There are two different ways that your Google Analytics account can be set up
One of the ways gives you complete control, but the other way means that in the long run, the person that set up your account has ultimate control of it.
Google Analytics can be set up either as A. an Account or B. as a Profile.
The best option is an Account but far too often I see Analytics set up as a profile.
Find out if your analytics is set up as an account or as a profile by asking your web developer if you can have Administrator access to your account.
If the answer is “yes” then you have an Account that you can have full access to.
And the good news is that if you decide to stop working with your web developer at any point in time, you still control the account.
With Administrator access, you can give access to others and make changes to the settings as needed.
If the answer is “no” then it’s possible that your analytics is set up as a Profile of your web developer’s main account and your access is limited (unless they have another good reason for not giving you access).
- In this case, your Google Analytics can never be separated from the other profiles in the web developers account which means that to give you access to your account, he / she needs to give you access to all their other accounts as well (which is unlikely to happen).
- Instead, your developer will probably set up automated reports to be emailed to you regularly. Emailed reports give you a snap shot of your key statistics, but if you’re serious about using your analytics data to improve your website performance, you’ll be limited by not being able to access all the data.
- This also means that you are tied to your web developer. Once your analytics is set up as a Profile, the only way to turn it into an account so that you can get full access is to set up a whole new account. The new account will start tracking once it is set up but the historical data will remain separate, in your profile.
- Having a Profile instead of an Account can also causes issues if you want to link your Analytics to your AdWords account.
If all this is too much Google-speak, my important take-away message is this:
If someone else is setting up Google Analytics on your behalf, make sure they set it up as an Account, rather than as a Profile.
Or, to be sure, go to google.com/analytics, set up your own account and email the set up instructions and tracking code to your web developer. Then, you’ll have full control and you’ll be the one who decides who can have access to your account.
Or, you can choose to work with a Google Analytics Qualified Individual who has learned this while studying for the exam 🙂
Any questions? Leave a comment below.