When Google Analytics Disappears

Believe it or not, Google isn’t infallible. Neither are humans. I recently lost a significant amount of data in Google Analytics – a real tragedy that had me crying for an entire day and still confounds me. I was adding a new profile onto my account. I revisited it a few days later and the other, main profile was missing.

Apparently, I am not the first person to whom this has happened. The Google Analytics forums are full of people who have lost profiles and years of data. Either an employee deletes it when she quits, out of spite, or one user deletes it from their screen and that deletes the entire profile for all three users. Or, as in my case, and which seems shockingly common, it just disappears.

I was – and continue to be – quite embarrassed by this mishap, but since I’m not the only one to have made it, I thought I would offer some solutions to help you prevent this in your own Google Analytics account.

First of all, never push “Delete.” For some of the folks in the forums, this not only deleted the profile from their account, but from everyone’s account, essentially making years of data disappear. Even if you leave the organization, consider living with that data forever and ever, just to avoid the black hole of Google Analytics.

Second, install your UA profile on several accounts to which you have access.

Third, take advantage of the automatic monthly reporting system offered by Google Analytics. Define your major data points and have that data sent to you every single month. Those Excel sheets and PDFs are the only remains of my data sets.

Fourth, schedule a six-month, annual and bi-annual report to be sent to you. If you profile ever disappears, having these larger reports will save you from having to piece together the monthly reports.

There are data back-up services out there, but I haven’t found one that I will purchase yet, so I won’t make any recommendations.

My real recommendation is that, if you love your Google Analytics like I do, be very careful with it. Compile the reports, don’t delete and let’s just hope that one day this glitch with Google gets worked out. (I haven’t received responses to my direct requests of Google.)

Any other ideas? Let me know!

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