13 Jan 2016
Tag Assistant Google Analytics recordings
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Tag Assistant Recordings: Google Analytics Validation in real time

Google has been revolutionising its Tag Assistant tool in recent months. The Chrome plugin started as a discreet, quick and easy way to verify basic installations of Google Analytics and Tag Manager which we have always recommended in our GTM and Analytics course in order to check the installation of one and the other. But it is now turning into something far greater…

Sometime ago we found in Google’s blog: Real-Time Data Validation with Google Tag Assistant Recordings >>


Tag Assistant Google Analytics Recordings
Image source: Google’s Blog

Tag Assistant Recordings

And what a surprise! These really are real time tests or authentic Google Analytics in Real Time… 😛

Tag Assistant allows you to carry out and record all kind of session data in real time, saving a registry with all them (pageviews, events, transactions, social interactions, etc.).

And it is reported on an incredibly detailed level, let’s see an example:

Audience: Browser, operating system, etc.

Audiencia Google Analytics Tag Assistant


Acquisition: Source, media, campaign, content and term

Campaign information only on utm_ parameters, info is not given neither on automatically tagged adwords campaigns – gclid parameter – nor channel grouping level, at least for the moment…

Adquisicion Google Analytics Tag Assistant


Behaviour: Pages and Events

Summarises all the Hits that happens in order.

Comportamiento Google Analytics Tag Assistant

And now the typical million dollar question when we have so muuuuch data… “and what use is this to me?”. Well for example, seeing in real time the events can be enormously useful. Imagine that you have to check that you have correctly planned, organised and sent all the events data. Well, this can be a very good tool to dedupe.

In this example, doesn’t something not seem right in the previous second event (“Click Internal Link” / ”Click Link Interno”). The URL fragment of these internal links is not available on GA reports Event Action. Debugging this in real time it is easier to understand, in this way, why there are event clicks in an article to itself … true? Well then, if you want you can go to Tag Manager and re-configure the event tag adding {{Click URL Fragment}} to the end of the Action.


Conversions: Beginnings and Goal Achievements

Indicate if a conversion funnel has begun and/or finished with its steps and all:

Conversiones Tag Assistant Analytics


Google Analytics Recordings Flow (Chrome Tag Assistant )

And the best in our opinion is that in the FLOW part, where you can see the navigation flow between pages, at one or different domains, yours or not. And what does that mean? Well, to start, at last we can detect these anomalous conversions with (direct) source or, which is the same, check if our payment gateway ends the session or not (and begins a new one), for example. Another highly recommended real time check: multi- and sub-domain tracking.

Here we see an example that shows jumping between different domains:

Flow Google Analytics Tag Assistant

*When we are not authorised to see the owner of Google Analytics of a domain, we are shown a similar report with less information.

There is a small snag, and that is when opening links in a new tab, the behaviour of the session is a little unpredictable, we will further explore this now… as there is a specific option for this in the plugin itself.

In Flow you can also see the registry of all hits sent with their associated data (like custom dimensions for example). And in the case of events all their parameters (category, action, label and value).


And well, all the above could be only a small part of what Google is preparing with Tag Assistant, which looks like becoming another of its cool tools. Not only for Google Analytics, but also offering information about the different display locations within a site (I think it was with the Publishers tag)… #nocomment