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Collecting Data with Google Tag Manager


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Librarians working at various points in the e-resource lifecycle are used to gathering information about how people use the library and its resources from usage statistics, system reports and user studies. Google Analytics can be a useful complement to these data sources, except that its ability to answer questions about user behavior is limited.

Enter Google Tag Manager (GTM), an alternative and flexible way to gather data into Google Analytics. At the University of Redlands, we've used GTM to fine-tune our collection of web analytics, improving our understanding of user behavior. We’re now better equipped to disentangle the paths users take to access e-resources and to answer questions like “What do users do after getting zero results?”

In this session, we'll explain what makes GTM distinctive, share what we're learning from our implementation, and explore GTM’s advantages, limitations and possible uses. If you’re able to insert raw HTML into a system’s header and have some familiarity with HTML and CSS, we think you’ll find this useful.
Paige Mann, Web Experiences Librarian, University of Redlands:
Sanjeet Mann, Arts and Electronic Resources Librarian, University of Redlands

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Collecting Data with Google Tag Manager

  1. 1. Collecting Data with Google Tag Manager Google Analytics GTM Intended users Programmers Everyone else Actions required to collect additional data Edit raw HTML Fill out a form(s) Placement of code <head> tag <header> tag Paige Mann and Sanjeet Mann Authentication errors 2,067 Accessed online serials through OPAC 1,768 Viewed subject filters in AZ page 20,734 Viewed new and trial databases in AZ page 410 Great Ideas Showcase June 10, 2016 Clicked Find Article option in AZ page 4,586 Clicked Find Serial option in AZ page 3,389 Submitted Find Serial form in AZ page 3,106 Submitted Find Article form in AZ page 3,821 Google Analytics collect Google Analytics organize Google Analytics analyze Look for… •variables like Click or Form ID, class, text, etc. •variables like page URL •variables that you define so when… •users click on, or submit, those things •under those conditions collect •up to 3 data fields (event category, event action, and event variable) •Tracking behavior is limited to clicks •Google privacy settings can strip out useful data (e.g. information about the web page) •Manually customized data collectors requires periodic updates Traffic from Moodle Data from 5/16/15 – 5/15/16 *Data from 8/1/15-5/1/16 Serial searches with 0 results* 4,715 (3%) … and what users clicked on next*