How to Connect Google Analytics to Microsoft Power BI [The Complete 2022 Guide]

How to connect google analytics and social media data to power bi

Introduction

In 2022, having a website is a requirement for any business. Engaging your customer online ensures that your business is in sync with the customer’s needs and requirements.

You may have high-traffic pages but have no idea what to make off of without connecting marketing data to dynamic visualization tools.

Google Analytics(GA) can provide an extensive amount of data that can help running any business these days. But the website data retrieved might be raw and finding insights can be a challenge.

Power BI can help you with this and help you make various business decisions. Connecting GA to Power BI creates a powerful tool which is known as the Power BI Google Analytics Connector.

This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to connect Google Analytics to Microsoft Power BI. Before that, let us understand what Power BI and Google Analytics are all about.

Why do you need Power BI?

Power BI Is a Microsoft service. Microsoft offers a cloud service called Power BI Services and a desktop version known simply as Power BI Desktop. BI stands for business intelligence. This tool will allow you to make the most of the available data.

Power BI is a drag-and-drop tool that makes it easy to use. You just have to click on the field you like to look at closely and drop it onto the dashboard. And you will get the insights in no time. It can generate real-time visualizations, charts, and other reports.

In other words, if Google Analytics is the substance, Power BI organizes it and makes it more useful. It’ll be much simpler to analyze your data in Power BI rather than directly in Google Analytics. And here’s where Windsor.ai comes in.

Also read: Microsoft Power BI Multichannel Marketing Attribution Dashboard

No technical skills needed

To connect Google Analytics to Power BI via Windsor.ai, you need to have a Google Analytics account and a Power BI account. Also, you must have it installed on your computer if it is the desktop version.

To make the most of your data, a basic understanding of Power BI and Google Analytics helps. However, with Windsor.ai, you won’t need any technical skills to connect the two.

 

 

Table of content

  1. Features of Power Bi

  2. Features Of Universal analytics

  3. Steps for connecting Power BI with Google Analytics with Windsor.ai

  4. Google Analytics Power BI Template Walkthrough

  5. Google Analytics VS Power Bi

  6. Updated Guide For Google analytics 4

 

Features of Power BI

Microsoft Power BI, a part of the Microsoft Power Platform, is a collection of business intelligence tools and is a cloud-based platform that can combine data from various sources into a single data set.

Having a Power BI account means you can have both on-premise and on-cloud deployments. Microsoft offers three types of Power BI platforms:

  • Power BI Desktop
  • Power BI Service
  • Power BI Mobile

Now, let us look into the features of Power BI.

  • Descriptive Reports

A report in Power BI is a multi-perspective view of the data where the visualizations represent different findings and insights from the data report that may contain a single or multiple visualizations.

  • Dataset Filtration

The datasets, which can be from one or more sources, can be filtered to form different subsets of the same data containing only the contextually relevant data.

  • Personalized Dashboards

Dashboards are a collection of visualizations that offers meaningful and relevant information into data. A Power BI dashboard contains multiple visualizations as tiles.

  • Get Data Feature

The “Get Data” feature allows the users of Power BI to choose from a range of sources. These can be anywhere in the spectrum from on-premise to cloud-based, unstructured to structured.

  • Attractive Visualizations

Data Visualization plays a central role in Power BI. Power BI contains a wide range of detailed and attractive visualizations to create reports and dashboards.

  • Navigation Pane

The navigation pane has options for datasets, dashboards, and reports. Users can effortlessly navigate between datasets, the dashboard they are working on, and reports they are creating.

  • Natural Language Q&A Box

The Natural Language Q&A box is a unique feature of Power BI. This feature allows a user to ask questions in natural language.

  • Flexible Tiles

A tile represents a block containing a data visualization in the Power BI dashboard. Tiles, which can be adjusted and resized, separate each visualization and provide a clearer view. They can also be placed anywhere on the dashboard as per user convenience.

  • DAX Function

The DAX functions are the Data Analysis Expressions in Power BI. These are predefined codes to perform analytic functions on data.

  • Content Pack Collection

Power BI provides content packs that contain dashboards, data models, embedded queries, datasets, etc. Users can directly use a collection of elements in content packs.

Features of Universal Analytics

In March 2022, Google announced that they are phasing out Universal Analytics (UA) slowly and will be retracted by June 2023.

This would mean that every current user of Universal Analytics should set up the latest Google Analytics 4 by then, about which we will read in the later section.

For now, let us see what the features of Universal Analytics are:

  1. Data Collection and Integration

Universal Analytics (UA) provides more methods to collate and consolidate data, which can be of different data types. Data can be integrated across various devices and multiple platforms.

As a result, you can understand the relationship between online and offline marketing channels and will be a lot clearer about what drives sales and conversions.

  1. Data Processing

The data processing in Universal Analytics is visitor-based rather than session-based, aka visit-based. Hence, Universal Analytics is more visitor-centric.

  1. Custom Dimensions and Metrics

You are allowed to create and use dimensions and metrics to collect different types of data, which are known as ‘custom dimensions’ and ‘custom metrics.

  1. Custom Variables

Universal Analytics utilizes custom dimensions instead of custom variables, though custom variables are available in Universal Analytics

  1. User Interface 

The user interface of Universal Analytics is not much different from that of Google Analytics. But, once custom dimensions and custom metrics are used, the Universal Analytics will appear much different than the user interface of Google Analytics.

  1. Javascript Library

Universal Analytics uses the Javascript library ‘analytics.js’ with the help of which Universal Analytics gets a new set of features for collating and integrating data.

  1. Referral Processing

Referrals are handled differently in Universal Analytics. To understand this, consider the following example. A visitor visits site A from where he went to site B. Then the visitor goes back to site A.

In Universal Analytics, the default setting is such that a new web session is triggered at each referral, which can affect the total number of sessions in the analytics report.

This means when entering site A, a new web session is triggered. When the visitor goes from site A to site B, a new session is triggered for site B. When the visitor returns to site A from site B, a second web session is triggered for site A. Exclude the referrals from Site B to a new web session from being triggered for site A.

  1. Cookies

Unlike Google Analytics which can use up to 7 cookies, Universal Analytics can use only 2 cookies.

  1. Privacy and Data Usage

Universal Analytics gives the user the ability to collect more data. But privacy is a concern. Google has given warnings against collecting any identifiable personal data in the UA account. If breached, Google is authorized to terminate the account.

The end-users need to be given proper notice on what data will be stored and consent must be sought about what data you collect through the Universal Analytics account with the choice of opting out of being tracked.  

Read more on the Universal Analytics usage guidelines here and about the privacy here.

Steps for connecting Power BI with Google Analytics with Windsor.ai

There are two different ways to connect Google Analytics to Power BI with the help of Windsor.ai. The first is using the Power BI desktop and the second is through Power BI Web App.

Power BI Desktop Connection

Make sure that you connect your Google Analytics Data to your Windsor.ai account before beginning the journey to make this integration easier.

  1. Register or log in if you already have an account

Register for a free trial with windsor.ai

  1. Select Google Analytics as a Data Source and Grant Access to Windsor.ai.

Grant access to google analytics from windsor.ai's page

  1. Next, select your destination. You can also use the search or add fields as shown in the image below:

Select Google analytics fields and metrics

  1. Select the fields on the right. In the Power BI account, click on “Get data” and select “WEB”.

Get data from web in Power bi desktop

  1. Copy the URL at which the data is available in the box shown below.

API Url windsor.ai Onboard

Power BI Web App Connection

If you want to use the Power BI Web App and have not installed it, use this link

  1. Click on Connect your data link on the yellow background at the top of the page.

Steps to connecting your data source with windsor.ai's Power bi App

  1. Enter your API Key. If you do not have one, create it now

Connect your data source with windsor.ai

  1. On the next screen click on Sign In

Authorize access to windsor ai's Power BI App

The data will start loading now and the time taken will differ according to the size of the data and may take up to a minute or two.

Next, let us see what a  Google Analytics Power BI template looks like.

Google Analytics Power BI Template Walkthrough

Our Media and Seo Overview report template has two pages. First is the Media Overview Template which integrates all your marketing data in one place. Below is the Media Overview report template.

Google analytics Power bi template

This template fetches all your data and helps visualize everything on a single dashboard.

The second page is the SEO Overview Report. It uses the connection to the Google Search Console.

Google search console Power bi Template

This dashboard connects to the following sources

  • Facebook Ads
  • Google Ads
  • LinkedIn Ads
  • Twitter Ads
  • Microsoft/Bing Ads
  • Google Campaign Manager
  • Google Display & Video 360
  • Google Search Ads 360
  • Adform
  • AppNexus
  • The Trade Desk
  • AdRoll
  • Criteo
  • TikTok Ads
  • Taboola
  • Outbrain

SEO Overview report helps you to visualize your Search Console into Power BI in a few clicks. Dimensions and metrics available are

  • Date
  • Site
  • Page
  • Query
  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • CTR
  • Average position

Google Analytics VS Power BI

According to Microsoft, when Power BI goes hand in hand with Google Analytics, the result is conducive and innovative which they call Power Analytics. What about these two platforms makes this integration special?

These days, most organizations use Google Analytics to see if their marketing goals are being met and what they could do to improve the ‘Visitor Footprints’ on their websites.

With the help of this connector, you can uncover hidden patterns and trends in the web performance data. You can identify high-traffic web pages and find multiple trends.

Google Analytics tracks customer website visitor behavior including the number of unique page visits, amount of time spent browsing, geographic location, etc.

Updated Guide for Power Bi GA4

In October 2021, Google announced the launch of Google Analytics 4, aka, GA4. You may wonder how different it is from traditional Google Analytics.

GA4 uses a different data structure and data collection logic. Up until GA4, everything was session-based. But the new GA4 follows the event-based model. This is a model that considers each user interaction as a standalone event.

Concentrating on events rather than session offers greater benefits to marketers including cross-platform analysis and enhanced pathing analysis capabilities. Moving to an event-based model has made GA4 more flexible and gives it a better ability to predict user behavior.

The following steps teach you to connect a new GA4 power bi data stream to your current Universal Analytics

  1. Log in to your Google Analytics Account
  2. Select the Admin Gear icon near the bottom left navigation.
  3. Confirm that the required account is selected
  4. Now, select the required property.
  5. Click on the first option in the Property Column, ‘GA Setup Assistant’.
  6. Click ‘Get Started’ inside the Setup Wizard.
  7. Click ‘Create Property

How to select the date range?

Google Analytics provides different ways to select the data range. By default, it is set at 30 days worth of data. But in many cases, you may want to change it.

So, here are the different methods to select a date range:

  1. Click the currently selected date range at the top of ‘Variables’.
  2. Either, select a preset range, or select a custom range from the calendar.

You can stick with the default 30 days. Select an entire calendar month or select an entire week. You can also select a range of days by clicking the first and last date in the range you wish to see.

You can also use the timeline slider option to pick the date range.

  1. Click OK.

Google Analytics Power BI Access to the Resource is Forbidden

Re-entering Credentials to Reset the Data Connection 

It has been pointed out by many users that the ‘Access to the resource forbidden error’ was fixed by resetting the data connections for the data sources. To do this:

  1. First, click the ‘File’ tab at the top left of Power BI.
  2. Next, choose ‘Options and Settings’ on the menu.
  3. Select the ‘Data Source Settings’ option.

Power Bi Data source settings

  1. Select the data source for which the ‘Access to the resource is forbidden’ error’ arises.
  2. From the drop-down menu, select the ‘Clear Permissions’ option.
  3. Click the ‘Close’ button.
  4. Now, the users are allowed to re-enter their credentials when trying to connect the required data source.

Alternative Login Option to Connect to Data

When trying to connect data sources, if a user mistakenly selects the wrong log-in options, the ‘Access to the resource is forbidden’ error may arise.

In the image shown below, a user is trying to connect SharePoint Online via Power BI Desktop. For this, they might need to select the Organizational account log-in option instead of Windows on the window. So, try another login option.

Login to organizational account In Power bi Desktop

Power BI Google Analytics Connector’s sampling issue

A sampling of data could lead you to make misguided decisions. The calculations can go wrong if the sample size is too small.

Once sampled, the patterns that arise are not representative of the entire dataset. The sample may or may not reflect the true nature of the data.

Once sampling is done, there will be an ambiguity in place which is not something that we look for when expecting analytics to work and be accurate. Click here to read more about this and learn how Windsor.ai help you to overcome this issue.

Power BI Google Analytics Connector Limitations

Google Analytics Integration with Power BI is a really powerful one. But there are certain limitations to this connector. Let us now look into the Power BI Google Analytics limitations:

  • Google Analytics quota limits for Power BI: There are certain limitations and quotas for Google Analytics AP requests, which can be read here.  But, PBI Desktop and PBI service allow the following upgraded number of requests.
  • Queries per day: 1,500,000
  • Queries per 100 seconds: 4000
  • Power BI Online does not support queries from Google Analytics API: You are allowed to only use the pre-built data sources to connect to data. Querying Google Analytics with the help of custom queries is not supported by Power BI services.
  • Google Analytics has a limit of 10,000 rows per API query. If it exceeds 10,000 queries, Power BI does not create extra queries to extract the rest of the rows.
  • Impossible to sort and filter for Analytics API queries: The Google API allows you to specify filters, segments, and sort orders. This will modify the result of your Google Analytics Query even before the data reaches the Google Analytics PowerBI connector. This is not supported by the PowerBI service.

How Windsor.ai can help you create better reports

Using a platform like Windsor.ai can help connect PBI and GA4 in such a way that it lets you control every aspect of GA. All your website data can be visualized on Power BI with a few clicks.

You can merge any type of data source to have a Power BI Google Analytics dashboard containing the visualizations of your entire data. Windsor.ai helps you publish the data from your website traffic and develop suitable strategies for your business.

Once you sign in to Windsor.ai, using the easy steps that have been mentioned in this article, you will be able to create beautiful interactive dashboards of your GA data in the Power BI desktop or web app, without any hassle of integrating it yourself.

Windsor.ai makes it easier by providing a variety of templates and helps you create a report in a few simple clicks.

Windsor.ai offers a 30-day free trial. So you can get to see how convenient it is to connect Google Analytics and Power BI using our platform.

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