Of all the complimentary third-party connectors and template packs released thus far in Microsoft’s Power BI Preview, Google Analytics is by far my personal favorite! Hmmm…looking through a few test reports generated from March 15 to March 27, I can clearly see that I need to do a much better job reaching Iceland business intelligence and analytics pros. Shhhh, don’t tell my boss.
If you want to see your own blog, web site, app or ad campaign performance with Google Analytics then check out this new connector. You merely log in and see immediate results. Easy, customizable, mobile-ready Google Analytics dashboards and reports are automatically generated for you. If you prefer to roll you own reporting views by combining Google Analytics data with another data source like a marketing budget or demographics research, no problem. The connectors provide deep access into available Google Analytics views and fields.
In addition to the Google Analytics web connector in PowerBI.com, there is also a connector in the free Power BI Designer desktop app. You can download Power BI Designer from https://www.powerbi.com/dashboards/downloads/, create free-form Google Analytics reports and upload those to PowerBI.com to share or view them from a web browser or within the new native mobile BI apps for iOS.
Setting up a Google Analytics Account
Note: If you already have a Google Analytics account and connection info, you can skip to the next section for Getting Started with Power BI.
To test out this new offering, I needed to create a Google Analytics account for my blog and add a tracking code snippet into my header HTML code. To do that, I simply followed Add basic page tracking instructions from Google’s online help. The tracking snippet enables collection of web site traffic referral, user characteristics, browsing and other data to be stored in your Google Analytics account for reporting.
Getting Started with Power BI
Now on to the fun part! Log into your PowerBI.com account and connect to your Google Analytics account. Theresa, a fantastic peer of mine on the Power BI engineering team, also wrote up the official blog with more detailed instructions.
1. Click the Get Data link at the top of the navigation pane
2. Click Google Analytics and then click Connect. Important: Please do not move away from this page while the connection is being created
3. The template pack connects to a specific Google Analytics View. Provide your Account name, Property name and View name that you’d like to report on. Note Google Account log on info is case-sensitive. The info you need can be found in the top right corner when you’re signed into Google Analytics.
4. When prompted, enter your Google Analytics credentials. Select OAuth2 as the Authentication Mechanism and click Sign In. Follow the Google authentication flow, which may include two factor authentication if you have it configured.
5. Click Accept to allow Power BI to access your Google Analytics stored data.
6. Click Connect to begin the automated dashboard and report creation process. That is it! Once completed, your Google Analytics dashboard and underlying reports will now appear for you to explore and optionally customize.