14, 2019
  • Michael Whitaker
For those of you that have kindly read my blog over the years, you’ll know that one of the main topics I like to write about is analytics, particularly Google Analytics. I still intend to do that, but I have been spending more and more time building apps, so I want to branch out a bit and write about my experience with app development. Part of my motivation is that it is now possible for mere mortals to build very sophisticated and performant apps using the products offered by the big cloud providers, such as Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Read More

Analytics Buddy Gmail add-on

  • January 17, 2018
  • Michael Whitaker
When Google opened up Gmail add-ons to all developers I jumped at the opportunity to build an add-on. I wanted to share some things I learned along the way. 1) My initial interest was piqued because the Gmail add-on framework provides you with context. Here’s why I think it’s powerful. With Gmail, my task is to read and deal with emails (with me so far?). When my mind is thus in “email-mode” it would be nice and helpful if I can get additional information about the email I’m reading (to perhaps compose a better reply). Read More

Are 3rd party apps affecting your Google Analytics data?

  • October 24, 2016
  • Michael Whitaker
One of the features of our Analytics Buddy app for Shopify is an automated audit of your Google Analytics implementation. We look for potential issues in the settings and traffic data. Many issues can be fixed quickly, such as setting the right referral exclusions, but others are much harder to spot. Here is a recent case. We all know that Bounce Rate = Bounces/Entrances, right? Hit the back button right away on the landing page and you get a bounce, but if you visit other pages on your site it’s not a bounce. Read More

You can't fix what you don't track

  • October 14, 2016
  • Michael Whitaker
If you have a technical glitch in your checkout that prevents your customers from placing an order, would they tell you? Perhaps if you are lucky some visitors will tell you, but most likely they will just give up and leave your site, a classic case of “unknown unknowns”: You don’t even know that you have a problem so you can’t fix it. This is what happened to one of our clients recently where a glitchy implementation of a third-party script prevented some shoppers from placing orders, resulting in significant lost revenue. Read More

Checking out the Google Analytics Demo account

  • July 9, 2016
  • Michael Whitaker
A big thanks to the Google Analytics and Google Merchandise Store teams for opening up the kimono and giving folks access to the analytics data of a real e-commerce store. As a token of my appreciation I thought it would be fun to pretend that I am the new analyst in charge of coming up with some actionable insights and recommendations. I have no info about how the store is built and what the goals are. Read More

Multi Channel Funnels with D3 and the Embed API

  • February 2, 2016
  • Michael Whitaker
Don’t know why I am so attached to sunburst visualizations, but decided to revisit something I did a while ago. The difference between now and then is that we have the Multi-Channel Funnels API and the Embed API. The result is that you can visualize data without having to first create a csv file. It’s all running in your browser and no data is sent to me or any other server. Read More

Force-directed graph of website visitors from multiple regions

  • January 26, 2015
  • Michael Whitaker
A perhaps overlooked aspect of the increasingly large percentage of mobile traffic to your site is the fact that those users are mobile in the true sense of the word, i.e. visiting your site from multiple locations. The wonderful Google Analytics API now allows you to ask some powerful questions of your data on a user basis. You can segment your data based on multiple conditions and sequences, so that questions such as this one are possible: Read More