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What’s in Store for the Google Analytics Suite in 2017

It’s been one year since Google announced the Google Analytics 360 Suite, which brought us many exciting new products like Google Surveys, Google Optimize, and (my personal favorite) Google Data Studio. We’ve seen very little information come out of Google in terms of a 2017 road-map for these products, but just last week, their one year anniversary blog post dropped some hints about what might be in store for 2017. Luckily we won’t have to wait too long for concrete answers, with the Google Marketing Next keynote just around the corner, but I wanted to spend some time speculating what might be coming based on the little information we have from Google so far.

Will We See Any Updates at All?

This is a fair question, given that Google just recently got into the habit of annual updates for the Google Analytics Suite, and nothing is necessarily guaranteed; however, Google did mention in their anniversary blog post that they have “exciting product developments in the works”.

Google has “exciting product developments in the works”

What could these exciting new product developments be? Let’s start the speculation:

“Building a Culture of Growth” — Google Optimize

If you’ve been fortunate enough to be part of the closed beta, you’ll know that Google Optimize is an excellent tool for running A/B/n, Multivariate, and Redirect tests. For those of you that haven’t been able to gain access to the beta, your heartache may soon be alleviated. Mentioning Google Optimize in the first bullet of their blog post, suggests Google has big plans for the product in 2017. It’s possible there will be some minor updates to the product, but I think the “big revel” will be a general release on May 23rd.

“Dealing with Data” — Google Data Studio

Google’s second major bullet from their anniversary post is titled “Dealing with Data” and covers off on all the existing issues surrounding integrating and wrangling data. This little paragraph acts a gentle lob to a Data Studio announcement that knocks user expectations out of the park. I have extremely high hopes for Data Studio in 2017, and even wrote a separate post about the Top 5 features Google should add to it. I’m not expecting my wishlist to be entirely fulfilled, but I believe Google has some big improvements in store. One feature update may have already leaked. Beyond feature updates, Data Studio is also slated to leave beta sometime in Q1, so I assume this will happen much sooner than May.

“Measurement is Sometimes an Afterthought” — Google Analytics

OK, this one is a stretch, but unless Google is simply promoting more proactive campaign planning, which is entirely possible, there may be a major update to Google Analytics hinted at in this paragraph. Have you every been in a situation where someone asks you a specific question about an element of your web property that isn’t tagged — or maybe you start a campaign and later want to see how many conversions were recorded for a goal that hasn’t been set up yet. This is highly speculative, but Google could be preparing a major update for how back-filling data is handled in GA. There are other analytics platforms on the market that do this in various ways, and it would be an absolute godsend to see an update like this from Google.

“Big Plans for the Year Ahead” — Google Attribution and Audience

This final segment from Google, which leads right into remarks about “exciting product developments”, might be the most telling. Google includes language like “ measurement for a multi-screen world” and “more holistic model of measurement”. This sounds a lot like Google is promoting its Attribution and Audience products. It also seems rather strange that Google has a free tier of all of its products except Attribution and Audience. What could this announcement be? Well, to me it’s obvious, Google will announce free closed betas for Attribution and Audience on May 23rd. Fingers crossed!

Anything Else?

Before we get into anything I missed, I should remind you that everything I’ve mentioned above is highly speculative.

So did I miss anything? I’m sure I did, but I’ll leave that you to tell me in the comments section — what did I leave out that you are hoping or expecting to see on May 23rd or later this year?

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Patrick Strickler

Patrick Strickler

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Analyst by trade; interested in all things data, visualization, and story-telling