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SSAI – An Industry Leader in Digital Analytics
The SSAI Digital Analytics team successfully transitioned nearly 100 projects distributed among 16 science data and service providers from traditional website metrics collection to digital analytics. This migration and subsequent ongoing support enabled the providers to understand how their sites and apps are being found and used. In turn, that information was employed to enhance the user experience and make gargantuan amounts of scientific data and information more easily available to the science community.
Due to the efforts of the SSAI Digital Analytics Team, ~100 website owners are now able to understand how their sites and apps are being found and used, which subsequently enables them to redesign their sites for a more effective user experience.
The SSAI Digital Analytics team is tasked with aiding science data and service providers in determining whether their websites and applications are meeting the needs of the target audience. Until recently, traditional analytics, which consist primarily of click throughs, pageviews, path analysis, and recency & frequency evaluations, etc., were all that were available for such assessments, and were performed using an IBM NetInsight enterprise level web analytics solution. However, as data analytics trends developed toward a more comprehensive approach, IBM announced NetInsight had reached end-of-life and would no longer be marketed to the public. SSAI’s Digital Analytics team took this opportunity to be a leader in industry trends, and over a period of two years, successfully transitioned to the digital analytics reporting product, Google Analytics 360 (GA360) and its sister product Google Tag Manager (GTM)—a state-of-the-art tag management system. In addition to website analytics, this joint solution offers technologies that are designed to capture, manage, and process broader, more complex, and more value-added “big data,” such as email, search, social media, mobile, and (increasingly) offline data analyses. After successfully onboarding all the applicable providers, the SSAI-led team now uses GA and GTM to perform collection; measurement; analysis; and visualization and interpretation of digital data illustrating user behavior on websites, mobile sites, and mobile applications. These services are ongoing for approximately 100 science-related efforts and span across 16 science data and service providers throughout NASA’s Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) project.
Simply put, ~100 website owners are now able to understand how their sites and apps are being found and used, which subsequently enables them to redesign their sites for a more effective user experience.
While GA360 is a powerful digital analytics reporting tool, GTM both simplifies the tagging process by enabling management of all the configured tags without editing code; and exponentially expands the analytics capabilities through endless opportunities for custom tag configurations. Moreover, the Digital Analytics team leverages several other tools to augment GA360 and GTM, including: Data Studio to visualize data and create fully customizable informative reports and dashboards; CrazyEgg for quick analyses concerning how visitors interact with a web page (snapshots, heatmaps, confetti maps, etc.); the Google Search Console to monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot a site's presence in Google Search results; and BigQuery for scalable analysis over petabytes of data.
Through this transition from traditional metrics collection to Digital Analytics, the SSAI-led team continues to facilitate access to an unfathomable quantity of scientific data and information… and in addition to supporting the providers and products above, is actively in the process of preparing to migrate to the next generation of Google Analytics products.