Custom Data Import

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.

Data Import Types

Data Import allows you to upload and associate metadata information with your 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

In this post we will talk about Custom Data import. You will learn how to import and analyze types of data for custom purposes. Before you agree to implement custom data import, make sure your use task isn't already covered by one of the other types mentioned above.

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. Start by thinking about what reporting you would like to add in your regular reports and analysis. If this information isn't already collected by Google Analytics and it's not covered by one of the other data import types mentioned above, you can use the Custom Data Import type to join this information with your Analytics data. You can then create custom reports to view the imported data and standard Google Analytics data side by side.

How Does Data Setting work?

Custom Data import allows you to choose from a wide range of dimensions to use as your key and import dimensions or metrics. Always use Custom Data import to join data types that are not supported by the other data import types.

For example, you have participated in an affiliate marketing program and want to track and analyze your site performance by affiliate traffic segments. You might be interested to import data such as the affiliate's assign categories, geographic location and types to affiliate related hits to your website.

Step-by-step guide for data import:

1) Setup Custom Dimension

The additional metadata information you are going to upload in Analytics will be stored in Custom Dimension (e.g. Affiliate ID - you can extract this information from the query parameter). Before we start metadata upload, the first step is to create Custom Dimension. If you haven’t created Custom Dimension before, follow the instructions here:

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 (e.g. Affiliate ID) on which you will join the data that already available in GA with the data that you will be uploading. Additional Affiliates meta data includes Affiliate Geo, Affiliate Category, 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 custom data so we will choose Custom 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 Affiliated program.

5) Overwrite Hit Data: Choose yes or no. Choose Yes if you would like to overwrite existing data with the value you are going to upload.custom-data-import-16) Click Save. Now you will see two buttons: 1) Get Schema and 2) Get Custom Data

7)  Click on the Get Schema Button.custom-data-import-28) 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.custom-data-import-310) It’s time to upload the data to Google Analytics. Two options to upload data: 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.custom-data-import-412) 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 can 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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