Comparing Google Analytics Premium (360) and Google Analytics/
September 30, 2015
People often ask “What’s the difference between the standard, free version of Google Analytics and what you get with Google Analytics Premium (now 360)?” Well, we decided to put together a handy comparison one-sheeter to help clarify the differences. Simply enter your email below to get the download link.
The main differences between the standard and premium versions of Google Analytics deal with the volume of and sources of data. Here’s some elaboration on the areas in the comparison chart above.
Both versions of Google Analytics enable you to collect data from websites, mobile apps for iOS and Android, and from custom data sources via the Measurement Protocol. GAP has much higher limits on the amount of data that can be collected, with a tiered set of limits starting at 1 billion per month. It also has additional slots for custom data (custom dimensions & metrics) and more flexibility in organizing your data through higher limits on the number of properties and views you can have within an account. (Sorry I can’t be more specific on the exact limits on properties & views, but they are not public numbers.)
GAP also has Roll-up Properties, which allow you to combine data from multiple properties together (great for large organizations with collections of websites to avoid multiple sets of GA code to enable rolling up sites together).
GA has a variety of integrations with Google advertising platforms—you’re probably already familiar with the AdWords integration. This is a two-way integration which both imports data from AdWords to Analytics (bringing in cost and impression data), as well as allows the export of remarketing lists based on Analytics data to AdWords. GAP includes these features for AdWords as well as DoubleClick platform products DoubleClick Campaign Manager (formerly DoubleClick for Advertisers), DoubleClick Bid Manager, and DoubleClick for Publishers.
In addition to those direct integrations, GA allows importing data from custom data sources, including advertising cost data, product or content data, and more. GAP enhances this with query-time import, meaning we can see imported data with historic data, even if we’ve changed or updated the import after the data was originally collected.
If you were hoping that GAP has some super-secret set of reports you’ve never seen in the standard version of Google Analytics, I’m sorry to disappoint. The table of contents of reports in GAP is pretty much the same (although with expanded opportunities, given the additional data collection and import capabilities described above).
One additional enhancement is in the area of attribution modeling. The standard attribution modeling tool can give some formula-based models for attributing conversions to channels (like first-touch, last-touch, time decay, etc.). But which of those is the “right” model? GAP includes a data driven attribution model, which actually uses an algorithm on your data to understand where different channels make the most impact.
There are also enhanced custom funnel reporting options for GAP clients, enabling better flow reporting for on-site actions across users and sessions.
Just like GAP allows you to collect more data, it also deals with large volumes of data better in reporting. As a reminder, when you request an ad-hoc report (a report that Google Analytics hasn’t already pre-calculated, such as a custom report or a segment applied to a standard report), if the data exceeds a certain number of sessions, Google Analytics employs sampling to achieve answers quickly.
GAP raises the limits for sampling to be much (much!) higher, so you’re much less likely to run into sampling as you explore your data. Sampling is moved to a View level, which means you can help reduce sampling by filtering Views down to smaller sets. If you are still hitting sampling, GAP also has a number of additional tools to prevent or eliminate sampling, like Custom Tables (to pre-aggregate commonly-used custom reports or other sampled data) and the ability to generate completely unsampled reports. Read more about how to access unsampled data here!
Google Analytics has a variety of APIs for reporting and configuration. Again, the differences here are mainly in retrieving large volumes of data—such as unsampled reports.
GAP also allows granular, session-level data to be exported from Google Analytics into BigQuery, Google’s big data storage and querying tool. This allows more complex analysis or exporting data into a data warehouse.
Last but certainly not least, when you purchase GAP through a reseller like LunaMetrics, there are services built in. At a minimum you get a contractual service-level guarantee about the availability of Google Analytics and a support analyst to call or email with questions and problems.
As part of receiving the subscription to Google Analytics Premium from LunaMetrics, we include hundreds of hours of help to do project work for you. We do that for the first year that we work with you and then again for every year thereafter. We’ll typically bundle upfront strategy and guidance, full service implementations, followed by expert analysis. Plus, we’ll include onsite training services customized to meet your needs to give you the total package to set you up for success with Google Analytics.
As added perks, Google Analytics Premium clients often get to participate in events with Google, such as the annual Google Analytics Summit, as well as early access to beta programs and product feedback.
The main differences between the standard and premium versions of Google Analytics deal with handling larger volumes of data, in collection, integrations with DoubleClick, unsampled reporting, and export to BigQuery. Download the chart at the top of this post for a handy reference guide!