Import of User 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.

This is the third post in the series ‘Data Import’. In this post we will talk about User Data import. In the 1st and 2nd posts we discussed Content Data and Product Data import.

What Problems Does It Solve?

By importing user data into Google Analytics, you can enhance your user Segmentation and Remarketing Audiences by their subscription level, loyalty rating or customer type, or by importing user information stored outside of Analytics, like data with your CRM system to view more detailed information about known visitors.

With User Data imports in Google Analytics, you can:

  • Associate metadata with individual users to your site, such as their subscription level, loyalty rating, lifetime customer value, customer type or market.
  • View visitors by lead status, or whether or not they represent an upsell opportunity.
  • Understand the activities of key customers or leads on your site, by company, using your CRM data.
  • Automate the importing of new user data into Google Analytics to incorporate CRM data with Google Analytics.

How Does Data Setting work?

User Data Import requires that you should be able to generate unique identifiers for your visitors and send them to Google Analytics by adding these IDs to your tracking code.

Your business needs to have some way of identifying unique visitors. Don’t panic; most businesses do have a way of identifying unique users. A customer database or CRM system usually has a unique User-ID that you can use.

Let’s take an example to understand the step by step guide below:

Say, you are interested in knowing which features on your site are most popular with consumer segments like food and wine enthusiasts, sports enthusiasts, and other customer segments. You have a data file offline that associates customer IDs with customer segments and you would like to upload this material information into Google Analytics to use as the basis for a Remarketing Audience.

Following are the step-by-step guidelines for Data Import:

1) Ensure User ID is set by your site

The user IDs that you will upload should match the user IDs that you set in the hits received by your site. Refer to the developer guide to learn how to set user ID in hits.

The unique identifiers, i.e. User ID, can then be used as the key to map the visitor to the uploaded data. Uploaded data is stored in Custom Dimensions.

2) Create Custom Dimensions

Since Customer Segment doesn’t exist as a default dimension in Google Analytics, you will have to create it, follow the instructions here:

Custom Dimension Name: Customer Segment

Scope: User

3) Create the 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 user data so we will choose User Data. Then 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. By default, key is set to User ID
    • Imported Data: The dimensions we created above to store the additional information about the User
  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?import-of-user-data-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.import-of-user-data-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.import-of-user-data-3
  10. It’s time to upload the data into Google Analytics. You have two options to upload the data: 1) API or 2) Manual Upload. We will choose manual upload.
  11. Go back to the data set you created just now, i.e. Admin Data Import. Click Manage Upload.import-of-user-data-4
  12. Then, click on the Upload file button, browse the CSV file you created just now, and upload it.

That’s all; finally you have uploaded user data.

4) View Data, Analyze and Take Action

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).

Once you have data in GA, you can analyze and take action by creating Remarketing Audience. Complete the steps below:

  1. Create custom report – Select dimension ‘Customer Segment’ and metric as ‘Page Views’ (you can choose any other metric)
  2. Add Segment – Add a user scope segment to the above custom report. Add as many conditional groups to the segment as you would like
  3. Create Remarketing Audience –
    • Under the property click Remarketing -> Audiences.
    • Click + New Audience.
    • Select Create My Own Remarketing Type using Segments.
    • Click Import and choose the Customer Segment custom dimension you created above.
    • Select the AdWords account that will have access to this audience.
    • Click Save.

Final Step:

You have just created a Remarketing Audience. Now it’s time to create a new AdWords campaign and add your Audience to an AdWords ad group.

Do refer to the AdWords Remarketing guide -

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