One of the things that I love about the Data Extract tool in SiteCatalyst from Omniture that Google Analytics does not do is this– give me my data in an xls format that I can take and analyze and sort myself without hassle.
Let’s say I want the top 1,000 performing tracking codes that:
- contains “donkey” or “penguins” in it
- ranges for the 1st quarter and broken down by day
- paid search traffic
- visits, pageviews, and registrations
- unique visitor IDs
- xls format with all the above in clean columns and rows
Why? Maybe I want to create charts and graphs in Excel that are prettier instead of cutting and pasting charts made from GA. Maybe I need to link the tracking codes and traffic data captured in GA with the backend database through the IDs. What if I have over 50,000 rows of data that I need now? Is there a way to export all rows out at once GA?
Sure, in GA you can create a Custom Report by dragging and dropping your traffic source, site usage, visitors, and goals. Then you can filter the campaigns, filter date range, and use advanced segments to get a report. Basically GA is performing an equivalent to a pivot table, filtering, and sort in Excel. They are doing a fantastic job in continuing to add reporting and segmentation features which helps folks who aren’t into manipulating spreadsheets. However, it kind of stinks for those that just want to slice and dice the data on their own.
SiteCatalyst’s Data Extract offers a simple way to do what I mentioned above. It takes a little bit of time to get used to how to exactly arrange the fields to pull what you want. Once you figure it out, it’s pretty straight forward. Intuitiveness is not one of SiteCatalyst’s strong points in my opinion, so it can be frustrating at the beginning.
Bottom line: SiteCatalyst’s Data Extract is great for getting the data fields you need in a format ready to go to be sliced and diced. Google Analytics offers intuitive reporting interface, but makes it difficult to get the data in a raw format.