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Sofiann McKerrell
21st Jul, 2017

The “ask a question” functionality has finally been added to Google Analytics and Google Analytics 360, making data retrieval much quicker and more convenient for webmasters.

In this new feature, users only need to ask a question, such as “How many users did we get from organic search in July” and the exact number will be returned. It’s a nice touch from Google who are obviously keen on making data more accessible and interpretable.

data assistant

(Photo by MarketingLand. http://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2016/05/IMG_6153_2_JPG.png)

This functionality is the result of Google’s plan to use natural language to get data from Analytics. The goal is to eliminate the need for site owners to rely on data analysts or the need to familiarise the Google Analytics interface in a more comprehensive manner.

What Analytics Intelligence Is All About

“Ask a question” or Analytics Intelligence is built on the automated insights used on Google Now that was customised according to the kinds of insights and data the person logged-in has engaged with. It relies on the tech giant’s artificial intelligence technology that was previously used solely in search and other consumer applications.

google analytics intelligence

(Screenshot from Google Analytics blog. https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2Wrx7xxtvNY/WW1SSo3XO5I/AAAAAAAADKY/y4uK9R-drEIQjIvdJSN-ILqUpaMxR4CAwCLcBGAs/s640/NY557%2B-%2BGif%2B-%2B360p%2B%25281%2529.gif)

It can be likened to Siri or Google Now.

Analytics Intelligence was first introduced during the Google Performance Summit by Google’s Babak Pahlavan, showcasing what the company can do with the use of machine learning. The newly added capability was years in the making but is now ready for use.

Analytics Intelligence is available in both mobile and desktop version. Users can access it through a circle icon with dots found on the upper right corner.

On mobile, users can use voice to surface data while, on the desktop, they can type their question into a query box that will appear on every page in Analytics. Users must first click on the Analytics Intelligence icon to access the new feature on either mobile or desktop.

analytics intelligence

(Screenshot from Google Analytics blog. https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2Wrx7xxtvNY/WW1SSo3XO5I/AAAAAAAADKY/y4uK9R-drEIQjIvdJSN-ILqUpaMxR4CAwCLcBGAs/s640/NY557%2B-%2BGif%2B-%2B360p%2B%25281%2529.gif)

According to Google, around 20% of the more than 700,000 monthly app users of Google Analytics check automated insights in Intelligence every month.

What benefits do “Asking a question” bring to businesses and organisations?

  • Less time clicking around Google Analytics, more time strategising.
  • Provide a shortcut to access specific data they need anytime.
  • Convenient access to Analytics that helps get more things done in a short amount of time.

With the time needed to access to Google Analytics shortened, webmasters and organisations will have more time to focus on core competencies and other crucial business functions.