Susan Wojcicki presents the new update for Google Analytics, flow visualisation. She began the presentation with a quote by John Wanamaker, who was an innovative retailer in the 19th century. He said that “half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is I don’t know which half.” Susan explains that this is exactly how anyone who is running a business feels like. They want more data from their visitors so they can see what is working and what isn’t.
Susan then showed an example of Google analytics for the Google store, information displayed included: visits, returned visits, time spent on the site and much more. She then went on to explain what Google Analytics was lacking, e.g.: how users are moving, their activities, conversions and at what point they leave the site. Susan explained that their inspiration to solve this lack of information came from a 19th century sankey graph, which looks like this
Susan went to explain this particular graph and that is was created to show the flow of people. This diagram was created on Napoleons’ march to Moscow. At the beginning of the graph you can see they started with about 500,000 men, as they started to march to Moscow, they slowly began to lose men, which is displayed by the thickness of the brown line. The black line shows the return, so in this case this was the men who went from Lithuania to Moscow and back.
This type of graph shows a lot of data, it shows time, motion and creates a story with this information. What it does not show is more specific like who spoke what language and age where the people. Susan explained that Google improved upon the sankey diagram and created their own upgrade called flow visualisation.
Flow visualisation allows Googles’ users to see how visitors are moving around their site. According to Susan, the factor that makes flow visualisations so powerful is that it tells a story with data that can be understood within seconds.
She released that this new feature of Analytics will be rolled out within a few weeks so some users may receive the update faster than others.
Susan then demonstrated the new flow visualisation with the Google store and showed that you can compare flows through different sorts of criteria such as browsers and countries.
Googles’ new flow visualisation tool looks like it will greatly improve Analytics and provide its’ users with even more information that web owners will find invaluable. Not only that, the extra detailed information will give web masters the chance to greatly improve their site and their conversions.
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