MeasureCamp Stockholm 2023: my takeaways

October 10, 2023 in Web Analytics

The wind and the cold weather accompanied the weekend in Swedish land as I attended Measurecamp in Stockholm. In this post, I’ll gather some tips and thoughts I collected during the sessions I attended.

Make Google Analytics great again [discussion with Googlers]

The fact that traffic from Google Ads is counted as organic within the BigQuery export is not a bug; it was intentionally designed this way by Google’s product team. Therefore, we will need to continue to integrate Google Ads data in the GA4 export.

There won’t be a built-in attribution model within the BigQuery export.

They’ll investigate why some rollup properties only populate with data several days after collection.

There was a request to improve the GA4 course in Skillshop by integrating more general web analytics concepts, similar to what was done in the old course.

The idea of creating a kind of cookbook for custom reports within GA4 was discussed. I’m not entirely convinced about this idea, mainly because the request was made to replicate GA3 reports in GA4.

Then, a series of missing features in the platform’s UI were highlighted, including the ability to export report data in multiple formats, the option to copy table data with CTRL + C (not just right-click), and having the percentage weight of a cell compared to the total column, similar to how it was in GA3.

Automatize GA4 data workflow using Dataform and Terraform

My favourite session of the day was the one by Moritz Bauer, probably because I’ve recently started studying Dataform to understand how it works and how to use it.

He showed how he uses Dataform to create new views/table from GA4 raw data.

As you can see in the image above, Dataform can be used to prepare data for use as a source for dashboards or reporting in general.

He also shared a GitHub repository where he published the Terraform code he uses to automate the entire process.

All tables are automatically updated whenever Google loads GA4 data into the tables. From my perspective, this tool has tremendous potential and is still relatively unexplored.

I’m already conducting tests, and in a few months, I might publish something here explaining what I’m working on.

Bot traffic detection with Analytics Firewall

David Vallejo showcased Analytics Firewall, an application he’s developing with the goal of ensuring data collection is as accurate as possible.

In particular, he focused on how it attempts to determine whether GA4 hits are genuinely from a user or from bot traffic.

His concept is to have a system similar to anti-spam systems in emails.

The application performs a series of checks on IP addresses, geolocation, the number of hits sent, actions taken on the site, etc., to assess the likelihood that a user is a bot or not.

The score can then be used to tag hits or filter them out before sending them to the endpoint.

Git for data analysts

My colleague Claudio Ferrara spoke about Git and why its use is fundamental for a data analyst team.

The world of data is no longer a one-man band but more like an orchestra. That’s why it’s essential to have a system that allows everyone to share code and, most importantly, create variations without overwriting other people’s code.

Let’s make an experimentation dashboard

The Conductrics team then organized a brainstorming session to determine what should be displayed in a dashboard designed to showcase the success of an experimentation program.

One of the conclusions was that it’s impossible to measure the success of an A/B testing program with a single metric because there are various variables at play, and not all tests have a positive impact on revenue.

There was a discussion about the importance of learning from every test, even those that don’t lead to a winning outcome. For example, if the result of a test indicates that a particular feature should not be developed, the outcome might not be increased revenue, but rather resource savings that can be reinvested in other projects.

Another topic of discussion was the due diligence of ideas. Each idea should be carefully evaluated before implementation to avoid impulsive decisions based on someone’s immediate thoughts.

I attended other sessions as well, but I found these to be the most interesting. As always, it’s now time to roll up my sleeves and try out all the new things I learn and the new ideas I have.

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