Google Analytics, the most popular reporting tool in the world, is getting 4 new functions for more user-centric insights. As brands are struggling to define their business and to deliver experiences according to customer’s expectations, it’s becoming increasingly important to understand how users engage across devices and channels and how they use your products.  
After Google Analytics added Natural Language Queries, to ease the life of marketers and junior analysts across the globe, it would seem that Google is continuing the trend and it’s using more and more machine learning capabilities across its tools.
1. Reports will now have an even higher focus on users thanks to new feature updates
Standard reports in Google Analytics can now focus more on your users. Since user metrics are paramount to understanding engagement, Google states that with the updated standard reporting you can see immediately how many users come to your site from paid search, alongside seeing the number of sessions. You no longer have to go through a different acquisition report to see that.
In order to enable this feature, you need to go in your GA account to Admin – Property Settings and choose the toggle labeled Enable Users in Reporting.
2. Measure lifetime metrics and dimensions for every user
Another updated tool is the User Explorer. GA added lifetime metrics and dimensions for individual users, based on the lifetime of their cookie. This will give marketers a much more detailed way to analyze their visitors and customers.
Check here to see how to setup the user-ID feature
Using this new feature, you can look at the total time an individual spent on a specific page, or the total number of transactions the individual made on your website.
“The Lifetime Value report lets you understand how valuable different users are to your business based on lifetime performance. For example, you can see lifetime value for users you acquired through email or paid search. With that information in hand, you can determine a profitable allocation of marketing resources to the acquisition of those users.”

Image Source: Google Analytics Blog. New lifetime metrics and dimensions for individual users in User Explorer.

In order to check lifetime data, you need to sign in to your Google Analytics, navigate to your View, open Reports and select Audience – Lifetime value.
There are two elements taken into consideration in your Lifetime Value report: The first one is the Acquisition data range, which is identifying the data range during which you acquired users. For example, you can examine data for users acquired during a one-day campaign on Christmas.
The second element taken into consideration is the X-Axis in the graph. According to Google, Lifetime value is currently a maximum of 90 days.
“The X-axis of the graph is divided into increments (Day, Week, Month) of that 90-day period, starting with the date of acquisition, which can be any time during the Acquisition Date Range. The graph illustrates how cumulative metric values change over the user lifetime.”
Check here to see how metrics are calculated:
3. Audiences in reporting
GA added the option to publish any audience to a new report, to make it easier to interpret data. To do this, you just need to go to the new Audience report and have a look at all the audiences you’ve created.
Previously, Google Analytics would give you the option to create audiences and export them to other products, such as AdWords, but you could not publish them to Analytics for reporting.

Image Source: Google Analytics Blog. You can now publish your audiences into Analytics and then view reporting in the Audiences report

4. Conversion Probability
Another interesting new feature that Google introduced with the latest GA update is Conversion Probability, which will allow you to reach those users that are most likely to convert.
Conversion Probability is a metric that takes user-based metrics to the next level, by showing the probability of a given user to convert in the future.
According to Google, the calculation is based on a machine learning model that learns from users who have made transactions in the past.
Marketers should now be able to use this new metric to create remarketing lists with users who are most likely to convert, and then target those particular users with their prefered messages.

Image Source: Google Analytics Blog.

By trimming the “wild goose chase” factor, advertisers and marketers alike should receive considerable help in better understanding their audience and better spending their money.
In order to see the Conversion Probability Report, you need to sign in to Google Analytics, navigate to your view, open Reports and then, from Audience – Behavior, choose Conversion Probability.
Keep in mind that Conversion Probability data is delayed by 24 hours, as this report depends on complete processing of the daily-aggregate tables.
About the author

Sebastian Stan

Sebastian is a journalist and digital strategist with years of experience in the news industry, social media, content creation and management, and digital analytics.

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