GA and GTM documentation
Many years of experience of our professional team in the field of data and analytics have taught us that modern, high-quality and meaningful analytics cannot be done without first-rate and precise documentation. This applies to data collection, i.e. the setup of tools such as Google Tag Manager or Google Analytics, but also to tools from the ETL (extract-transform-load) process, such as Keboola or Google Cloud.
Modern analytics tools and MarTech (marketing technology) systems are becoming more and more complex. It would be madness to rely on one to remember their setting. At the same time, some tool settings are so fundamental that they can completely change the data collected (filtering, data collection conditions, etc.). And those are exactly the settings where you need to know when and why someone made them.
Without documentation and a proper approval process for all website and measurement adjustments, sooner or later your project measurement will get to a dead end.
Why to document?
When setting up measurements or pipelines, you may be thinking, why should I document this, it’s all clear! But the opposite is true. We know from our own experience that after a month you forget what you have set up and where. Such forgetfulness costs you precious time and makes the work on the project frustrating for everyone involved.
Often unnecessary missteps will also occur that will corrupt the data collected. Good examples are complicated situations such as: measuring multiple domains using just one Google Tag Manager container, measuring multiple domains into one analytics system or connecting visits across websites using user ids, etc.
Precise documentation comes in handy especially in these situations:
- Changing employees or managers – if you don’t have documentation, all settings leave with the person who set everything up
- Adding a new subcontractor – a new agency comes into your team and asks how everything is set up, what the goals and conversions are – can you imagine how much time and inconvenience you’ll save by sending them your documentation?
A major website redesign or migration to a new solution – documentation is absolutely crucial for maintaining measurement continuity
Do you think we’re too naive? On the contrary! Our clients appreciate, among other things, the documentation provided, which shows what has actually been set up and how it works. Non-existent documentation can also be a signal that the measurement was set up haphazardly and by someone who did not understand the issue or did not even know how to document such settings. Documentation also opens the way to regular website audits that compare the collected data with the required benchmark.