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Best GA tool ever: the Change (Delta) chart

delta chartToday, I want to write about the GA “change chart.” You might even call it, the delta chart. Or, the red and green chart (Note: If you come to our Google Analytics Training Day in New York City, June 4 2008 at the Harvard Club, you’ll hear us talk about this specific topic right before lunch.) I am sure this chart has a great name, and I just don’t know what it is.

Here is where the chart capabilities sit (see screen shot at left) the best kept secret in Google Analytics. Notice how it is in the far right of the GA interface, immediately below the graph and above all the lines of reporting. The red arrow is mine, and points to exactly which chart I am loving – because you can get the regular grid, a pie chart, a bar chart, or — ta da! — the delta chart.

When you click on it, you suddenly have data in context. For example, consider this site, engineering-education.com. They work in two areas, statics and finite element analysis. I can use the delta chart to compare how well certain keywords performed, as compared to the rest of the keywords on keywords and GAthe site — like this the screenshot here. Notice how his branded keywords (mini FEA, minifea, etc) – and in fact, most things related to finite element analysis — do well, but a generic term like “engineering education” — which this site, would seem to want desperately — does not convert at all for FEA goals.

But that’s not all. No, that’s not all. (As the Cat in the Hat might say.) When you are in “compare date range” mode, the green and red bars automatically change to do a date comparison. So notice how referrals (in the screen shot below, which compares media this month with media last month) are just not working as well for this company as they dreferrals delta GAid last month. On the other hand, organic is way up, as a conversion rate. So now they have the context to go drill down and understand why they are “doing better” in organic and “doing worse” in referral. (A bonus for the SEO guy?)

Well anyway, now you have seen one of my favorite charts in GA. Come to NYC and learn more at our training.


Robbin Steif

About Robbin Steif

Our owner and CEO, Robbin Steif, started LunaMetrics ten years ago. She is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Business School, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Digital Analytics Association. Robbin is a recent winner of a BusinessWomen First award, as well as a Diamond Award for business leadership.


4 Responses to “Best GA tool ever: the Change (Delta) chart”

martin says:

Have you ever checked your GA figures against your server logs? If you have you will more than likely find that GA is not accurate. In fact during my my research GA has been as much as 30% under reporting. People really need to find out how accurate GA is on there site before using it for tracking and as a reliable resource for stats.

Robbin says:

Martin, client side analytics like GA should not be compared to server side analytics.

Mark says:

Wow! That’s a great feature, you are right! Thanks :)

Travesti says:

great feature thank you.