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Understand information in your reports and troubleshoot reporting issues such as self-referrals, (not set) data, and inaccurate information
 
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Attribution - Lookback window

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Happy Friday everyone!

 

I am wondering if there is any way to increase the lookback window in Analytics to greater than 90 days? If not in free, can this be done in 360 Analytics or 360 Attribution? 

 

Thanks!

 

RS

Attribution - Lookback window

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 2
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

Nope, the lookback window can't be more than 90 days. What is the business case or scenario where you would need more than 90 days?

 

For example, in the automotive industry, sometimes the decision process is long - but even then, because of cookie deletion, cross device and such, going beyond 90 days would be highly unreliable. Instead, you have to rely on micro-conversions as indirect signals of "moving the needle" toward the ultimate business goal.

Attribution - Lookback window

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks for your reply Stéphane. I was thinking of linking with customer data for lifetime value - so a customer initially finds out about the brand through social media, browses the site but doesn't purchase, then performs a brand PPC search a few months later when they are in the market to buy, browses again, then comes back direct the following month and makes a purchase. We then have them in the CRM database so can start recording all of their purchases and lifetime value - it'd be good in an instance like that to give some weight, even if it's just anecdotally, to Social a as channel which has driven a loyal long term customer. 

Any thoughts?

 

Thanks 

 

Rebecca

 

Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Rebecca S
July

Re: Attribution - Lookback window

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 4
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

Great - I understand and it's a very legitimate goal.

With some fancy work it would be possible, but outside of GA.

 

Thinking out loud:

  • create two custom dimensions: client id & user id
  • at first, the user id is unknown, so you have: cid-123, anonymous
  • when the user finally authenticate, you now have cid-123, user-abc
  • extract all cid & user ids, and the source/medium & other relevant info for each session
  • programmatically look back at older sessions and assign user-abc to all cid-123 that didn't have a user-id. You might also have multiple cid with the same user id (for example, clearing cookies, or using a different device, but eventually authenticating at some point in the future)
  • use the approach you want to create your own attribution model - and you can go as far back... from the point where you implement this

This is what I would call "true session unification" since it can assign a user id to previous session (contrary to "session unification" provided out of the box by GA where it only assigns the user id as long as it was during the same session...)

Attribution - Lookback window

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks Stéphane! I like this approach but wish I had a system to do it for me! It is very frustrating about the session unification in GA as other tools on the market can do it - do you have any idea why GA doesn't?

 

Thanks

 

Rebecca

Attribution - Lookback window

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 6
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

The very first time the concept of session unification was presented to me I said it should go back to previous sessions. There were two arguments against it: #1) Google doesn't apply any modification backward and #2) privacy (although this second argument is a catch all and is usually followed by "we can't talk about it")...

Attribution - Lookback window

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks again Stéphane, the privacy thing does seem strange when other tools are doing it and they have this 'probablistic' linking on their roadmap apparently...

 

Rebecca

Attribution - Lookback window

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hey Stephane,

 

I thought that Google by default creates a client id. What is the purpose of creating a custom dimension for client id?

 

Regards,

Azfer

Attribution - Lookback window

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 9
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

The concept is to keep both the client id (created by GA) and the user id (your own id) - both of them are sent to GA, but not available through the API, that's why you need to keep them in custom dimensions.

 

Then, suppose a single person visiting a car manufacturer website on different occasions:

- Visit #1 from a campaign, from desktop to website: assigned client ID 123, anonymous user - view a few pages and goes away

- Visit #2 from mobile: assigned ID 345, anonymous user - visit a specific car model

- Visit #3: back to the website from a desktop, still client ID 123, but this time, the user creates an account and use the build & price tool, we now know it's user ABC

 

- Visit #4: the same person comes from mobile, and wants to show his dream car to someone, so he logs in as user ABC (still client 345 on mobile)

- Visit #5: back to the site, but for some reason, not logged in: client 123, anonymous user

- Visit #6: cookies were deleted, so the person gets assigned ID 678, but eventually logs in as User ABC

 

Now you have two client ID's but a single User ID.

By extracting all this info, you could go back and assign User ID to Visit #1, #2, #5.

 

This would be "true" session reunification Smiley Happy

Attribution - Lookback window

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Ah ok. the session reunification process definitely made sense. I didn't realize that we couldn't get client ID value from the API. Is it because there's no way to get the entire _ga cookie from the API?