The long-promised AdWords revision that offers advance reporting capabilities isn’t available to most users yet, though Google teased it way back in April of 2014. Here’s how they described the deluxe version then:
Advanced reporting: To help you analyze your data better (without the endless downloading and re-formatting of data) we’re providing you with new multi-dimensional data analysis and visualization tools so you can perform most, if not all of your data analysis, right here inside AdWords. We’re also making it easy for you to turn your data into tables, graphs and charts so that you can download them and share with your teams.
Based on that, this is one gussied up function that holds the potential to be super useful. Unfortunately, it’s still a dream – but not for Susan Waldes of SearchEngineLand, who is one of the lucky few seeing the new version on one of the accounts she manages.
Are you similarly blessed with early access? Probably not. The latest word from Google is it will be delivering the update “over the next few months,” but you can check by looking at the location of your Reports. If the link is still in the left-hand column, the answer is no. When you get the enhanced version you’ll see a Reports tab in the upper navigation bar sandwiched between links for Campaigns and Opportunities.
But is it all it’s hyped up to be? Here’s what’s new based on early feedback from Susan:
- Charts: Users have a huge variety of options for visual viewing of their site’s metrics. Bar, pie and line graphs let site managers see and manipulate data in many configurations, inviting detailed explorations that are sure to yield useful insights. According to Waldes, the enhanced reporting functions are likely to make it “easier to hone in on new problem or focus areas within an account that emerge more clearly with these new visual tools.”
- Tables: The newly available data tables not only give more information, but also allow complex sorting, filtering and reporting that no longer requires advance Excel skills. In fact, Excel isn’t necessary – the data is available for full manipulation inside the interface.
The upgrade is indeed a new and improved way to explore relevant information about the performance of your digital marketing investment. Susan says, “It’s data that I could have extracted from the current reporting capabilities, but I’d have had to “know” that I wanted to look at data in this manner, then go through a complex process of report building, downloading, pivoting, and filtering in Excel to get to the point where I could see this. In this new system, I just pulled in some columns and filtered in about five seconds; simply “poking around” drove this new insight. Surely, there are multitudes of similar insights that will be facilitated by this new reporting. Some of them will be very account-specific, and others are sure to lead to new industry practices.”
That sounds quite promising, and when applied to a tool as ubiquitous as AdWords, this update holds the potential to significantly add to the way marketers and site owners think about performance. In the meantime, think about how you’ll use it when it finally does come to your account. What would you most like to see in your data?