Discussion group for Government Web Metrics/Analytics.
How are Federal websites using Google Analytics now (and next)?
April 29, 2010 at 11:43 pm #99463
This is a conversation I’ve wanted to start and this group seems the perfect venue…
As a Google Analytics Certified Partner, my firm was excited to hear about Google Analytics being listed on the apps.gov website. But OMB needs to revise its rules on the use of persistent cookies before most Federal websites can deploy GA out of the box. In the meantime, expert users (and GACPs) can override the GA tracking cookie to make it a session cookie instead of a persistent one. (Expert power brokers can also get agency head exemption from the current persistent cookie rules, a notion that my Federal client, for one, scoffed at).
So, for those in this group at Federal agencies (and other US or overseas governments with the same restrictions), how do you respond to this purgatory?
In the now: Anyone running GA in the default form, with persistent cookie on, thanks to agency head approval? Or other non-log-file web analytics solutions thanks to the same loophole? How’d you swing that?
Any current GA users who took the trouble to disable the persistent cookie? Or customers of other cookie-driven analytics software?
And is anyone shelving plans to upgrade their web analytics vendor thanks to the hope of a green light for GA?
In the future: anyone ready to install GA as soon as (assuming it happens) OMB changes its rule? Will you turn off your current system then?
Or is GA irrelevant for any of you because you need a vendor that picks up the phone when things go wrong?
I hope this sparks some conversation on Google Analytics and Federal websites!
April 30, 2010 at 8:10 pm #99474
Who owns your data when you use GA? Do you care?
Does it matter your data, which might just have PII in it (remember your search engine searches get logged), resides outside your data center?
Is two years’ data enough for you? GA only promises this much retention.
May 4, 2010 at 9:49 pm #99472
Sounds like more reasons than just lack of customer care to be wary of Google Analytics, thank you Tim! Are any of these deal-killers for Federal people, even if OMB approves GA?
May 6, 2010 at 3:27 pm #99470
Can US Government agencies really use Google Analytics?
Whose Data is it Anyway? Part 1
Whose Data is it Anyway? Part 2
May 11, 2010 at 5:05 pm #99468
Great posts, Phillip, thank you. In the comments in your 2nd link, you had an interesting discussion. You replied:
“For the sake of argument though, in real terms, does it matter whether Google owns the data? Other than the fact that they use aggregated data to inform their marketing and product development efforts, it strikes me that they’d have a lot to lose if there was ever an indication that they were misusing data or compromising the integrity of the data collected.”
Folks who work on Federal sites, does this reassure you at all?
May 26, 2010 at 2:44 pm #99465
Notes from an “un-conference” on Google Analytics at the April 27-28 Government Web and New Media Conference (repeats some points other replies have made).
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