Google Analytics News: Unifying App+ Web property

August 01, 2019 - Written by

Google Analytics launched a killer-feature last night – still in beta version – but able to definitely disrupt the website and app tracking (thanks to Krista Seiden for the alert via Twitter and the link to Google official blog).

What’s all about? If a brand owns both desktop and app(iOS/Android) version of the website, until yesterday you need to set up at least two different properties: a property dedicated to the app and a second dedicated to the website. This involves struggling with data unification. Let’s think about the web-app customer journey or the correct measurement of the unique users that in a specific time period switched from website to app and viceversa.

A paradigm shift in tracking and data collection

Introducing App + Website Property the issue outlined above will be resolved when analysing data. Moreover a major and relevant addition is the shift from session + previews model to event + parameters. Or we are moving towards the data collection schema adopted by Google Analytics for Firebase.

A question arises: should I need to retrack both website and app using the new method? Well we can figure out a shortcut. In the new property you set up (Account>Select App and Web>Property>DataStream) you will find the feature “Enhanced Measurement”. Let’s see in detail.

Enhanced Measurement

We can see it as the natural evolution of automatic event tracking released on the occasion of the launch of Gtag, but the feature allows to automatically track some of the elements the most commonly monitored, simply by selecting from the panel inside the Data Stream.

As you can see in the screenshot above via toggle you can automatically track Pageview, Scrolls, Outbound Links, Site Search, Video Engagement (but only for Youtube) and File Download. We can expect the features’ list will be progressing while the new feature catches on, maybe building up a kind of “feature marketplace” to choose from.

Let’s go deep exploring the new interface.

Google Analytics App and Web view interface

If you’ve ever worked on the tracking of Google Analytics for Firebase, the interface you can see below should be familiar. 

You will find an important element if compared with the former version: a report “Analysis” has been added and it was included only in Google Analytics 360 (we are going to see in a while what it is).

The dashboard shows immediately the most important KPIs and provides an overall overview about the performance.


In the report you can find all the events we are tracking in the new property. The panel comes from Firebase’s interface. If you click on each event you will find the metrics related to it, in a kind of global overview.


At the top you can find the report “Filter” which replaces “Advanced Segment – System”: in this case you can choose which filter to apply among the suggested for that specific report.


It surely will prove to be one of the most interesting feature, even if  to be used carefully 🙂

You can set up “Advanced Segments – Custom” where, through available pre-built templates or through full custom segments, you are able to drill down data at Hit, Session and User level.

The opportunity to mix the three “scope” is quite explosive if you don’t have clear in mind how it works.

At the interface level, the three scope are labeled as:

  • Within the same event –> HIT
  • Within the same session –> SESSION
  • Across all sessions –> USER

As for the usual custom segments we can build up  more and more complex sequences and exclusion rules.


In the report you can find all the events we tracked as goals and by clicking on them you’ll see an overview with the main KPIs.


Here you can build up funnels via the events you are tracking. As an example from the time the user enters the site, receives a notification, opens it and buy something.

Now it is not clear if the funnels are capped at 20 as for the goals or if the rules does not apply.


The report reminds the Cohort of the actual views.


It is the realtime view we find actually in the classic version, where you can set up a filter for each card you find at the bottom and obtain information about users, geolocation and app version. The user snapshot should be better explored to understand its potential.

User Property

You can set up a maximum of 25 unique users identifiers. They must not include PII data and are useful for segmenting users (e.g. logged in vs not logged). The parameters of course should be tracked via specific calls.

A report we thought to see only ever in GA360 has been included: Analysis.

Google Analytics Analysis 

If you frequently use Analytics 360 you know what I mean. Instead if you are not familiar with you will discover a plus to be considered when analysing data.

In the report Analysis you can find the usual templates:

  • Start from scratch: to start completely from scratch and define the analysis the way you want
  • Exploration: useful to go deep into your item of interest
  • Segment overlap: it allows to analyse the users beahaviour that (and if) use mobile phones or desktop as device to engage with the site/app
  • Funnel Analysis: it builds on-the-fly custom conversion funnels that can be fully segmented
  • Path Analysis: it provides a pretty clear clue about users flow
  • User Explorer: for each userID or cid the most important events that fired during the navigation are reported.

But at the “party” something is missing: what about Google Tag Manager?

App and Web in Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager  didn’t get through without an update too. Few hours ago two new tags made their appearance:

  • Google Analytics: App + Web Configuration
  • Google Analytics: App + Web Event

The first is for the property configuration, the second for firing the events and match with the related parameters.

It’s a lot of awesome sauce! At the moment the official documentation is minimal and not so clear so let’s put the new feature to the test and try the new tracking!

PS: if you don’t see the new property don’t worry, the rollout is happening from now on the next weeks 😉

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