My Take: Google Analytics Audit with Verified-Data.com
A forensic approach to Google Analytics data quality and compliance.
I first wrote about Verified-Data six months ago. Verified-Data is a sophisticated Google Analytics auditing service from my good friend Brian Clifton, author, speaker and overall data quality and privacy expert. I recently dug back into it and thought I should do another review.
What’s the price of good data quality? Worse, what’s the cost of making good decisions informed by bad data?
The notion of “good decision informed by bad data” is particularly pernicious. As a decision maker, you might think you can rely on good data when it is not actually the case. You just don’t know it. You confidently make a decision but you’ll realize much later it was an error costing time, money and even reputation.
The Value Proposition
My bag of experience includes the creation of the Web Analytics Solution Profiler (aka WASP) over a decade ago — at the time, it was the first tool specifically created to make data validation and auditing accessible to non-technical marketers and analysts. Over the past 20 years, I have done countless implementations and more often than not had to pick up the mess of a botched implementation or something that was set once and forgotten thereafter. Data quality is a constant battle and nowadays, the requirements and expectations are even higher.
Although there are many other tools available, almost all of them are spitting out technical and hard to decipher HTTP requests, or they crawl and merely confirm if a given tag is present on a page. Some are attempting to look under the hood — the configuration of Google Analytics itself — but fail to provide actionable results. That’s why Verified-Data stands apart.
Verified Data is unique in the way it uses a forensic method to audit your Google Analytics data. Combining off-page testing with on-page testing brings visibility of what data is being collected (API checks) and what data is missing (visit simulator). This provides a unique and complete picture of your Google Analytics data quality.