Google Analytics vs Power BI is a not a fair comparison.
Not because one is too above the other’s league, but because these are very different kinds of data tools that businesses can use in different ways.
There is no winner or loser here, just two separate analytics tools that can help businesses reach their full potential.
To manage already-present data in neat and interactive packages to study, Power BI is your best friend. However, if you’re looking to extract data regarding a website’s traffic stats, Google Analytics is what you need. These two can easily and compatibly work together for your business needs.
In fact, Google Analytics can be incorporated in Power BI for next-level data integration! But let’s not get carried away. Starting with quick introductions, we will get into the various features these two amazing tools offer.
There are similarities and differences between them, and an immense power that their integration brings.
An Introduction to Google Analytics
It lets business owners track their website traffic by sending daily, weekly, or monthly reports back with stats and numbers in well-designed graphs. It became part of the Google Marketing Platform brand as early as November 2005 with Google’s acquisition of Urchin.
Setting it Up
You can set up Google Analytics for your website in some easy steps. First, you send in some simple information about the site you want Google to monitor. Second, you get a tracking code that you can place on your website.
Once placed, Google Analytics has the ability to monitor how many times the site was visited! Not just that, but quite a bit of data about your site is visible to you that you can then use as feedback to develop further strategies.
What is Power BI?
Power BI, which stands for Business Intelligence, is a collection of software services and apps that come together to organize your data into interactive insights. From a bunch of data that doesn’t represent anything, Power BI is the step you should take to derive meaningful data insights. If you break it down into even simpler terms, Power BI lets you ‘transform data into stunning visuals’ so you can make informed business decisions.
It lets anyone, from laymen to professionals, pick up their business data and make sense of it. Raw data often misses out on important correlations and attributes of a data set. With Power BI, your data set can be presented to you in a visual, and pleasantly structured, dream.
How does it work?
For instance, let’s consider a business that wants to figure out its yearly revenues from digital marketing alone. They could input their entire data into the Power BI interface and see it in the form of pie charts, bar charts, box charts, or any other kind of visual representation. Once the data is presented to you in this form, you can make sense of it and understand it much better than you would understand raw stats and numbers.
The best feature of Microsoft’s Power BI is the interactive presentation of data. For the example above, a business owner will be able to visit not only the revenues generated by digital marketing; they can see click on further sub sections to view sales made through Instagram in the month of May. This kind of interactive data management turns out to be beyond useful for businesses. They can not only arrange their data and gather insights, but also share it easily with others.
Why is it important?
Gaining general and specific insights into the data you’ve collected is not just for the record. For big companies, future decisions depend on this. Let’s take our previous example. If the business discovers that Instagram yielded 50% more sales in the month of May, they will know they should be focused on recreating that model for every month
When any data is presented graphically for ease of use, it is known as data visualization. It’s not all about coming up with novel and visually appealing ways of presenting data. Visualization helps you understand and recognize data patterns and see how they matter to your business.
If you are a business owner, especially if you have a big enterprise running, you could spend months making sense of data on your own. Raw numbers in Excel sheets would just take too much time to analyze. Instead, there needs to be a system that helps you determine patterns and problems that are not so clear in raw data form.
Importance of Date Visualization in Analytics
Data visualization also has to do with how the human mind works. When humans perceive numbers and analytic figures, the right side of their brain is activated, which is the analytical side. With it, we make essential calculations and connections in our daily lives.
When we look at aesthetically pleasing figures, on the other hand, the left side of the brain becomes active. This is the imaginative and creative portal of our minds. Any visual data piques our imagination and helps us come up with inventive and novel solutions to problems that were otherwise impossible.
Data visualization is not only important for the reasons we already mentioned above. It can help immensely in retaining and interpreting data while telling important and interesting stories for the main decision-makers—the people up top.
- Gives advertising reports
- Measures campaign success
- Imports cost data
- Measures mobile ads success
- Search engine optimization
- Advanced segmentation
- Adding annotations
- Content Experiments
- Custom Reports
- Real-Time Reports
- Audience Data and Reporting
- Used in browser / OS
- Customize dashboards
- Create data sets
- Design reports
- User-friendly navigation panel
- Question and Answer box
- Ad Hoc reporting
- Ad Hoc analysis
- Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)
- Trend indicators
- Interactive reports authoring
- Complete reporting & tools for creating data visuals
As you can see, the features offered by both these data software barely overlap
Google Analytics & Power BI Integration
Google Analytics gives you the option of integration with Power BI—Power Analytics. You can expand the power off GA by importing and comparing data from different sources and aggregators. Your visual reports can turn out more compelling with broader correlations.
Answer data questions better
You can present your business website’s data Power BI by bringing out hidden relationship patterns that can lead to pursuing entirely new possibilities. Posit your data in different ways and use their answers to find inventive marketing strategies. This way you can build your customer base and improve your business.
Find New Connections in your data
Connect your Google Analytics data with data trends from around the world. You can make connections by adding marketing data from GA to other important data findings from different departments. The data can also be important from outside sources and evaluated against industry trends. You can figure out how well your website is faring as compared to the competition!
More Insights to Better Your Business
Google Analytics’ foremost specialty is tracking the behavior of users on a website. However, this is only a start. If you want to step up and evaluate the overall performance of your brand, connect Power BI with Google’s Analytics program and get more meaning out of your data!
Google Analytics offers a free option to all its users with several key features. You can also opt for the premium suite, Analytics 360, which costs $150,000 per year (as per a third-party site). Most businesses opt for the free version as it serves their needs just fine.
Power BI also has a free version that offers 1GB of storage space for your data. If you want to get more out of it, you can sign up for the Pro plan that costs $9.99 per user per month. This includes data collaboration, data governance, building dashboards with views spanning 360 degrees and much more! Users can get a 60-day trial for free and decide if they can benefit from the Pro version.
Google Analytics vs Power BI for Businesses
There is no ‘versus’ in such a situation. As we have pointed out in various ways, the two are different data software that perform different, but not mutually exclusive functions.
Google Analytics calculates the quantity and quality of traffic you are receiving on your website. It may be just one aspect of digital marketing, but one that has wide-ranging consequences for any business. A website is where leads convert into sales after all.
Power BI, on the other hand, takes this calculated data, combines it with other data trends in your business, and presents it to you in a beautifully-crafted interactive interface. Your web data, for example, can be compared with your social media sales to see which is working better. This leads to innovation and updates in campaigns and business models.
While GA gives you the data you will use, Power BI is the canvas that will fit that data in a neat little packet to show bosses and higher administration.
Pros and Cons
Let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons that come with each of these data analytics software.
Here are some advantageous features of the two.
- Power BI integrates easily with existing applications that you have for analytics.
- It has rich, personalized dashboards that can display information in any way you deem fit. This ability to customize makes it a unique addition to each business.
- You can easily share reports with other members on desktop and mobile applications.
- Memory and speed are top-notch with no compromise.
- You can integrate it with Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, Google Analytics, Microsoft Excel, MailChimp, GitHub, comScore, Acumatica, Circuit ID, and Azure Mobile Management.
- Many features are available in the free version.
- You can see where your website’s traffic is coming from and see what was bought as a result of which campaign. This can make advertising much easier!
- Google Analytics not only provides traffic control for your website, but it also lets you make attribution to behavior, traffic sources, and even specific campaigns or devices.
- Google Analytics can see what user is buying from which inventory. The user behavior is monitored down to a T and businesses can make good use of this.
- It can be integrated with Google Play, Adsense, AdWords, Google Display Network, Google Tag Manager, and Wildfire.
- Most features are free!
Have a look at some of their drawbacks that can be improved upon.
- There are a few limitations to data extraction from Dynamics CRM, which makes users resort to manual data input. This can take up long work hours.
- There is no option to create multiple entity parameters for data storage. This means that you cannot make separate dashboards for an account, opportunity, or campaign. Only aggregates are visible.
- Very limited real-time data sources can be connected to Power BI.
- You can only share dashboards and reports with those who have the same email domains as your Office 360.
- If you must implement B2C Power BI visualizations, the cost is too high, especially for start-ups.
- People don’t trust the cloud for their confidential data, which limits functionality.
- The user interface is too confusing. A host of tools and their subsets are present. However, it is difficult to figure out which is most important. Maybe a simpler, more streamlined display may prove to be better.
- Some key functions, keyword data and all, were moved over to Google Webmaster. This wasn’t a great move on their part.
- GA lets you have a bunch of functions, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out what they are for and which ones are most important.
We should reiterate here that Google Analytics vs Power BI may not be a head-on comparison due to their different functions. While Google Analytics comes up with the data it is representing on its own, Power BI needs to be given the data to work with.
Perhaps the latter is more comparable to Google’s Data Studio—which is also a data visualization tool. While Google Analytics, in all respects, is indispensable as a digital marketing and advertising tool, Power BI offers unmatched information technology services.
To stay up-to-date and well-informed about your own business data, you have to use a combination of both! In fact, we would suggest that you go ahead and use their effective integration—Power Analytics.