3 useful extensions to make your Web Analyst’s life easier

KPI definition, Analytics implementation, AB testing and performance optimisation… Data consistency is therefore critical and our analytics consultants will audit the client’s tracking system before each mission. Do you want your analyzes to be biased by distorted Data? No, and we neither…

In this article, Accenture Interactive delivers the keys to 3 useful extensions that will help you to make a quick inventory of your analytics’ ecosystem:

1. Identify tracking solutions with the Ghostery extension

As AdBlock for banners and pop-ups, Ghostery will allow you to detect and to block tags. The extension’s promise is to “detect and block tracking technologies to speed up page loads, eliminate clutter, and protect your data” (source: Ghostery).

>> Download the extension on Chrome or Firefox <<

Once the extension is installed, click the Ghostery icon to view the results. For example, 59 tags are detected on the homepage of the french news website www.20minutes.fr.

Good to know: AdBlock prevents the detection of many tags by Ghostery (for example, only 8 tags are detected on www.20minutes.fr when AdBlock is activated). It is therefore advisable to disable this extension before using Ghostery.

Into practice:

In a web analytics context, Ghostery allows to identify the Analytics and Tag Management solutions implemented in order to frame future investigations. As each solution has its own specificities, the audit methodology will not be the same depending on whether a site is tracked with GA and GTM or with AT Internet and Tag Commander.

For example, still on www.20minutes.fr, we notice that Google Analytics, AT Internet and Google Tag Manager are implemented. As Google Analytics is a free solution (excluding GAP) and AT Internet a paid solution, it can be deduced that AT Internet is the tracking solution actually used.

Would you be able to identify the tracking solutions used on your favorite websites?

2. Run a preliminary diagnostic of Google products implementation with the GTA extension

Google Tag Assistant purpose is to allow you to make a quick diagnostic and then to validate the good integration of any tags linked to a Google product  (Analytics, GTM, Adwords, DoubleClick etc.).

>> Download the extension on Chrome <<

Into practice:

Google Tag Assistant has many features: for example, it is possible to quickly identify bad implementations, multiple integrations (several tags of the same tool are implemented) or the Ids of the GA and GTM account / container used.

After installing the extension, select “Enable” and reload the page. All Google tags that have been detected are automatically displayed. A color code makes it possible to ensure at a glance of the good respect of implementation guidelines:

  • green = OK,
  • blue = OK but non standard,
  • red = to optimize.

As can be seen below:

To know: By clicking on each tags, you can access the detail of the hit sent to Google Analytics (custom dimensions etc.) as well as details of the dataLayer. The extension also offers a session recording tool that I let you discover through the official Google documentation. This extremely useful feature is particularly used here, at Sutter Mills, to QA check a cross domain tracking implementation.

3. Debug dataLayer with Dataslayer

datasLayer is an analytics and tag management debugging tools, especially used when it’s time for QA checks. It allows to access the dataLayer of any page without having a technical use of the javaScript console. Its main advantage is its multi-solution aspect; datasLayer can automatically detect and read the dataLayers of:

  • Google Tag Manager,
  • Tag Commander,
  • Adobe DTM,
  • Tealium…

… and it automatically detects custom dataLayers as long as it respects implementation standards.

>> Download the extension on Chrome <<

Into practice:

After installing the extension, go to the browser console (F12 on a PC / cmd + alt + c on Mac) and go to the “datasLayer” tab. On www.cadeaux.com, the extension automatically recognizes the custom “kdoLayer” GTM dataLayer. As a result, we can see that, on the homepage, the unique variable of the dataLayer “kdoLayer” is “page_type: home”.

>> Leverage software-specific extensions

There are many extensions dedicated to specific tools.. Commanders Act Assistant (available on Chrome) allows for example the QA check and debug of Tag Commander’s tc_vars. Here is an example with the Camaieu Tag Commander dataLayer:

Each of these extensions – beyond simply taking information – is intended to facilitate the QA checking steps by minimizing the exploitation of the source code and the console. A nice helping hand to all web analyst!