How To Secure Data Integrity in Google Analytics


Data Integrity should be a strategic asset for any digital business. If you make “clean data” a priority, it opens a lot of doors to insights that will fuel your business’ success.

Knowing how to work with tools and data on a daily basis has become essential for any performance marketeer. Digital businesses and multi channel digital businesses rely on great data visualization tools that help optimize campaigns and streamline operations.

One of the most commonly used tools is Google analytics. Even in the free version of Google analytics, users are able to see a large number of insights of their business. These insights can be very helpful in understanding your customer base and campaign success.

However, what many do not know is that all tracking tools need to be fed correctly. Tracking tools such as Google analytics, ECONDA and Adobe omniture site catalyst, understand a lot of your data from the get go. But if you format your data correctly it becomes a lot easier to work with.


Data visualization in Google analytics is not the best

Google analytics is a great tool to collect data, but if you would like to work with the data a visualization tool such as tableau does come in very handy.

What is important for you is that you are able to cluster, segment and break down your data usefully. If you would like to do that you need to make sure that your data integrity is at its highest level.

Data integrity describes how clean and consistent your data is. This does not have to be very difficult. Consistency is the most important word. We generally urge our customers to follow a few simple rules.


Start collecting data but be consistent

When working with data there is not one perfect way of collecting it. You can use as many sources as you would like. It could be that you collect customer data through your off-line store, your customer email database as well as through your online marketing campaigns.

In essence, the most important thing is that you collect the data in the first place. But if you are consistent in the way that you collect the data, it will be a lot easier to work with in the future. Even if you are not collecting the data 100% correctly, correcting consistent “mistakes”, is generally fairly straightforward.


Tracking links for marketing campaigns

When you set up marketing campaigns we advised you to use the following logical rules:

  1. write all source / medium / campaign names small if possible (especially source / medium)
  2. source = partnername
  3. medium = type of campaign
  4. campaign = campaign name
  5. if name contains >1 word: connect using “-“
  6. no “_” in the source / medium
  7. internal campaign (crm) = company name (website name)

Some tracking tools are case sensitive so it is important that you write everything either small or big. We have chosen to write everything small. Next to that we always use_underscores to separate variables. Hyphens are used when a string contains more than one word.

This might seem very logical to you, but in daily practice we see that this is very difficult for many companies. The most important thing is that these rules are universally used within the company. Often times many people in different departments work with different rules.


Company wide data integrity is key

Since different account managers/departments have their own personal preferences, they will usually not use the exact same terminology that you would like to have in your data. This makes it very difficult to compare and work with the data in common day practice.

We believe that: Data integrity is something that needs to be developed together with the business intelligence department and communicated top down by management.

If you would like to follow a different logic of course feel free to do so. The most important thing is that you collect useful data and that you are consistent in the way that you collect and name your data.

At GANDT Ventures everything we do starts with data. If you would like us to have a look at your data integrity set up, feel free to contact us at anytime.

Simply book a free appointment to continue the conversation, and ask us questions about your business.