Some important changes will soon be made to Google Analytics that will affect your digital newspaper or magazine data. We want to be sure you are fully equipped to understand these changes, so that you can continue to be satisfied whenever you dive into your data. The coming changes will enable a number of improvements to be made, and in what follows we'll provide you with information on why something new is on the way, and what the latest changes will mean for your data in Google Analytics.
Modified requirements from Apple will affect the 'Page Views' function in Google Analytics
Apple has announced that new requirements for iOS apps will go into effect on 1 February 2015. These requirements apply to all apps from Visiolink that utilise Google Analytics. Read the technical description further below in this article.
The consequence of the new requirements is that we will now be using 'Universal Analytics.' This will affect the often used 'Page Views' key figure and other statistics derived from it (time per page, pages per session, etc.). The reason for this is that, with Universal Analytics, apps and websites are now considered as two separate sources of statistical data, whereas apps with the old SDK were able to deliver statistical data in the same way as a website. The disadvantage of this is that apps updated after 1 February 2015 will not be able to report page views as they do today. The information can of course still be provided, but it must be done in a different way. On the other hand, there are several advantages, as Google Analytics has been preparing us to embrace the new separation for some time now. By using Universal Analytics, we will be taking fuller advantage of the possibilities offered by Google's analytics tools.
The difference in e-newspaper data from websites and apps
On flash (the web-based digital newspaper), you will notice, from 1 February 2015, that no page view data is provided when using Google Analytics' standard reports. For apps, the page views will initially be missing when your app is upgraded to a new version. As a result, many users will experience a period of time during which page views will no longer available in Google Analytics for a web page, though the function will still be available for apps.
Page views shall still be tracked
We at Visiolink have naturally taken steps to ensure that you will be able to dive down into page view statistics for digital publications in the future. When upgrading your apps after 1 February 2015, we therefore recommend that you make a custom report to track your page views. In early 2015 we will provide more specific information on how you can continue to track page views, and we'll provide instructions on how to set up custom reports for page views, screen views and behaviour flows ‒ both in the form of text and video instructions.
The requirement from Apple is that all new apps submitted as of 1 February must be 64-bit-compatible. 64-bit compatibility was previously optional, whereas 32-bit compatibility was standard. The old version of the Google Analytics SDK is only available in a 32-bit version. Until now, we have used the old API, as this allowed an app to log data to Google Analytics in the same way as a website – and in this way, we have so far had uniform data collection from apps and websites alike.
With the new requirements from Apple, we can no longer be dependent on third-party SDKs that are not fully 64-bit-compatible. This means that, from now on, we will need to use the new method for tracking app data recommended by Google. In other words, we must switch to Google's Universal Analytics.
We have decided to introduce Universal Analytics in all apps - both new and upgrades of existing - that are submitted shortly before and after 1 February.
Visiolink will also take this opportunity to introduce Google Tag Manager, which makes the tracking of data from e-newspapers more flexible, and which in turn gives Visiolink's clients the ability to dive into even more interesting key figures over the course of the new year – without necessarily having to re-submit the app.
We hope you will welcome the new changes to be made concerning data, and we're ready to assist you at any time.