The highlighting of 'in addition to' is for a good reason.
EHQ reporting and GA do not stand in competition to each other. Hence we do not recommend you solely rely on GA numbers and reporting, nor do we recommend to rely solely on EHQ reporting. Depending on how you want to explore data and most importantly (!), what you want to find out, GA or EHQ or the combination of the two might give you the data you are after.
Reporting?...that all depends.
Questions about reporting are arriving in our help desk every day, both from users who have been using EHQ for a long time (and have plenty of data to work with) and from users who are just starting with EHQ. The majority of the questions sound like this 'How do I use reporting? What does XYZ tell me?'. Unfortunately our answers usually include 'that all depends' somewhere.
For example, let's assume I look at my reporting and I see a '20' for 'engaged' in my reporting. What does this tell me? Is that good or bad? Am I happy with that or not?...well, that all depends on what I was setting out to do.
In web analytics, there is no right or wrong, no white or black, no good or bad. Numbers are just numbers, and what they tell you depend on what you are asking of them. Before diving into reporting and trying to makes sense of what is presented to you, we highly recommend you spend some time thinking about what you want to find out. First try to understand what the reporting can give you (in terms of raw data) and then set out goals and metrics which you will be able to track with that data.
EHQ or GA?
EHQ reporting is not designed to compete or replace GA. EHQ reporting is specifically designed with online engagement in mind. That means, in EHQ reporting numbers are presented in a way that we think will help you understand your online engagement efforts and impacts better. To learn all about 'EHQ Reporting', click here.
Web analytics are highly complex and very technical in nature. Google have done a great deal of work since 2005 to make web data accessible and they are continuing on improving their reporting based on latest trends and technologies. We do the same at EngagementHQ and you will see our reporting further evolve as we learn more about website usage and online engagement. Again, there is no right or wrong and in fact, website analytics software use different algorithms and logics, which is important because it emphasizes the importance of being careful when comparing the numbers of different web-analytic software.
To summarize, this is what we recommend you do with EHQ and/or GA data:
What we recommend you do:
- Think about metrics, goals and KPIs BEFORE you explore the data
- Think about what you want to use the data for
- Understand what GA and EHQ can deliver you in terms of raw data
- Learn about data analysis in general and web analytics in particular. Many books and blogs have been written about analytics and that is for a reason.
- Use both GA and EHQ to capture different data over time
What we recommend you do NOT do:
- Do not use data before you know what you want to find out / explore.
- Do not expect the numbers to tell the story. YOU have to tell the story based on how you read the numbers.
- Do not blindly compare GA and EHQ numbers.
- Do not jump to conclusions based on raw data. Think about what the numbers mean and what they tell you
- Do NOT forget about your qualitative data. If you are running forums, guestbooks, Q&As and story tools, numbers are maybe not even that interesting. It is the content that gives away the real insight.
NOTE: GA is not able to track EHQ document downloads. This information is available in EHQ exclusively.