Lately, we saw a lot of buzz around the new version of Google Analytics. A lot of blogs covered the subject, talking about the new layout and improved features. Google provided us with early beta access to the new version, but after a couple of weeks with this new version we felt it was time to write about what we dislike and miss in the new interface. Some features we often use are missing or completely disappeared. As a result, we often have to fall back to the old layout.
1. No more (scheduled) email reports
We use email reports to send periodical reports to ourselves and our customers. This feature has disappeared completely and we have no clue why it’s gone. It probably has to do with the disappearing of PDF exports as well. Although the interface wasn’t that good, it should not mean they should kill the entire thing.
2. No more exporting to PDF
We make a lot of use of the ability to export data, because not everybody specializes in Google Analytics. By doing this we can provide some of our colleagues with data they normally can’t find or don’t know where to look for. Unfortunately Google removed the possibility to export to XML or PDF, so only exporting to TSV and ‘CSV (for Excel)’ are available.
3. No more weighted sorting
One of the nicest in Google Analytics was weighted sorting, this feature brings you the most interesting rows first by weighting number of visits and other metrics against each other. In the new version weighted sorting disappeared and you have to, like old times, make sense of the data yourself.
4. No more percentage differences when comparing to the past
Another useful feature is the ability to compare stats to the past, but somehow Google removed the most useful metric, the difference as a percentage. I guess you have to take out your Casio yourself now. At the right you can see the old comparison view, which is nice and tight, below you find the new view.
5. No more clickable mini graphs and headers
As you can see in the image to the right, you can no longer click on the header (‘New Visits’). Before you could also click on the small graph to go the relevant page, both functions have been removed. This requires you to move through the menu, which now also has more levels, leading to a lot more clicks and more time spent waiting on the interface to load.
6. No more graphs when filtering
When you filter your results by searching (which requires an extra click now too), the big graph above the table does not change and still contains the graph for all results. This is confusing and also not really useful, as often you want to the see exactly that graph, but for the results you filtered.
7. No more total number of pages with segments
The pagination at, for example, the landings pages report no longer considers segments, and always shows the total amount instead of the amount for the particular segment you’ve selected. The results are empty for pages that are not in your segment. For example, this change removes the possibility to see the total number of unique landingspages for a particular segment. We use the total number of unique landing pages coming through search engines as one of our metrics, the new layout makes it impossible to get this number.
8. No more easy selection of weeks
Like most companies, we use weekly reports and analyse a set of KPIs to get insight in our business. In the old version of Google Analytics it was quite easy to select weeks/ months with one click. In the new version it’s only possible to select a complete month, Google removed the function to select a single week (by clicking on the half circle next to a week, in the old layout).
Ofcourse we searched for answers on why Google removed these features in their latest version. Google explained that the new version of Google Analytics was only in beta and some features mentioned above should be restored in the “final” version. But unfortunately Google announced last week that the new version of Google Analytics is released to everybody, so it looks like these functions are delayed or will never make it into the new version of Analytics.
Beside missing some functions, there are also a lot of improvements: navigating through Google Analytics is easier and the new design makes it more usable. New features like the possibility to measure page loading time are awesome. Eventually we should and want to switch to the new version, but Google should first restore some of the missing functions.
As long as both versions are available, we should be fine. Let’s hope Google eventually moves all features to the new version so we can leave the old one behind for good.