As a web analyst, two of the most frustrating things when logging into Google Analytics is finding out that traffic flat-line or that a goal has changed. Both of these issues can be very easily changed by any user with administrative access to you Google Analytics account, but it is impossible to know who the culprit is unless they admit to it. Thankfully, Google has plans to oust this anonymous user with their announcement of a new feature yesterday – Change History.
This new feature has been a part of AdWords for a while; it is new and exciting within Google Analytics. Change History will be available to all account administrators over the next few weeks, allowing them to see changes made in their accounts for the past 180 days.
Image from analytics.blogspot.com
This element in Google Analytics will be housed within the Account Level of the Admin tab. In here users will be able to see what the change was, who made it and when it happened. Change History will track updates to users, accounts, properties, goals and filters. Knowing this information will keep web analysts like me in the loop when something changes on the site, for better or worse.
There have been many situations where I wish that this feature was available in the past. One of most common uses would be verification that a user has been created or removed in the account. This new feature shows changes to user statuses and being able to send a screenshot to a manager for verification would be very beneficial. Another useful element with the Change History is the timestamp feature, now we will be able to know when we changed the name and/or the definition of goal. Throughout the life of a website, goals become outdated and need to be replaced. This feature will allow administrators to look back during that 180 day window and find out if any of the goals changed and can log the changes in the annotations section of Analytics or in an external document.