Chris Harrington from ShufflePoint here. I'd like to let you know about a new tool that we just published. We're calling it the "GA Enterprise Admin Tool" and I think of it as the "missing command-line interface for Google Analytics". I'll refer to it simply as "Admin Tool" for now on.
What do I mean by that? Well, first by GA user admin I mean adding, editing, and removing users from GA entities (accounts, properties, views). By command-line I mean that you don't have to point and click your way through lots of screens and dialogs.
First, I'll be up front and say that this is a "freemium" offering intended to get organizations familiar with the ShufflePoint solutions offerings. The hope is that some organizations will transition to paid products and services.
Second, I'll say that this is an initial or minimally viable product (MVP) offering, which covers some of the most requested GA use admin workflows. Over time, the tool will be expanded to cover additional use cases.
So what are the use cases covered initially? Some common issues we see mentioned in the GA community forum include:
- Our admin account was lost. It would be nice to have a backup.
- An employee or agency is leaving. How to remove their GA access?
- A new employee has joined. We want to clone the permissions of another employee.
- We don't know who has access to what. How can we get a report?
Backup use case
Addressing the "backup" need is perhaps the best use to make the case for using the Admin Tool. The most common posting on the GA support forum is "help, we've lost our admin". This could be because the admin has left or they lost the password or don't even know what credential had been used. Google does provide a process to "prove ownership" of a web site, but that is a slow and burdensome process (and multiply it by the number of sites you might have).
Addressing the "backup" need is perhaps the best use to make the case for using the Admin Tool. The most common posting on the GA support forum is "help, we've lost our admin". This could be because the admin has left or they lost the password or don't even know what credential had been used. Google does provide a process to "prove ownership" of a web site, but that is a slow and burdensome process.
The organization should have a "backup" credential with the same permissions as their GA admin account. But Google doesn't make it very easy to do or maintain this. Here's how this would be accomplished in the Admin Tool:
> CLONE firstname.lastname@example.org TO email@example.com FROM all
As you see, the tool is based on a command grammar rather than pointing and clicking through screens and dialogs. When you need to "refresh" this backup account, you just run that command again (in the paid product, you can configure this command to be run on a schedule).
Removing users use case
One of the issues with the built-in GA mechanisms for user management being so burdensome is that it's almost too much trouble to delete users and you therefore over time have more and more users who really shouldn't have access (or should have lesser access) to your GA entities. You would have to select each GA account under management, search for that user or users, and then delete or demote the user. Here's how this task would be done with the Admin Tool:
> DELETE firstname.lastname@example.org FROM all
or if multiple:
> DELETE email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com FROM all
I'll also mention now that the Admin Tool lets you query to find all the existing GA entities and users. See the "Audit" use case below.
New employee use case
Again, this is burdensome in GA if you have many GA accounts under management. So much so that some organizations take the shortcut of having everyone share a single user login! Using the Admin Tool, the burden is removed. If the new employee should mostly have the same permissions as an existing, you can run the command:
> CLONE firstname.lastname@example.org TO email@example.com FROM all
The FROM clause of a command supports selecting a subset of accounts:
> CLONE firstname.lastname@example.org TO email@example.com FROM account:123, account:456
Audit report use case
In addition to making changes, you can run commands to find out what is the current situation. Such audit reporting is a great use case for the Admin Tool.
An example is as follows:
LIST ga:accountId, ga:accountName, ga:webPropertyUa, ga:webPropertyName, ga:profileId, ga:profileName, ga:userEmail, ga:userPermissions FROM all FILTER ga:userEmail !@ "myorg.com"
This command will display the accounts, properties, profiles, users and permissions for all users whose email extension is outside of our organization. All of the GA settings (timezone, currency, creation date, etc.) can be reported using appropriate field names.
Pretty cool, huh? If you do much GA user administration, seeing these commands may be reducing your blood pressure (we don't charge for helping you live longer). A screenshot of the web interface is shown below.
Please give it a try. We would appreciate any feedback, bug reports, and ideas for improvement.