Users of Google Analytics have had the option of anonymously sharing the data they gather as part of the service. Given the broad adoption of the service, Google always looked likely to gain a lot of customers opting in and receiving a wide and deep spectrum of data.
The company now has the data ready to share in a new way with Google Analytics users. This feature, Benchmarking Reports, began rolling out recently and should be available to all anonymous-data-sharing users in the coming weeks according to the Google Analytics blog.
Google Analytics has offered such reports in different ways over the years. Early on, users who shared data anonymously with the service had access to benchmarking reports through the online interface. That changed for a brief time to emailed expanded reports for a little over a year, a service that ended because Google needed a better way to present that data to its users.
The potential for this latest iteration of Benchmarking Reports appears promising. Google said benchmark selection allows choices of over 1600 industry categories, with refinements by geographic location and traffic size.
Benchmarking allows a given site to compare itself to similar competition. A small to medium sized online seller doesn’t gain much from comparing their traffic and site activity to a giant like Amazon.com, but could gain insights into areas of improvement against sites within their particular niche.
In the example shown on the Google Analytics blog, a travel company utilized Benchmarking to enhance its email marketing. Email is one of several channel groupings in the Acquisition section of the service, with other channels like Paid, Organic, Social, and more available.
For those who currently have access, the feature is available in the service’s Reporting section, under Audience – Benchmarking. Google said customers who want to join can do so by checking the “Share anonymously with Google and others” box in the Account Settings tab of the account admin page.