Don’t use Google Analytics like Mr. Bean! Part 2

Instead, try using Google Analytics the way Rowan Atkinson uses humor in acting, like a master.

The following section focuses on the “Why`s” of your Google Analytics Account Setup and Settings. In other words, it’s a great series of insights you should read before navigating and setting up your account, property, views, and Google Analytics users.

Also, thank you for helping me become the “Rowan Atkinson” of Google Analytics, a noble and gracious aspiration ;). Most of this information is a summary of what I thought was most insightful on Chris Mercer’s course “intro to Google Analytics”.


Introduction to Google Analytics part 2

This article focuses on the relationship between users, accounts, permissions, properties and views. These are the first things to think about when setting up a Google Analytics account. And like any project, good foundations enable great results.

If you need specific step by step Please look up “current” setup of Google analytics tutorials, ideally from the source, but you can also let Google tell you where to search for answers, whenever you do this, I´m sure it’s faster than me repeating a soon to be an outdated process. The following are higher-level insights more on the “why” than the “how”. They are for you to know before you make an account because they will help you set it up correctly.

¿How should you manage Google Analytics users?

User permissions are tools that you should use in your strategy, empowering different people from your organization to access this information.

Google Analytics allows you to create users at three different security clearance levels based on Google Analytic’s “View” structure:

  • At an account level, with full access to all properties and all views for that account.
  • At a property level, with full access to all views in that property.
  • At view level, with access to that view specifically.

For each security clearance, you may assign (or might be assigned to you) certain “powers” or user permissions.


¿Best strategy for using views and user permissions?

There is no “best” strategy, because your project is probably facing some or many unique factors, and G.A. was set up to be a tool for as general a use as possible. There are a general structure and a way of looking at Google Analytics that you can acquire to operate Google productively.

Whenever you look at google, you are looking at a “View”.

Whenever you look at google, you are looking at a “View”, as opposed to a property or an entire account. The default is the “All website data view” and you have full access to everything if you are the account owner or have administrative privileges.

Also, if you assign administrative privileges at an account level to other people in your organization, you are also subject to being removed from an account because the new admin you set up was granted that “power” by you. So think really hard before giving someone else the full administrative power of an account. Managing User Settings.

How to think of Users, Filters and Views

Use “filters” at property and account levels to reduce the noise and enhance the information that helps you or your collaborators understand the “story” of what is going on in your website or application.

Different roles will have different objectives and will need different “Views” of that information. Your organization’s privacy and security policies should also be taken into account when creating a specific view for specific users.

The magic of google analytics, from my point of view, is that it gives you immediate feedback on your own KPI´s digital performance at a user level, opening up the “process” to try different approaches to improve their results.

As the digital migration of businesses happens, more and more “role-specific” KPI data can be gathered and shared to improve a person’s performance based on their particular personality, way of working, strengths, and particular ways of solving problems. So, in this respect, Google analytics is a great tool for web-based business and web based organizations.

Providing automated feedback on specific KPIs, which optimally are the responsibility of specific people in your organization enables each member of your team to self-optimize.

Ideally, every member of your organization could potentially be able to see their KPI performance in real-time and analyze it to self-optimize or self-correct. To make this happen, management would focus on communicating expected results instead of expected behavior from your collaborators, the latter being a fallback resource for people who are not being able to reach their expected goals in time. This enables a “creative” kind of synergy.

An account creation “insights” check list:

  • When creating an account, use a specific “Master” Gmail account. This should be managed by the organization’s most trusted and technically savvy person because you don´t want to lose access to your asset.
  • Selecting the correct industry category in the account creation helps provide a better context for google insights.
  • Time Zones can vary from person to person, from user to user, from campaign scope to general strategy, and even have a mix of time zones in a given scenario, so for sake of clarity and best practice, choose the Servers time zone as your default time zone.
  • The UA-XXXXX-X is your Tracking ID. Properties have different tracking id´s and as they are classified by Google Analytics as UA-account number-Property number.
  • When creating an account, create the following properties:
    • Make the default property is a “Fake” or “Decoy” property because spambots and other unfriendly bots usually target the default property (1) so, it’s best to use UA-XXXXX-(not 1) for your real data properties, make sure you label them as such.
    • Use different properties for different non-independent digital assets, for example, The organization’s Wiki and training data used only by the company members, so that is one property. The Blog, website, and App made for its Teenage userbase product sales, that’s another property. Inside that property, you can create separate views for each interdependent digital asset. Also, this allows for cross-domain analysis of the relevant interacting “parts” of your digital strategy.
    • At view level, make sure you have and name the following assets:
      • A master view, where you have pristine, unfiltered data. Name it a backup or master, or something obvious, like “natural” data.
      • A Testing View: O many testing views, some can be labeled “free to delete” whenever you finish working with the data. Tests can vary from testing tracking and filters to specific tracking and testing environments like “” or “”. So, depending on your organizational model and size, you might need to talk with the geek, the developer, DevOps master, or even CTO. As your G.A. data will be the eyes, ears, nose, and other sensors of the “driver” (Your, your directive team, etc) of the “organism” that is your organization. Test first, keep un-related data separate. To have mixed data is to have mixed senses, you´ll crash if you don´t know where you’re going.
      • A Production view, this is like a “master” view, I use it to exclude everything that is not the end-user and their behavior on the site. It’s the place where you will get your optimization data for analysis, insights that will later become optimization hypothesis to be classified and optimized.
  • When managing users, make sure you understand what is the specific information they need to perform their role, to then define the kind of view that they need and the permissions they can have within that view, or property or even account level privileges.
  • Make sure your site is “law compliant” legal team, advisor or you know and can ensure legal compliance in all of the data you are collecting, especially the data that is not being collected by default, that you need to “enable”.
  • You can change the names of labels, views, and property, the only thing you can´t change in a property, is the AU´s. Make sure they make sense and are part of an overall data analysis strategy.

*The cover photo is taken from a scene from Mr. Bean travels to America. Very funny, you should watch it.

Rowan Atkinson on “Operation”, on the movie “Bean”.
J.F. Aguilar

Juan F. Aguilar is a web advisor, a Psychologist and self taught web developer, with over 18 years of experience empowering people to leverage web technologies in a smart and cost effective way. Specifcially in UX, CRO and SEO. Juan has helped over hundreds of web based projects increase their utilities, either as a private contractor or consultant. He has worked with big fast growing brands like,,, and to small and medium sizef businesses trying to maximize their lead generation and general online strategy and results. Connect with Juan on LinkedIn I also write about important social issues of our current times, that are probably very relevant for you, you can find theme here.

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