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Google Analytics Artificial Intelligence has matured into a full-fledged insight identification tool for anyone involved in traffic analysis. Many of us struggle with analysis, and it is exciting that Google is leveling the playing field for ease of use and understanding. Google Analytics is the primary tool used by approximately 30 and 50 million marketers to evaluate traffic performance. Regardless of the focus on gathering traffic, Google Analytics will provide a wealth of information on organic, paid, or hybrid campaigns.

Many people find it so overwhelming that they hire specialists to interpret the data for them. The feeling that information should be easy to understand and implement has been at the forefront of Google’s mind for the past 18 months. Artificial Intelligence, commonly referred to as AI, is quickly removing the need for specialists to interpret data for us. Now any user, regardless of experience level, can find and use the information they need by using AI Insights.

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Our ultimate objective is to make programs that learn from their experience as effectively as humans do. — John McCarthy, Father of Artificial Intelligence

Automatic Google Analytics Artificial Intelligence Insights

In September of 2016, Google announced the ability to explore important insights from within Google Analytics using Artificial Intelligence. This new virtual, digital assistant provides educated analysis and presentation of data. It is also the first exciting step towards the total integration of Artificial Intelligence tools that Google has been hard at work developing. Along with Google RankBrain, it is the next step in an entire suite of Artificial Intelligence products that Google is integrating into their online analytical tool chest.

Automated Insights, released in their mobile app last year, allows users to gather information in 5 minutes that used to take hours to collate. Not only do the Automated Insights provide information to us faster, they are designed to also learn about our businesses over time to provide better results.

Google machine intelligence is now being used to find critical insights from the thousands of metrics and dimension combinations that are available in Google Analytics. The prime features of this machine intelligence are:

  1. The ability to offer quick suggestions on improving Google Analytics data.
  2. The ability to learn over time from users’ input and feedback.
  3. Instant analysis of data to provide users with meaningful insights quickly.
  4. Elimination of the “time to insight gap” to quickly respond to fast-changing trends.

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How the Assistant Works

The Assistant is a pure example of machine learning applied to practical purposes. Insights are suggestions and groups of data that are based on historical information that Google has gathered about the traffic of any given website.

The basic functionality involves pattern recognition. Massive data sets are examined almost instantaneously to display both correlated insights as well as future predictions. Once these insights are identified, Google adds this information to the Assistant tab for review by the user.

These automated insights are then compared to the actions that are made based on these suggestions. This improves the speed and accuracy at which marketers and website users are able to define marketing strategies based on their chosen organic, paid or hybrid approach. The bottom line is that Automated Insights provides faster strategy development.

Google RankBrain

In addition to this advancement in AI, Google RankBrain is now able to instantly return relevant search results. This is quickly replacing old algorithms that relied on massive lists of stored data for searches. While it is not a complete replacement for the existing Hummingbird search algorithm, it was recently reported as being the third highest ranking signal for relevant search results.

Google RankBrain is not the only Artificial Intelligence entity that is currently in use in search engine’s today. RankNet is used by Bing and learns in real time, where RankBrain does most of its learning offline. Facebook is using Artificial Intelligence to build the newsfeed that appears on each individual’s unique social media homepage.

Closing Thoughts

The day that Artificial Intelligence can grow through machine learning techniques is finally upon us. Analysis of important performance data is available at the speed of thought. More importantly, we can now receive suggestions from Google about the best possible reactions to existing and future trends. Google Analytics Artificial Intelligence makes life easier for those of us who make marketing decisions on a day-to-day basis.

I would caution you not to give in to the temptation of letting these intelligent machines make decisions for us. The very purpose of Google Analytics Artificial Intelligence is to make suggestions and not decisions. This is a very important distinction to make.

We need to hold on to our vision, our passion, and our instincts to grow our businesses and campaigns, and continue to use analytics as the tool it is meant to be.

Bob Cristello

Bob joined Davidson Belluso with 30+ years working experience in web development. Born and raised in Boston, Bob is a U.S. Army veteran. His resume includes being a former Microsoft Developer Days keynote speaker, Head of Internal Development for Rebar International, Team Lead at Sally Mae and the Head of Computer Sciences at the Hyde School. Bob's articles on technology have appeared in Visual Basic Programmers Journal, Byte, InfoWorld and Computer Telephony. His skill set includes database design, complex SQL query design, and an impressive list of CMS software with a focus on WordPress. Bob handles clients Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Optimization (SMO) and Digital Advertising, holding all six Google Analytics and Adwords certifications. Bob loves spending time with his family, enjoys the performing arts and plays several instruments.