The Google Analytics Add-On for Sheets: An Intro to an Underutilized Tool
Posted by tian_wang
With today’s blog post I’m sharing everything one needs to know about an underappreciated tool: the Google Analytics add-on for Google Sheets. In this post I’ll be covering the following:
Thanks to Moz for having me, and for giving me the chance to write about this simple and powerful tool!
1. What is the Google Analytics add-on and why should I care?
I’m glad I asked. Simply put, the Google Analytics add-on is an extension for Google Sheets that allows you to create custom reports within Sheets. The add-on works by linking up to an existing Analytics account, using Google’s Analytics API and Regular Expressions to filter the data you want to pull, and finally gathering the data into an easy and intuitive format that’s ripe for reporting.
The Google Analytics add-on’s real value-add to a reporting workflow is that it’s extremely flexible, reliable, and a real time-saver. Your reporting will still be constrained by the limitations of Sheets itself (as compared to, say, Excel), but the Sheets framework has served almost every reporting need I’ve come across to date and the same will probably be true for most of you!
In a nutshell, the Add-On allows you to:
- Pull any data that you’d be able to access in the Analytics API (i.e analytics.google.com) directly into a spreadsheet
- Easily compare historical data across time periods
- Filter and segment your data
- Automate regular reporting
- Make tweaks to existing reports to get new data (no more re-inventing wheels!)
If this all sounds like you could use it, read on!
2. Getting started: How to install and set up the Google Analytics add-on
2A. Installing the Google Analytics add-on
- Go into Google Sheets.
- On the header bar, under your Workbook’s title, click add-on.
- This opens a drop-down menu — click “Get add-ons.”
- In the following window, type “Google Analytics” into the search bar on the top right and hit enter.
- The first result is the add-on we want, so go ahead and install it.
- Refresh your page and confirm the add-on is installed by clicking “Add-ons” again. You should see an option for “Google Analytics.”
That’s all there is to installation!
2B. Setting up the Google Analytics add-on
Now that we have the Google Analytics add-on installed, we need to set it up by linking it to an Analytics account before we can use it.
- Under the “Add-ons” tab in Sheets, hover “Google Analytics” to expose a side-bar as shown below.
- Click “Create New Report.” You’ll see a menu appear on the right side of your screen.