Google integrates offline data into new cross-channel analytics tool

Google is working on a tool that will integrate customer and campaign data with its website analytics tool in a bid to combine offline and online data to track the entire marketing funnel.

‘Universal Analytics’, which is currently only available in a limited beta trial, allows users to integrate their own datasets into Google Analytics to help gain a more complete vision of the marketing funnel. The tool can plug data from online and offline customer contact points, like marketing campaigns, sales calls and store visits, into Google Analytics’ dashboard.

Speaking this morning at the event DNA://13, Google’s agency lead, Australia and New Zealand, Ryan Ferguson said the product will bring the digital world together with the real world.

“At the moment those two bits of data don’t work well together,” Ferguson told attendees of the Sydney event, held by a group of WPP agencies. “What we’re trying to do is launch a platform that brings those two data points together to create an attribution platform.”

For example, the system would allow businesses that have a call centre to integrate data on a customer call with the search and website visit data trail that customer left in finding the call centre’s phone number, Ferguson said.

“It will allow you to plug your in-house data directly into [Google Analytics] and start to follow the user.”

Announced on Google Analytics’ blog late last year, the system will also allow data analysts to see how users interact across devices, such as smartphones, tablets, game consoles and digital appliances, as well as configure server side features.

“Cross-channel information is more important and more diverse than ever before,” Manav Mishra, group product manager of Analytics, wrote in the announcement. “Universal Analytics, via the Measurement Protocol, lets you sync your own data from across various marketing channels, so you can discover relationships between the channels that drive conversions.”

Google hopes the tool will allow marketers to discover the relationships between channels that drive conversions.