What to know to audit Google Analytics and your website
PAGE Inspector v DATA Inspector?
Two tools that compliment each other:
The DATA Inspector audits your Google Analytics properties. You grant persmission and the tool inspects your data via the Google Analytics API, drilling down and applying “decision tree” logic to assess its accuracy.
The PAGE Inspector is a website crawler. You set the geolocation, browser type, number of pages to crawl, and importantly, what consent choice applies. It then maps out all cookies set and tracking/marketing pixels that load. And verifies that only certain cookies/pixels are used with the correct consent choice.
Do you have an API?
Yes for the DATA Inspector – see this API reference. The PAGE Inspector API is in development.
Can I audit both Universal Analytics and GA4 properties?
Yes, no problem.
What's the difference between a Free v Paid account?
They are both the same great tool with detailed checks – the free version will meet the needs of most sites. That said, the paid version has more horsepower for larger enterprises. Typically, this applies if you are an agency, consultancy, or an in-house team that manages multiple web properties and/or handles large quantities of data.
We are bias, but think our pricing model is a no-brainer.
How long does a Google Analytics audit take?
A DATA Inspector audit takes between 1-2 minutes, depending on the volume of data to check. The longest part is checking for PII.
A PAGE Inspector audit depends on how many pages you crawl. It must wait for each page and its assets to download before testing (excluding images and videos). It also listens to your server response times so that it does not interfer with performance. Therefore as an guestimate, allow 4 seconds per page.
As an agency, can we audit multiple clients within our account?
Yes, you can audit up to 25 websites by default – we call these projects. Historical audits are saved for 12 months and you can even re-use a project if it is no longer needed. If you need more than 25 projects, just let us know.
Can I export my audit results data?
Yes, either by exporting audit results as a csv file, or programatically via our API.
Can I setup multiple Verified Data accounts?
A Verified Data account is owned by your organisation. Create one for your company/agency, then add your colleagues later as well as more client website projects. You manage all the sites you are responsible for within a single organisation account.
If personal data (PII) is found in my Google Analytics account, do you also store it?
No personal data is stored on our servers. Our intelligent algorithms flag any suspicious personal data found, then our scrubbing routines remove the suspected match during processing i.e. in memory. See the PII Reference Guide.
How accurate are the checks for personal information (PII)?
We have a cookie banner for GDPR compliance, can it be verified as working correctly?
Yes. Our PAGE Inspector verifies the consent options of your website. For example, you define the consent choice before starting a crawl. You can run further audits with a different consent choice to verify which cookies are set and what tracking/marketing pixels fire for each consent setting.
How often can I audit my data?
Bear in mind that Google Analytics has limits on using its APIs. Websites have limits on how often they can be crawled.
For manual audits, we suggest one audit per hour. Verified Data allows you to schedule audits every 7, 14 or 30 days.
We are an agency, how can we use this tool to pitch?
This is a major selling point of Verified Data. You can run an audit to assess a prospects data quality and fix requirements – allowing you to go to the meeting fully prepared. See our agency page.
What is the benefit of a software data audit versus a human audit?
Manual audits are certainly possible and a systematic method to do this is described in detail in the book Successful Analytics by Brian Clifton (PhD). But as Brian points out, it’s painful and prone to errors. And because websites generate so much data, a manual audit can only cover a small fraction of the haystack – the needles being searched for can easily be missed.
The scanning and verification of large volumes of data is perfect for machines. Humans are best used to figure out the fixes.
I am a Google Analytics expert, why do I need an audit?
Even experts need help due to constant changes and the evolving nature of the web. In fact the Verified Data project started off as an in-house tool to help Brian Clifton (a Google Analytics expert!) be more efficient with his time and be able to have the concrete confidence to present data insights at board level for clients.
As an agency, how can Verified Data grow my business?
- Save money: Free up staff resources so you can grow your business and not have to constantly worry about data quality and data compliance.
- Make money: You can make money by providing an independent data quality/auditing service. However, identifying and providing the fixes is where the money is.
- Generate new business: Go to clients with an audit prepared so you can pitch intelligently. If you don’t get the business, simply re-use the project for a different site audit.
See our agency page.