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Cohort analysis gives marketers the ability to view the behavior of specific class of visitors. Marketers can view the behavior segmented by date and action. The point is there are several businesses and applications that can use cohort analysis to see

  • The traffic channels that provide the most valuable consumers
  • Lifetime volume from a customer from their very first purchase
  • Techniques to retain and gain new customers and groups to focus on
  • Media and content sites can understand visitor frequency, content consumption pattern, and number of repeat visitors
  • Repeat purchase potential

Without automation we would spend scare resources in terms of manpower and time to analyze all the above. Apart from report automation Google Analytics also enables data visualization. The new Google analytics dashboard with improved features and tools makes it easy to view data and trends. You may use tools from Google analytics or from a BI platform like Tableau.

Here is a step by step guide to automated cohort analysis with Tableau and Google analytics

  • Cohort data elements in Google analytics
    Skip this step if you have already got cohort data elements captured in Google analytics.
  • Tableau Version 8
    You need this version as it has Google analytics connector
  • Data Import to Tableau from Google Analytics
    First select ‘Connect to data’ and then select the Google analytics connector. After authentication select your account, property, and profile. Set up data import to have your custom variable key and date as dimension and revenue as metric.
  • Tableau Cohort Analysis configuration
    Change to Tableau date format from Google date format. This needs some tweaking as the date in Google was stored as custom variable. You may read about it and effect the changes. In the Google format the date format is stored as a string and you have to change it to date format. You can read up the formula and do the changes.
    After you have the date format you need to subtract the cohort date from transaction date. The formula is also available and you can read it and make the changes.After this is done drag the revenue measure to the rows tab and the days since signup to the columns tab.
    The cohort date is then dragged to the filter pane. Select cohort dates according to your preferences.
    To customize the visualization and make it more useful, click the arrow in color shelf and change display to discrete. Once that is done select exact date in place of year.

With these simple steps you have now pulled data from Google Analytics via Application Programming Interface (API) using Tableau and created a useful visualization. Now you can easily update and refresh the graphic. You now have automated cohort analysis and can spend more time viewing insights for clients.

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