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Tracking Groups of Subdomains

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello all,

 

I am brand new to the Analytics game, and unsure how to set up subdomain tracking for an atypical use-case. 

 

Background Context

I work for an education company with one main domain:  www.edsite.com

 

Underneath that we have 38 subdomains, each for a school:  

My main problem is figuring out the easiest way to lump subdomains (schools) together into districts to create district Views.

 

Additional relevant details:

  • Users from schoolA will never create cross-traffic to schoolB, because each school site has its own login and pertains to a different set of users (teachers/students).  Because of this, subdomains essentially function as their own domains.
  • Right now, I have the same tracking code on every subdomain.
  • I cannot simply associate each subdomain (school) to a View because I have more than 25 schools, and am limited to 25 Views.  So I *must* figure out a solution that allows me to combine subdomains together.

Questions:

  1. I desire to have roll-up reporting on a per-district basis, where a district consists of more than one school (multiple subdomains linked together).  Within that district View, however, I would like to be able to differentiate between activity from different schools (subdomains).  How do I create a filter for this district View where I combine traffic from multiple subdomains together but still retain the ability to segment by subdomain?
  2. What is the most logical entity to associate a district to in the Analytics hierarchy?  I was planning on using Profiles for this, but not sure of the best way.
  3. Should I put different tracking code on every subdomain page since the traffic to each page is a completely distinct set of users?
1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Tracking Groups of Subdomains

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Erin,

Firstly, if you're using Universal Analytics (analytics.js tracking code), sub-domain tracking is configured automatically. However, you should set up a filter that adds the complete domain name in front of your page URLs [1]. In this way, you may distinguish between pages with the same URLs on different hosts (like the homepages).

I would possibly keep to have all data in one common Analytics view and try to bundle together school districts for reporting by using Analytics Content Grouping with rule-set method [2]. You may set up custom reports with that content-grouping dimension for districts and the 'host' dimension for schools then.

Christoph

[1] https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1034342?hl=en#Next
[2] https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2853546?hl=en

Re: Tracking Groups of Subdomains

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Christoph,

 

Thanks for your fast help! Duly noted about the adding the complete domain name-- I will definitely need to do that.

 

As to the method for lumping schools together into districts that makes the most sense in terms of Google's hierarchy, I think Content Grouping is not appropriate in my case. The general concept of grouping entities together is aligned with my needs, but the problem is that Content Groupings are assigned at the View level. Because of Content Grouping and View count limitations, I would then have to define a View to be itself a collection of 5 districts. That doesn't make sense for my use case as there are no logical district groupings other than by region, but my org has more than 5 school districts we work with per region. Not to mention that a Property would have to be further defined that grouped the Views (district groups) together, and I don't have an entity higher than a district defined as it is.

 

Here is the solution I have come up with as an alternative. The difficult part here was figuring out what part of GA's hierarchy to associate district and school to, keeping in mind all default account limitations.  I would love to get feedback on this...

 

  • 1 account associated with my company
  • 1 property per district
  • 1 view per school (subdomain)

 

This solution requires me to add tracking code with the district's propertyID to each school (subdomain) site for that district so that user interactions from all schools within the same district will be routed to the same property.  If my company scales beyond 50 districts, I should be able to convince Google to raise the property limit.  

 

The unfiltered view for each property is now the district rollup view, and I would set a filter to limit data from the desired subdomain to each school view.  Within each view, I would create the segments I need for user roles (principals, teachers, etc).

 

The follow-up question I have is how to do rollup reporting across multiple properties (districts) now that Google seems to have stripped the Roll-up Property feature away from the free version and included it in the 360 Suite only.  Is there some other way?

 

Thanks,

Erin

Re: Tracking Groups of Subdomains

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Edit: the solution proposed above may not be possible given that I am forced to associate a property with a single website during property set up. My company does not maintain websites for districts, so I cannot enter a domain during setup other than my top level www.edsite.com one. However, that defeats the purpose of creating a property that encapsulates only a specific set of subdomains.

Is there another way to accomplish what I'm trying to accomplish? Specifically:

Can I track all user interactions across groupings of subdomains, where I have multiple groupings and no domain in existence that links the groupings I want together? For instance, if I have a district with 3 schools, and each school has a site with its own subdomain, like this:

www.schoolA.edsite.com
www.schoolB.edsite.com
www.schoolC.edsite.com

which all live under www.edsite.com where no intermediate site www.districtA.com exists that links them all together, can I still group the subdomains together somehow so that I can do rollup reporting across all 3 schools in the district?

Any help is greatly appreciated!
Erin

Re: Tracking Groups of Subdomains

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor
Hi Erin,

I just want you to try to keep your setup as simple as possible ... I still feel that you could accomplish your task by simply defining rule-set Content Groups. The point is that you don't need to have five content groupings for five school districts - just one content grouping for all school districts. In that content grouping you may define as many districts as you want.

Example: District 1 is defined by page URLs (that include domains) matching a regular expression [1]

www\.school(A|B|C)\.com

where '|' means a logical 'OR'.

Christoph

[1] http://www.lovesdata.com/blog/2014/regular-expressions-cheat-sheet/