Setting up an analytics software for your site is already a given if you want to succeed in your online endeavor. I have used a few analytics and tracking software but am most comfortable and satisfied with Google Analytics for a couple of reasons – first, Google Analytics is easy to install and access (they even have a mobile app now so I can see my site stats on my smartphone) and second, Google Analytics data can be shared with others. The second reason is good especially if you are working with other individuals or a team.
However, the problem that arises from having multiple users viewing your site’s Google Analytics data is keeping the data in tact and making sure that your analytics data is protected and managed well. The good news is Google Analytics provides the option to create different views of your website stats. In fact, it is part of Google’s best practice to create multiple views of the data of your website or “property” as called in Google Analytics.
Log in to your Google Analytics account and click the tab “Admin”. You will see three columns, the first is the “Account”, the second column is the “property” and the third is the “View”. Below are three simple but very helpful steps to help you manage and safeguard your Google Analytics data:
1. Do not apply any configurations or settings to the “All Website Data”, which is the default view under your property. This view is known as the “unfiltered view” and contains all the data of your website since the installation of your tracking code.
2. Create a second view for testing. This can be done by clicking “View Settings” in the third column. On the next page, click “Copy View” and rename the view. A suggested name is “(site name) test view”. If you wish to change the settings or configuration to make your analysis easier and more efficient, test them in this view first.
Why? Because any change in configuration or setting you have made on the “All Website Data” will be processed by Google and inserted into the database and they can’t be changed anymore. That’s why it is recommended to do this step as soon as you install the Google Analytics tracking code. If you haven’t done this, please know that when you create a new view in Google Analytics, the historical data in not copied automatically to the new view. The data that will be available for the new view is from the date you created the view.
3. Create a third view which will serve as your master or main view. Whatever settings or configurations you changed in the test view, once you have made sure that your changes are final and there are no more things to correct, you can apply those same changes to this view. Now, when you look at your site’s stats, you use this view instead of using the unfiltered view.
By doing this, you always have a back up of your site’s stats. If you make a mistake in your configurations or settings, you can always go back to “All Website Data” and copy that view and re-configure. These three simple steps has helped me back up and protect my Google Analytics data and it can help you as well because it is part of the Google Analytics’ best practices.