An Interview with Justin Cutroni, Analytics Advocate at Google

Justin Cutroni is Analytics Advocate at Google. That’s right, he works for the big “G”. He’s also a published author ([amazon_link id=”1449319041″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Google Analytics[/amazon_link]) has designed components that are still used on Satellites orbiting the earth and is an all-round nice guy as I found out during this interview.

In this video, Justin Cutroni spends 45 minutes chatting about Google Analytics, how to use it as a small business owner and how web developers can use it to differentiate themselves from their competition.

You can also win a copy of his excellent book “Google Analytics”. Watch the video for full details.

Here are the resources I mention in the video.

Google Analytics

Google Tag Manager

Justin’s books:

[amazon_link id=”1449319041″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Google Analytics[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”0470578319″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Performance Marketing Analytics[/amazon_link]


To win a copy of Justin’s awesome Google Analytics book, suggest a feature you’d like to see in Google Analytics below and Justin will swing by in a couple of weeks and judge the best contribution.

30 thoughts on “An Interview with Justin Cutroni, Analytics Advocate at Google

  1. Thank you Justin for coming back and personally responding to so many comments.

    Justin has awarded Adam Arnold the winner of the competition so a copy of Justin’s Google Analytics book is on the way to him.

    Thanks to all of you for participating in another great interview in the CommPress series.

    Check out the latest instalment – Gary Pendergast from Automattic.

    And tell us if you have anyone you’d like me to interview.

  2. Wow, thanks for all the awesome suggestions. I appreciate the time you all took to pass them along. I just finished looking through them and sent Troy a note. I’ve also posted replies to some of your specific comments.

    Thanks again and keep the feedback coming.


  3. I’m going to echo some of the other comments here but they are wish list items. I’d be happy to pay for some of these and think there is some real opportunity for having different levels of affordable paid versions for small to medium size business.

    Having a way to have other users/clients and control what they see. Each month I need to create and export manually data for different clients so it makes sense to them. The entire dashboard access it too overwhelming and they don’t need it.

    Not tapping out at 25 accounts.

    Being able to transfer access or accounts.

    Actual days of the week. They matter, so do weekends.

    True Social Analytic tracking would rock.

  4. Sub users would be awesome. With specific levels of permissions, to only view, etc. Importing/Exporting of data would be awesome as well

    • Hey Robbie,

      Your best bet here is to use a solution from the App Gallery. There are many different API-based tools that can merge data across accounts and profiles.

      Hopefully that will get you started on a solution.



  5. A special interface for clients. I’d love it if I could assign users to an account and dictate what they see. Clients are often overwhelmed upon looking at their data at first, and it would be nice if I could pare down their view of the data to the essentials only necessary to that client.

    • Hey Brittany,

      Have you thought about using a dashboarding tool from the API Gallery? A number of our partners have tried to create solutions that only share some data with clients.

      Thanks for the feedback,


  6. I think I would like to see a bit of an easier way to include different dashboards or reports to send to clients. This is still one area that confuses me a bit.

    I am sure after reading Justin’s book, it may shed some light on this and obviously a bunch of other things as well.

  7. Hej,

    Great video! I got lots of ideas now. Below is my (hopefully) book winning idea.

    The data available in Google Analytics is daunting. I’m not a newbie on webbstuff, but Google Analytics is so massive that I’ve backed away from it for too long.

    I miss the option to put on a pair of profile glasses to view the data smarter.

    Based on my business or goal I want to do different things and different things in google analytics are of interest. Example of missions:

    * E-commerce
    * Blog for profit
    * Blog for influence
    * Business website informing
    * international/national market

    Give me examples of the profiles and how they would set up the dashboard and actions taken. Let them have a ‘life’ just like my business or goal has. It doesn’t have to have a full life, but passed the start, and first few steps. Take me from newbie to someone who is in, but have stuff left to learn.

    Give me the basic first few checklist for my profile, and remind me what I should/could do next. Ex your rss subsriber has dropped… try these three things.. You have broken links… these pages never get viewed, update or delete..

    Example for awesome checklist:

    Are you selling a product?
    * set up a landing page (link: what is that?)
    * test using buttons, text links and give them different codes (link: like this)

    Are you an national influenser?
    * set up a mailinglist (like this) and monitor it (link: like this)
    * sort out traffic that you don’t care about
    * set up a physical goal – get hired as a speaker…

    Thanks for great content, and keep up the good work!

    • I like this idea, thanks Pia.

      One thing that I think we need to be careful of is over customization. I’ve always talked about five basic online objectives:

      1. Sell a product
      2. Get a lead
      3. Support customers
      4. Generate ad revenue
      5. Build brand

      I think every company/organization can fit into one (or more) of those models.

      In addition to that I think it’s important to know the user’s industry. This provides more context to the business objective.

      You may not have noticed, but you can now select your Industry in the Property settings 🙂

      Thanks again,


  8. Hello guys,
    maybe I am not using Google analytics for the fully 100% in reporting clients about what happened last month on their sites. So far I am copying and pasting the different data about visitors and visited content in one PDF. It would be a great help to get the data delivered in one document that can be personalized by the webmaster. Maybe this is already available and I was just stupid to not get it out?

    • There are a couple things you can do here:

      1. Create a custom report or dashboard with the data you want to see. Then automate the delivery of that report to your client email address. It won’t be branded, but it will be automated.

      2. You can create a scheduled email and attached the standard reports to the email. Again, you can schedule it for a monthly delivery. The down-side is that each separate report will be included as an individual PDF. A bummer, I know.

      Hope those two ideas give you something to iterate on.


  9. Now that conversion optimization testing is embedded as content experiments, I’d LOVE to have multivariate testing.

    Even better, have it function like Optimizely with WYSIWYG design changes.

    • We’re hearing from a lot of people that they miss MVT in Content Experiments. I miss it too! I know that the team is trying to make Content Experiments the best testing tool out there.

      Stay tuned.

      Thanks David.

  10. Transferring GA sites and data ownership between other Google accounts is an absolute must.

    I’d love some 3D data viewing possibilities to help make sense of 3 or more data points over a time period.

  11. Hi guys, great chat.
    I’d like to see, on behalf of the small business owners we work with, an embedded selection of sample dashboards they can just click to view.
    The idea comes from the ability we have to save a dashboard configuration and send it for others to apply.
    It would be nice to have a small selection of sample ones based on location focus, sector focus, data type (web, social, etc).
    To me, this might empower small business people to exercise curiosity and start experimenting.

  12. Great video mate!

    For me to come up with a feature request for analytics, I think I would need to know everything I can do with it, but I don’t!

    What I would love to see is a video support area that you can select the category of your business (automotive, tradesman, retail etc), your main focus of the business (lead generation, information, e-commerce etc) and then have suitable videos to show you the main areas to spend your 1-2 hours a week on analysing/learning.

    Like any 900 headed monsters, the main focus should be on support and education.

    That being said, just send me the book in Feb 2013 and I will probably not need this feature 😉

    • I really like this idea a lot. Right now Google Analytics is very flexible and can be configured to meet the needs of any business. Unfortunately there is no guide to setting it up the right way and then using it.

      While this information exists in many places (books, blogs, etc.) it would probably be better if it was in the application.

      Thanks for the feedback Adam.

  13. Three small improvements, rather than features:

    – The ability to move (or change permissions) for a single Google Analytics Under Account to a different account. When taking over a project, if the previous agency collected all customer accounts as UA accounts then they can’t transfer these (with historical data) to a different account or now admin.

    – When selecting a date range to view data, if I click on a specific date (eg. Oct 1) , both the start and end have this single date – even if just the start date field is selected. It is a minor issue particularly when selecting date ranges over months.

    – In Conversions > Goals > Reverse Goal Path, there are only 3 steps/pages recorded. We need to see not only where people drop out during the purchase process but also – specifically for the goals, they entry points for the website and essentially the history of the visitor activity on the website (with trends). The Multi-Funnel visualisation is too broad.

    • Thanks for the feedback Christopher.

      About the flow visualization. I agree that it can be very complicated. Have you tried using the page-grouping features to create groups of landing pages? I know it can be time consuming but that might be a way to bridge the gap between landing page and conversion funnel.

      Let me know if that woks for you.


  14. One feature I’d like to see added, is the ability to move user accounts without losing all data. It’s not so much of an issue for people who use analytics for a single URL, but it is a very common problem for agencies who manage analytics on behalf of clients.

    Especially if you are “inheriting” accounts that have not been set up correctly in the first place.

  15. Three features that would really be useful are:
    1. Allowing accounts and all their historical data to get transferred to a different owner (client)
    2. Have the ability to delete goals, not just pause them. Once you’ve made a mistake setting up a goal, it will be staring in your face every time you login.
    3. Remove the 25 account limit. After so many clients it gets really annoying to keep having to add more Google accounts.

    • Hi Bob,

      Regarding #1, we hear that request a lot. Thanks for passing it along. I agree that there are some organizations that are going to continue to add client data to their Google Analytics account, rather than creating a separate Google Analytics account for the client.

      I’ll pass along the feedback. Until then let’s keep educating people that every client need their own Google Analytics account.



    • Hey Dan,

      Have you tried to use the Traffic Sources > Sources> Search reports? They show both organic and paid keywords.

      If you want to see conversions use the links at the top of the data graph to change the metrics to a specific set of Goals or Ecommerce.

      Hope that helps,


  16. A real Social Media Tracking !
    Capabilities to track from where my fans’s come to my FB page, from where people from Social media come to my website etc, etc…

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