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How to start using DaaS services – Data as a Service

How to start using DaaS services – Data as a Service 700 460 Nicola Lapenta

A real case of DaaS taken from a Google Ads campaign

This article describes which platforms you can configure with analytics technology offered by Google to start reaping real benefits from DaaS service.

Content index

Introduction

Often entrepreneurs and business managers fall into the common mistake of not continuously analyzing the data of their online activities, losing essential information for their business.

This happens because in order to know the trend of online activities or services, in-depth technical analysis skills and above all a broad understanding of the management of the data that are generated by the systems used are required. These skills are underdeveloped because they require continuous updates on constantly evolving technologies.

Using a DaaS data service (Data as a Service) provides concrete help in understanding your data, at competitive costs. If you are not familiar with this service, read the article The benefits of DaaS.

Cloud Platforms

Leading data management and analytics companies must address changing business requirements and manage an ever-deepening impact of the cloud in the increasingly complex technology ecosystem.

For this reasons, the data management companies offer highly automated services where infrastructure resources (e.g., compute, network, and storage) are supplemented by as-a-service for specific functions.

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Figure 1 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Services

There is a dire need for innovative solutions that address today’s data management and analytics problems, especially for startups and SMEs (Small Medium Enterprises) that don’t have big budgets.

How can an entrepreneur or an startup that doesn’t have a big budget benefit from DaaS services? From my experience it is very useful to start using the free Google platforms that provide the accurate performance of any online business.

As visualized in figure 1 Google is a leading provider in this area, with its Google Cloud Platform (GCP) offering a suite of services useful for managing almost any digital business use case. In particular, using the following platforms enables comprehensive and effective data analytics:

  • Google Search Console
  • Google Tag Manager
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Data Studio

These free platforms offer the possibility to collect data from different sources that are thoroughly analyzed and related to each other, they help users to understand in detail the behavior and evolution of an online activity.

After a description of the main functionalities of each platform, I will describe a real case that provides all the information to understand if a GoogleAds campaign is optimized and reaches the required goals.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free service that allows you to monitor and manage the presence of a website in Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page) results. It allows you to solve SEO (Search Engine Optimization) problems and understand how a site is indexed. Figure 2 shows an example of the trend of clicks from visitors to a website.

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Figure 2 Google Search Console platform

In addition, Google Search Console offers tools and reports for the following actions:

  • Verify that Google can find the site and crawl it.
  • Show backlinked websites.
  • Receive alerts when indexing or spam issues are found.
  • Request re-indexing of new content and fix any issues.
  • Display Google Search traffic data such as: display frequency, user click-through rate, and related search queries.

Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is a tag management system that allows you to quickly and easily update tracking codes and related code snippets, collectively known as tags, on a website or mobile app. If you add the Tag Manager code segment to your project, you can easily and securely deploy your analytics and measurement tag configurations from a web-based user interface.

After installing Tag Manager, your website or app will be able to communicate with the servers of this system. Later, you can use the web-based user interface to set up tag tracking, define triggers that activate the tag when certain events occur, and create variables to simplify and automate tag configurations.

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Figure 3 Google Tag Manager Platform

In figure 3 we can see an example of the Overview menu where changes to a workspace (container) are displayed.  

A container is a set of tags, triggers, variables, and related configurations installed on a particular website or mobile app. A Tag Manager container can replace all other manually tagged tags on a site or app, including those from Google Ads, Google Analytics, and third-party tags.

Google Analytics

The platform Google Analytics (in figure 4) is a free web analytics service that allows you to analyze detailed statistics on visitors to a website. It is used to observe various types of site traffic statistics: such as the duration of the session, the origin of the visit, the number of pages visited, the most viewed pages and the user’s geographical location of origin.

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Figure 4 Google Analytics Platform

It can also be used to analyze Google Ads online campaigns or to monitor the quality of the pages and to obtain necessary information for transforming a user’s visit into a goal. These goals can include sales, lead generation, specific page views, or the download of a file. To learn more about the history of this important platform from its birth to today, read the article Google Analytics Generations.

Google Data Studio

Data Studio is a free platform that transforms data into dashboards and informative reports that are easy to read and share and fully customizable.

  • Represents the history of your data with various types of charts (such as line, bar, pie, area, and bubble), geographic maps, paginated data tables, pivot tables, and more.
  • Makes your reports interactive with view filters and date range controls. Data control turns any report into a flexible model that anyone can use to view their data.
  • Includes clickable links and images to create product catalogs, video libraries and other content.
  • Annotates and brand your reports using text and images.
  • Adapts styles, themes and colors to embellish the representation of your data.
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Figure 5 Google Data Studio Templates

In the “Templates” menu shown in figure 5, there are also ready-to-use reports with detailed metrics and useful KPIs.

Furthermore, with Data Studio, you can easily create data reports from a variety of sources including:

  • Databases, including BigQuery, MySQL and PostgreSQL.
  • Google consumables, such as Sheets, YouTube, and Search Console.
  • Flat files by uploading CSV files and Google Cloud Storage.
  • Social media platforms like Facebook, Reddit and Twitter.
  • Marketing products including Google Ads, Analytics, Display & Video 360.

Real case of a Google Ads campaign

If a paid marketing campaign is active, some information is essential to understand if it is working and to recognize how and when to introduce further optimizations.

To understand the use of a DaaS data service I’ll describe a real case of a Google Ads Marketing campaign. To know if the campaign is working, the questions that need to be answered are:

  • How many impressions does the campaign get?
  • How many weekly clicks does it get?
  • What is the Click Through Rate (CTR)?
  • How many conversions do you get per week?
  • What is the conversion rate?
  • How much has the campaign cost so far?
  • What is the average CPC (Cost per Click)?
  • What is the cost per conversion?

Today with Google technologies you can get all the answers to these questions, and many others. They offer a complete understanding of the interactions that take place between customers and the different Touchpoints used to sell products or services online.

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Figure 6 Google Ads campaign dashboard

Figure 6 shows the dashboard that one user of the DaaS service will receive via email at agreed deadlines (typically weekly and monthly) with the main KPIs allowing for the evaluation of the overall progress of the campaign to decide whether to take corrective action.

The dashboard displayed was developed with Data Studio after activating Google Analytics for an e-commerce web site.

Conclusion

The usefulness of a DaaS service goes beyond the simple sending of reports and dashboards, it provides information that really helps companies and entrepreneurs to undertake the right digital strategies starting from the real data of their online activities.

A DaaS service helps to minimize the costs and risks that a company has to incur in order to get the information it needs to seize the best opportunities for business growth. Data as a Service services are a key resource for all online businesses.

Contact me from this link to learn about your channels in detail, I will help you customize the different platforms and understand where the greatest growth opportunities lie for your business.

Published by Nicola Lapenta

Credits Search Console, Tag Manager, Google Analytics, Data Studio

Photo by m. on Unsplash, Google Support