Why we use Google Analytics and Tag Manager
The University uses Google Analytics (GA) to collect and analyse usage data on the website. This data provides valuable insights to how our users interact with the site. It is also possible to track data in more nuanced ways than a standard Google Analytics set up would with Google Tag Manager (GTM).
We have analytics data available for www.bath.ac.uk, wiki.bath.ac.uk, and blogs.bath.ac.uk. We are also able to distinguish between on campus and off campus users on www.bath.ac.uk.
Whether you are running in-depth data analysis experiments with external marketing agencies, or would just like to have a better idea of which pages your users visit the most, this guide describes how to request data and access for our data and tools.
How to get data about your content
If you just need basic information about the performance of your content, email Digital Marketing & Communications to request a report on your stats. You should tell us:
- the site section(s) you need data for
- the type of data you need - see Google's list of data available
- the reason you need this data
- how often you would like to receive updates on this data
- how long you will need to receive the reports for
If you are not responsible for the site section you need data for, please also copy in that section's owner so they can approve your request.
Getting access to our data and tools
If you need direct access to GA or GTM to do more in-depth analysis or to set up specific types of tracking, make a request to Digital Marketing & Communications. You should include:
- the names and University of Bath email addresses of the users to be added - you will need to get Google access for your account first.
- whether they need access to Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, or both
- whether they need data for the main www.bath.ac.uk site, different sites (www.teambath.com for example), or some combination, and in which tool (GA or GTM)
- the reason they require access
- the time-period for which they should have access
Please make these requests well in advance of any deadlines or campaign start-dates (at least one month), as review time may be needed.
When permissions are granted, they will normally be set at 'Approve' on Google Tag Manager, and either 'Edit' or 'Collaborate' on Google Analytics. (For more information see Google's Tag Manager and Analytics user roles info pages).
In GA, the 'Collaborate' level grants access to view and manipulate data, as well as share reports.
In GTM, the 'Approve' level grants the ability to draft tags and triggers, and create versions, but not publish them.
If you need a different type of access please let us know why and we will work with you to find a solution.
Working with external users and agencies on marketing campaigns can complement our abilities with valuable skills, but the University has to be careful with its analytics data.
If you need any users not employed by the University to be granted access to our GA or GTM accounts, they must sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). NDAs may need to be tailored to specific circumstances; please contact Legal to assess your situation.
Once you have the NDA, follow the instructions here to request access, and be sure to include a copy of the NDA with the request.
Requesting changes to GA or GTM configuration
Sometimes it will be necessary for changes to be made to our GA or GTM configurations to better track specific types of data. These can include, among other things, creating Goals in GA, and setting up Triggers or Tags in GTM.
If you have 'Editor' access in GA or 'Approve' access in GTM, you can make changes yourself and then ask us to review and publish them.
When requesting changes, please give us at least one week's notice before they are needed. It is possible that we might ask for revisions, and we don't want to delay any marketing campaigns if at all possible.
If you do not have access to make the changes yourself, email us with the changes you would like us to make. Tell us:
- the change
- the reason for the change
- any deadlines we need to be aware of
If you are not the site section owner, please also copy them in so they can approve the request.
Identifying GA properties and GTM containers in communications
The University has multiple GA properties and GTM containers, many of which have colloquial names that are similar to others.
In order to avoid confusion, when we are communicating about changes and reviews, it is useful to refer to the location of the change by the ID of its GA property or GTM container.
Every Google Analytics property will have a unique identifier, in the format of "UA-XXXXXXXX-X", and Tag Manager containers will have a tracking ID in the format of "GTM-XXXXXX". Please refer to these IDs when making your requests so that we can be sure we are talking about the same property or container.
Making changes in Tag Manager
If you have access to Tag Manager and have the ability to make changes, there are a few guidelines we use to make sure we keep things organised, and that we avoid conflicting changes causing slow-downs.
Organizing tags and triggers
We use the following conventions to keep our tags and triggers organized:
- create a new workspace to contain your changes in Tag Manager so that two people working simultaneously don't interfere with each other
- name your tags and triggers in a way that makes it clear what they do and who uses them. For example, Faculty of Science might name their triggers "FacSci - click on physics BSc course with placement year"
- organize any tags or triggers you add into clearly named folders that make it clear who uses them. The above Faculty of Science trigger might go into a folder called "FacSci - UG recruitment BSc with placement"
When creating a new workspace, you should give it a clear name and description as well:
FacSci UG Recruitment
- Adds triggers to track clicks on links to our undergraduate BSc courses with placement years for Physics, Computer Science, Chemistry, etc
- Adds tags to send these clicks as events to Google Analytics
- Removes tags and triggers for similar campaign from previous academic year
Submitting changes for publication
Once you have created a workspace and finished drafting your changes, email Digital and let us know that you need a review. Please include the workspace name, and GTM container the workspace was created in. If everything looks OK, we will publish the changes.
What we review
When we review GTM changes we are checking primarily that:
- the changes adhere to the guidelines in this document to keep our containers organised
- tags and triggers are targeted to only affect pages they need to
- changes made are not 'leaking' our data outside of the University
- changes do not conflict with pre-existing configuration