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Coordinating analytics reports across the team can feel more like a hit than a progressive workflow. Who is responsible for updating an analytical report? Who should be notified when reports are updated? Who no longer needs to be notified?
To make Google Analytics reporting less important, users should check access management. That way, you can answer questions about reporting and avoid the blame game when reporting goes wrong.
Understand the reporting structure in Google Analytics
Creating a team plan for Google Analytics workflows begins with understanding the hierarchy of accounts, properties, and data views. An account is what your team logs into to view administrative settings and related reports.
A property should assign an analysis measurement to an app, website or landing page. Teams can choose to display website or app metrics or subsections of websites or apps in separate views. The view is the presentation layer for Google Analytics as you see dimensions and metrics in a report.
Accounts act as the organizational “parent” to properties and views. Your team will organize reports and views based on the websites, apps, or landing pages to be included in a Google Analytics account.
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Understand Google’s access management
Google provides two access management functions in the admin to make adjustments to the account structure. One is set on account and the other is property. By arranging access by account and ownership, administrator permissions are tailored to the permissions of individual users. A company could restrict access to certain properties and give responsibility to just one team, rather than giving the entire team responsibility for editing the entire account.
There are four settings for access management. Manage users Here you change the user permissions. To change permissions, add or delete the email address associated with a specific team member. That Edit This setting allows you to customize the report view. That Working together The setting enables further editorial adjustments – at this level several people can create and edit common assets such as dashboards, report segments or even custom reports. That Read and analyze – Setting allows users to view reports and configurations without having access to edit settings. This is perfect for managers who need to see the result of the dashboards or custom reports without being involved in their creation.
The four settings give administrators the flexibility to determine who needs edit access and to assign the report or group of reports to which they have access.
Google updated these access modules after receiving feedback on the limited amount of administrator settings in Google Analytics’ early years. The standard practice then was to add a primary user’s email to an account. However, if that person no longer had access – due to team changes or if they were absent for an extended period of time – downstream users were unable to access some reports. This forced users to share account logins to avoid continuity issues when accessing reports. A few years ago, Google introduced the updated administrative access functions to avoid such scenarios.
Related Article: How to Use GA4’s Features to Unlock Marketing and Conversion Insights
How analytics teams can get the most out of GA4 settings
A previous post discussed the need to ask specific questions when working in analytics. This peculiarity extends to the decision of who should see GA4 reports and when reports should be analyzed. Share the basic questions the report should answer, schedule the analytical reports, tags, and tools as needed, and then give the key analysts who track the data access to report editing. Too many cooks in the account settings can be disastrous, so having proper access between editing or viewing allows everyone involved to review the reports as needed. Following this procedure will establish your rules for running a useful analytics workflow with your team.
Google also provides a historical view of account access changes. From the Property Settings menu, select Property History. A list of the changes made to the property is displayed, including who changed it, the implementation date, and which property is affected. The date range is adjustable to show the full history. The list can be useful for understanding the full background of user access in order to make decisions about what to do next.
Most of these settings are straightforward so you don’t need to consult a consultant here. However, if your team implements GA4 with a consulting agency, discuss how to organize the administrator settings. It defines how reporting is managed and can highlight what analytical tagging should be done. This gives everyone involved a common, complete familiarity with the expected reporting workflow in your company.
It also highlights potential concerns with the team reviewing campaign results in the reports, from optimization tasks to knowing who has access to privacy compliance. Many steps do not lead to an immediate answer. But communicating openly about these attitudes will push teams to move forward together.
Pierre DeBois is the founder of Zimana, a digital analytics consultancy for small businesses. He reviews data from web analytics and social media dashboard solutions and then gives recommendations and web development actions that improve marketing strategy and business profitability.