Google Analytics Change History – More Context To Administrators
Today, Google Analytics started offering a new Admin section called “Change History.” It is a very simple table which shows changes made to your Google Analytics account settings in the last 180 days. This was a much needed feature as up till now, we had to trust people to document all changes, a boring task which is difficult to manage.
Which Types Of Changes Are Saved
This is a significant improvement to Google Analytics Administrators, but it is important to understand which changes are saved and which are not. The changes saved are those made through the interface: changes to accounts, properties, profiles, filters, goals, users and AdWords linking.
It does not include changes made to the code in the website, to external marketing campaigns or to private assets (e.g., Advanced Segments, Custom Reports, Dashboards, email, etc.). Therefore, it is still important to have a centralized place to save changes made to the Google Analytics Tracking Code. Here is a method I created to track code changes using Google Docs.
To find the “Change History” section, click on the “Admin” button on the right side of the orange top navigation (after logging into Google Analytics). Then, just below the orange bar you will see bread crumbs, click on the left-most link with your account name (right after the link “Account list”). You will see a tab named “Change History.”
Below is a screenshot of what the Change History table looks like.
It’s important to note that all the fields below are searchable, i.e., I can search for all the filters that were created or all the changes made by a specific user. As we can see in the table above, here is the structure of the table:
- Date: the date and hour of the change.
- Email: the user that performed the change.
- Change: what changed and in which profile/user/goal/filter.
As I previously wrote, I believe that everything is about context. In the past, Google Analytics released the Annotations feature, which is a great way to add context to charts when it comes to marketing and sometimes technical changes.
The “Change History” feature brings context to another level by enabling us to understand settings changes (which often affect the data) even if they were not documented, which can bring significant context to changes in data.
One improvement I would love to see is a checkbox that says “Add this change as an annotation.”
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(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)
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