Google Analytics’ Fourteen New Features Revealed at Annual GA Summit 2013

A new tradition has taken root in the Digital Analytics world. Every year in the beginning of October, Google announces a host of new features and functionality for Google Analytics and Google Analytics Premium at the annual GA Summit. Years past have seen the birth of Real

Time Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and Universal Analytics. This year was no different with fourteen distinct new features being announced. As the picture below illustrates, this year’s theme at the summit was Act, Empower, Access. These fourteen features all fit into one part of this theme.


1. Auto Event Tracking for Google Tag Manager

This was one of the slickest features announced this year in my opinion. Gone are the days of having to painstakingly add onClick events manually or writing complex jQuery to automatically tag your events. This is going to be a massive time saver for all of us developers. The demo made it look earth shatteringly easy.

2. Google Tag Manager Enterprise SLA

This is a GA Premium feature only, but man is it a doozy. They are guaranteeing 99.9% up time for tags and containers, 99% for the GTM UI, and adding a technical support layer. Look forward to this in Q4.

3. Upgrading to Universal Analytics

What if I told you that you could do a seamless transition from “classic” GA to Universal Analytics without losing any of your data? Last week you would have told me that’s crazy. This week it’s reality. This is a huge feature that is going to help a lot of us get on Universal Analytics. Time frame’s still at bit hazy though but it should be ‘soon.’

4. Account Management API for User Management

The use case for this is a little more narrow than any other feature that they announced. It’s not sexy, but it’s incredibly useful. If you are a large organization with hundreds of users you can now manage all of those user’s via a programmatic API. A great use case for this would be a large organization with a vibrant exchange policy. You could set up a script to automatically add new users to GA when they are added to exchange. Conversely, if someone is removed from exchange they can seamlessly and automatically be removed from GA without any manual intervention.


5. ABC Reporting

Building upon Avinash Kaushik’s Acquisition-Behavior-Conversion cycle, this feature takes takes a lot of the work out of building these “ABC” reports. This will replace the “Traffic” section in the left hand navigation and will break out by channel.

6.Unified Segments

This feature was initially announced way back in July; it updates user segmentation, cohort analysis, sequence segments, segment templates, and a totally reimagined UI. This is out for the vast majority of users right now and will hit 100% by the end of this year. Great interface. Though if you’re advanced segment happy, its a little difficult to see the names of the segments in the drag and drop UI.

7. Demographic Reporting Baked Right In

This breaks out your audience based upon gender, age, interests, and many other things. The data is pulled directly in from Google’s own massive demographic troves. For now it is only consumer data. We’re hoping they’ll add a B-B demographic option in the future.

8. Audience Data Within Unified Segments

Add 6 7. And Blend.

9. BigQuery and GA, a match made in heaven

Another exclusive feature for GA premium, and a huge one. You can take all of that juicy GA data and push it right into BigQuery. Sampling is now a thing of the past. This feature comes with a $500 per month BigQuery credit for Premium customers.


10. DCM integration into Google Analytics Premium

How about another Premium-only feature? This one allows you to see the reach of your display campaigns on your data. This will allow you to see click through, impressions, view through, and conversion tracking right in the GAP interface. Beyond that, it promises super cool targeting options.

11. DCM in Multi-Channel Funnels

That DCM data is coming back again. This time it’s an integration into Multi-Channel Funnels and attribution reporting.

12. Google Play Referral Flow

Earlier this year at I/O Google showed off a slick integration between GA and Google Play. This is now available for everyone. It will allow you to see the Google Play acquisition funnel in one report.

13. Analytics Academy

Google is getting their MOOC on. It’s free, online, and straight from Google. You don’t need to try and explain to the intern what an event is any longer. Google’s got you covered.

14. In-Product Help

Everywhere you go in GA, you are going to see videos now. In an industry full of poorly documented tools, these videos are worth their weight in gold. They will explain whatever feature you happen to be looking at. The intern now has run out of excuses for a lack of knowledge!


What do you think of these new features? Drop us a line,, or sound off in the comments below!

One Comment

  • Very nice update Matt.

    I look forward to exploring these new changes when Google begins the roll-out for these. Hopefully, they won’t be changing the product too much and end up losing the functions that today’s marketers now depend upon.

    I am a bit wary of Google and all their recent changes to keyword reporting, their algorithms and to Adwords.
    I think the impact of these implies more than just counteracting black-hat SEO techniques. I think they are also diminishing the importance of even some of the white hat stuff because they want the entire search and content creation process to be more natural.

    Looking forward to reading more from you.

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