Dolby Laboratories is the global leader in technologies that are essential elements in the best entertainment experiences. As a global brand, Dolby maintains several web sites, including www.dolby.com, www.audiodolby.com, and equivalent language sites. Dolby's web and marketing teams rely on Google Analytics data to gain insights into how to improve the sites.
Analyzing and presenting Google Analytics data in ExcelTM and PowerpointTM is a critical part of the web analytics workflow. Dolby's spreadsheets make use of complex rollups, filters, and calculations performed in intermediate tables. Charts and graphs are linked in Excel to the automated outputs, and report sheets are styled with charts bound to the report tables. For final presentation, report worksheets are copied and pasted into the PowerPoint reports, where narrative and graphical annotations are added. Then the reports are presented internally and forwarded to various stakeholders.
"Our process gives us a lot of flexibility between analysis and presentation," explains Dolby's web analyst. "But, manually consolidating site data into the spreadsheets was time and labor intensive." To streamline the process, the team at Dolby turned to tools from ShufflePoint, Inc.
ShufflePoint uses the Google Analytics Data Export API to provide advanced enterprise integration tools. With ShufflePoint's Google Analytics Query Langange (GAQL), a SQL-like query language for Google Analytics, the team at Dolby was quickly able to simplify the process of updating Google Analytics data in Excel and PowerPoint.
The ShufflePoint Analytics Query Tool allows Dolby's Excel workbook to be updated every reporting period, simply by clicking "refresh all" in the data toolbar. Excel then automatically refreshes all of the web queries present in the workbook with the most recent results. The updates cascade through the intermediate transformation sheet to the final report sheets and charts.
For the next stage of work, Dolby engaged ShufflePoint's professional services team to design and develop a custom solution.
ShufflePoint crafted a taxonomy tier that would be extensible across multiple Dolby websites (which share the same taxonomy), and that would allow for web site content additions and redesigns over time. The resulting taxonomy file is expressed using XML and supports four rollup levels. Each node in the taxonomy has a name, an associated Google profile or advanced segment, and one or more content match expressions. All business taxonomy rules are controlled by the team at Dolby, and the team can also create and interchange new website taxonomies whenever it wants to analyze its website activity against alternate business rules or key performance indicators.
Custom report snapins were added to the ShufflePoint engine to support the project. Each custom report snapin contains the logic needed to do the correct rollups, filters, and calculations for a given report. When a custom report is run against a taxonomy, each node in the taxonomy will result in (depending upon the report) a separate Excel sheet or a column within a sheet. Running two reports against taxonomies with 25 nodes times five language taxonomies produces 250 pages of reports.
Custom reports were also written to allow data comparison across profiles/advanced segments and multiple time periods. When two time periods are specified, the report includes additional analysis calling out the change in content or page values between the two periods.
"This project could not have come at a better time. We have just completed our redesign of www.dolby.com. A quick update to our taxonomy file allowed us to run our existing reports for the new site and start evaluating results right away" said Dolby. "Our team's learning and decision making process has really sped up since engaging Shufflepoint. They improved our custom reports, which we used to do manually within Google Analytics, by combining it with the automation and flexibility of using Google Analytics' Data API."
"The Dolby engagement has been a great experience for ShufflePoint, both to further the capabilities of our platform, and to learn how sophisticated enterprise clients are managing their Google Analytics reporting." says Chris Harrington, CTO at ShufflePoint. "It is rewarding to have now moved into the project phase where we will also be automating the creation of Dolby's PowerPoint presentations."
"ShufflePoint has its roots in Excel and PowerPoint, and our capabilities here are a true differentiator in the marketplace," says Chris Harrington, CTO at ShufflePoint. "It's great to take something like the Google Analytics API and develop unique solutions that hit a home run for clients like Dolby. The Google Analytics Data API has opened up new possibilities for us -- there are so many kinds of value-adds that you can create for companies out there. It's a new business opportunity."