Personal information in Google Analytics

Did you know that it is against the terms and conditions of Google Analytics to send Personally identifiable information (PII) to Google Analytics? This includes information such as email addresses or phone numbers, which can “leak” into your reports without you even knowing it. The easiest way to check if you have PII in Google Analytics is to look in your Site Content > All Pages report. A quick way to find email addresses is to search for @:


If you find such PII you have to remove it at the source, ie the page, script or app that somehow adds the PII to the URL. It is not enough to use a filter in Google Analytics to scrub out PII after it’s in Google Analytics. You have to remove it before it is sent to Google Analytics. Please check with your webmaster and/or app developer on how to remove PII from your URLs.

As part of our premium features, Analytics Buddy provides a service that automatically scans all URLs and removes any PII before it is sent to Google Analytics. The nice thing is that it will automatically remove any PII even if you change your site or add apps that may inadvertently introduce PII again.

Here is what the same URL would look like in Google Analytics:


Parts of the email address are replaced by the placeholder [PII] so that it is no longer identifiable.

With the recent introduction of strict GDPR rules you’ll want to make sure you stay compliant and not risk having your Google Analytics account suspended.

Data Studio Connector for Shopify

By on April 26, 2018 in Google Analytics, Shopify

Please take a look at our Data Studio Connector for Shopify. It allows you to create and share Data Studio reports for your Shopify store. Our connector ships with this beautiful template:


To get started, please create a private app in your Shopify admin. You’ll need set read access to Orders and Products.


You’ll need the API key and Password when you set up the connector, along with your Shopify Store URL. Next, get the connector by clicking here:

Get the Shopify API Connector


Set up the Shopify Connector

Enter the info you got when you set up your private app. The options for Limit and Sleep Time are used to control the amount of data and how fast the Shopify API is called. If you have a lot of orders and get errors, you may have to reconnect and increase Limit and Sleep Times.

Other details:

  • In order to get the data from the Shopify API in the right format, it has to be flattened, like a csv file. Since an order can contain multiple items, each line item will be associated with the same order id, name and other data points. For this reason I did not include Order Total as a metric since it would be associated with each line item and summing it would not make sense.
  • What does get summed and aggregated is Item Revenue, which is the product of Item Quantity and Item Price. The Item Revenue is likely different than order total because it does not include taxes and shipping costs.
  • Many data points are not yet included, so if an important metric or dimension is missing, please let me know.
  • Caching is implemented for product images and icons, but not order data in general.
  • Sensitive information such as API keys, passwords and order data is never logged.
  • This connector is not yet published in the gallery.
Get the Shopify API Connector

Machine learning for Google Analytics

By on October 3, 2017 in Google Analytics

Have you heard all the fuss about machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data? If you think that you already have a ton of data from Google Analytics, you’d be right. But if you think that you can use Google Analytics data to train machine learning models, you’d likely be out of luck. The reason is that Google Analytics aggregates data at the session-level, which is not specific enough for machine learning. You need to be able to get data for each individual session, before it is aggregated.

It is easy to change the tracking code to get the right data that you can use for machine learning, but you can’t change or add data that is already in Google Analytics so it’s important to at least start collecting the data even if you don’t yet have a specific question or challenge that could be answered by machine learning.



Tracking checkout errors in Google Analytics

By on September 25, 2017 in Google Analytics, Premium Feature

I am pleased to show off our latest addition to our premium tracking service for Analytics Buddy. Now you can track the errors your visitors and customers see as they go through the checkout process, directly in Google Analytics.  Are there any confusing form fields on your checkout pages or is your payment gateway having issues causing you to lose valuable sales? Now you can know and take action!

Checkout and Processing Error tracking is now available as part of our Analytics Ninja plan. Please contact us to enable this feature.



(click for larger)

Product Cost and new reporting

By on September 7, 2017 in Google Analytics, Premium Feature

There are a few apps that allow you to track the cost of your products, but do they allow you to segment your data? It’s all very well to have a weekly or monthly report of your best products, but what if you want to analyze profit by device type or traffic source? Analytics Buddy automatically sends the product cost at the time of transaction to Google Analytics, giving you access to its awesome segmentation capabilities.

Product cost is a premium Analytics Buddy feature, available for only $7.99/month.

Here is a sample report with some dummy data. You can use the controls at the top of the widget, but there is only data for Aug 1, 2017 to Aug 18, 2017.


Updated Order and Product Reports

By on December 1, 2016 in Google Analytics, Shopify

We have updated our main reports to include more data points.

1) Order reports now include device type, visitor type and landing page. As before you’ll know where the order came from, including any hidden assists and if you customer was considering other products to buy.

New order report

You can now click through to Products and get more info there:

2) Product reports now also include device type, user type and top revenue sources. You’ll still see a graph with the revenue over the past 30 days, along with product views and add to carts. We also show you recent transactions that include that item, making it easier to analyze further:


We hope you’ll like these updates!

Product Cost data in Google Analytics

We are pleased to announce that you can now send product cost data to Google Analytics via the Analytics Buddy app, thereby enabling you to see reports that show you profitability and not just revenue.

Check out the video above to see what it’s all about and then contact us at about enabling this feature.

As a reminder, Analytics Buddy will only work properly if you have both ecommerce and enhanced ecommerce enabled.

Product Detail Views missing since July 27, 2015

By on August 4, 2015 in Google Analytics, Shopify

Since July 27, 2015, product detail views are missing in Google Analytics. As far as I can tell this is a global bug that would affect all Shopify stores using enhanced ecommerce.


As a retailer, what’s most important are your products. Do you have products that people want? How are your products performing? Can shoppers find them easily? Which products should I put on the homepage? Are shoppers taking action on product pages, such as adding them to cart? How are products that are new or updated performing? What other products might a customer be interested in?
Traditional metrics such as pageviews, sessions or exit rates are not nearly as actionable as product-related metrics, such as product views and add-to-carts.
If your Shopify store is affected, please take the time to contact Shopify support to ask them for a quick fix and to let them know that having reliable analytics data is crucial for online retailers. That is true whether you use Analytics Buddy or not.