google analytics cannot collect data from which systems by default?

by Mohammed March 04, 2021
google analytics cannot collect data from which systems by default

The answer to the question “Google Analytics cannot collect data from which systems by default?” is: Offline inventory database

Google Analytics collects valuable data from mobile devices, online point-of-sale systems, and websites. So, all three of them are the wrong answers.

Google Analytics is an awesome tool for analysts who want to take their business to the next level by using data to make well-informed marketing decisions.

Although Google Analytics is not equipped to collect data from any offline source, you can import your data into Google Analytics to combine all your marketing data in one place. We will discuss the procedure later in the article.


Why Google Analytics Can’t Collect Some Data and Is There Any Solution to That?

We already answered the question: Google Analytics cannot collect data from which systems by default?

Now let’s see why?

Google analytics is equipped to collect data from the sources it can link to. For instance, you place a tracking code at the back end of your website that helps the analytics tool to track the users visiting that website.

However, if you want to gather information from other sources, you can always upload a file. The “import data” feature of Google Analytics allows you to merge online and offline data and can provide you with better insight, driving better marketing decisions.

Now, let’s see how Google Analytics collects your data.


How Google Analytics Collect Data

Basically, you place a tracking code into your website, and Google analytics uses that tracking code to collect the information about your website visitors.

Let’s get into a little more detail.

When you log into your Google Analytics account, go to the “admin” option on the bottom left of the dashboard.

google analytics cannot collect data from which systems by default

You’ll see different options under your account and property. Click on “Tracking info”.

google analytics cannot collect data from which systems by default

A drop-down menu will appear. Click on “Tracking Code”.

google analytics cannot collect data from which systems by default

You’ll be shown the tracking code for your property/website.

google analytics cannot collect data from which systems by default

Copy this code. Now, you’ll have to paste it into the header.php file of your WordPress website’s theme.

Don’t worry, it’s easy to do.  Just follow the steps that I will mention below. So, let’s take a look at how you can do that.

Log in to your WordPress dashboard. Then click on “Appearance” and from there go to “Theme editor”.

wordpress theme editor

WordPress will take you to the theme editor where you can edit the code of your website. Just be sure that you don’t change anything else in your website’s code. Click on “header.php”.

wordpress header php

Remember the code you copied from your Google Analytics account? Paste it before the “</head>” tag.

wordpress insert tracking id google analytics

Again, don’t change anything else in your code. Now click on “Update File” to complete the code insertion process.

wordpress insert tracking id google analytics

The method I described above is the manual way to add the tracking code to your website. You can also use a WordPress plugin; it will set up the tracking for you automatically.

There are a lot of plugins that insert your tracking code automatically. One of the best ones is MonsterInsight. In addition to that, it allows you also to see Google analytics data within your WordPress dashboard.

This tracking code allows Google Analytics to collect information about the people that land on your website and take certain actions.


What are the Data Google Analytics Collect?

Google Analytics collects valuable data from quite a few sources. The systems include mobile devices, online point-of-sale systems, and websites. But, it doesn’t collect data from the offline inventory database.

Data Collected from Websites

The most important data that Google can collect is from websites.

You don’t want your website visitors to leave without fully informing them and exhausting all your marketing tactics, do you?

Google Analytics collects data that allows you to retarget your website visitors. So, if someone doesn’t make a buying decision on your website on the first visit, you can ask them to reconsider later, by offering a freebie or a deal.

The data that Google Analytics may collect from a website includes:

      • Time spent on a webpage
      • Time of visit
      • Number of visited pages
      • Details of the referring site (the site from which the visitor comes)
      • Web browser details
      • IP address
      • OS type

Google Analytics doesn’t limit you to website tracking. It can track data from the below sources:

      • Apps
      • Telephone (more on it later)
      • Point of sale
      • And even more

How to Set Up App Install Tracking for Mobile Apps?

Google Analytics also let you track your visitors that come to your site from mobile apps. The “Install tracking” feature sends relevant data from mobile apps to your Google Analytics account.

In Android phones, the feature is pre-installed. Whereas, for iOS devices, you can take the following steps:

      • Sign in to your Google Analytics account
      • Click “Admin” and navigate to your property
      • Now, click on “Property Settings” under the property column
      • Turn the toggle ON in the iOS campaign tracking section and click “Save”

Now, let’s see how you can import offline data into your Google Analytics account.


How Can You Import Offline Data

Although Google Analytics cannot collect data from offline sources by default, with a few simple steps, you can have your external data added to Google analytics.

This way, you can use both the Google analytics data and your offline business data for better results.

Let’s get started with the step by step guide.

Log into your Google Analytics account and go to “Admin” at the bottom left of the screen.

google analytics cannot collect data from which systems by default

You’ll be redirected to a page where you can see your listed properties. Under the property you want to add data to, you’ll see an option “Data import”.

Click on it.

google analytics offline data

You can now create a new data set.

google analytics offline data set

google analytics offline data set type

Select the data set type you want to import.  Create the data set to be able to import your external data.

google analytics data set

For this example, I selected “Custom data”. Name your data set and select views.

Then, choose the data set schema

google analytics data set schema

Save the file.

google analytics imported data

Now, you can upload a file to add an external data to your Google analytics account.

google analytics upload file

After uploading your external data file, you can use the online and offline data to get a deeper insight into your audiences and make data-driven marketing decisions.


How to Setup Google Analytics Offline Tracking?

We have seen now how you can import offline data from a file into your google analytics account.

In addition to that, you can even track your website visitors that come from offline sources like a television/radio or even print advertisement.

Let’s see how you can set up Google analytics offline tracking.

1.   Create a Vanity URL

Vanity URLs are easy-to-remember URLs that redirect to your landing page.

So, if someone is watching a TV commercial sees your vanity URL, he or she can easily type it into the web search bar and reach you.

2.   Create a Landing Page

This is the landing page you want your ad viewers to reach. The destination page is optimized around the call to action (CTA) that you used in your advertisement.

Depending on the ad they saw, the goal of the landing page can vary. You can get the visitors to sign up for your newsletter, buy your product, or fill out a form.

3.   Add UTM Parameters to the Destination URL

This is where you let Google analytics track offline users. Adding UTM parameters to the destination URL lets the tool collect information about offline visitors.

Create a URL from the Campaign URL Builder

campaign url builder google analytics

Insert the destination URL into the “Website URL” location.

Campaign source, campaign medium, and campaign name help in campaign identification. Once you create the campaign URL, copy it to the clipboard.

4.   Redirect from Vanity URL to Destination URL

To let visitors land on your destination URL, you need to redirect them from vanity URL to destination URL. The best way to do that is by setting up 301 redirections.

You don’t have to be a coder to redirect one URL to another. If you are using WordPress, you can simply use a plugin.

After setting up offline tracking, make sure your vanity URL is getting hits. You can verify that by using real-time reports.

This was a simple 4-step process of creating offline advertisement tracking with Google analytics.

Bonus: set up call tracking.

Go to Google analytics partners gallery and select “Find a solution”. Then select “Phone call tracking” from the drop-down list.

A list of apps will appear. Chose any app of your choice and follow the instructions to set up call tracking with Google analytics.


Final Thoughts

Offline inventory database is the right answer to the question: “Google Analytics cannot collect data from which systems by default?”

Google Analytics can collect data from the other three sources, namely: Mobile devices, websites, and online point-of-sale systems.

The process of data collection is simple. There is a tracking code under every property in your Google Analytics account.

You just have to copy that code and paste it at the back end of your website.

You can either do that manually (placing the code in the header.php file) or you can use a WordPress plugin to do the job for you. 

Google Analytics is an excellent tool for businesses that want to make data-driven marketing decisions.

The analytics tool not only allows you to collect data from your website but also lets you upload a file and merge offline data with online data.



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