Import of Content Data

Data Import is a feature that supports combining the data generated by your offline data (external sources) with Google Analytics. Ideally, you’ll be able to use Analytics to organize and analyze all of your data to help find meaningful and actionable insights.

Types of Data Import

Data Import allows you to upload and integrate information with your Google Analytics account at 3 different points in the data collection and processing chain:

  1. Hit Data Import, supports
    • Refund Data
  2. Extended Data Import, supports
    • Content Data
    • User Data
    • Campaign Data
    • Geographical Data
    • Product Data
    • Custom Data
  3. Summary Data Import, supports
    • Cost Data

This is the first post in the series ‘Data Import’. In this post we will talk about Content Data import.

What Problems Does It Solve?

If you are using a variety of systems and tools to run your business, you can use Google Analytics to combine and analyze that data in one place. Google Analytics, by default, captures the URL and page title for the pages visited by users.

If you run a content site you will have lot of interesting additional information about each page, apart from Title and URL on the website, such as author, content type, headline, section, number of videos in the post, publication date/month/year, word count and so on. All this important information may not be readily available in Google Analytics. So, to connect this additional information with Google Analytics we use the Data Import function in Google Analytics.

How Does Data Setting work?

Every post has a content id to uniquely identify the content, just. like every employee in an organization has an employee number. Content Data import works by using a primary key, ‘Content ID’.

Below is the step-by-step guide for data import:

1) Create Custom Dimension

To additional information or metadata you will upload in GA will be stored in Custom Dimension. So before we start uploading the metadata, the 1st step is to create Custom Dimension. If you haven’t created Custom Dimension before, follow the instructions here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2709829?hl=en

2) Create Data Set

A Data Set is a container that holds the data you upload into GA. It also defines the schema for the data import. The schema comes down to three important things:

  • Scope: The level of scope i.e. hit, session, user and product
  • Schema Key: The key is used to join the data
  • Imported Data: Location for uploaded data

The key is a dimension on which you will join the data that already available in GA with the data that you will be uploading. For example, you might use the Page dimension (which is available by default in GA) to join additional information you have about the content page (author, heading, word count, etc.).

How do you create Data Set?

Navigate to the Admin area of GA. Under Property, look down toward the bottom and click ‘Data Import.’

  1. Create a new data set, click on +New DATA SET
  2. Choose the Data Set type; we are importing content data so we will choose Content Data. Click Next.
  3. Name Data Set
  4. In the next step, you need to define the Data Set schema.
    • Key: This is just the key that exists in GA to join with the uploaded data.
    • Imported Data: The dimensions we created above to store the additional information about the content.
  5. Overwrite Hit Data: Choose yes or no. If you are passing the article headline from your Google Analytics tracking on your site, do you want to use the value that is passed into GA, or overwrite it with the value you are going to upload?
    practical-google-analytics-content-data-import-1
  6. Click Save. Now you will see two buttons: 1) Get Schema and 2) Get Custom Data
  7. Click on the Get Schema Button.
    practical-google-analytics-content-data-import-2
  8. You will see two options: CSV header or Excel Template. We will use Excel template, which is readily available for download.
  9. Fill in the details in the template and save it in a CSV format after you’ve added your data.
    practical-google-analytics-content-data-import-3
  10. It’s time to upload the data to Google Analytics. You have two options: 1) API or 2) Manual Upload. We will choose manual upload
  11. Go back to the data set you created just now, Admin Data Import. Click Manage Upload.
    practical-google-analytics-content-data-import-4
  12. Then, click on the Upload file button, browse the CSV file you created just now, and upload it.

3) View data in Reports

The uploaded data may take up to 24 hours to be reflected in Google Analytics. You should be able to see the uploaded data in your reports in a multiple number of ways. Since your uploaded data is being stored in Custom Dimensions, you’ll be able to view it in all the same ways (secondary dimensions, custom reports, and custom dashboards).

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