Google has extended the functionality of its Google Sheets with an add-on that lets users access Google Analytics data directly from the spreadsheet.
The goal is to make it easier for Google Analytics users to export data to Sheets, where they can analyze it or combine it with data from other sources, Google Analytics programs engineer Philip Walton wrote in a blog announcing the add-on.
The new functionality automates what, up to now, has largely been a manual process for pulling data from Analytics and putting it into Sheets. For those who run reports frequently or have to manage multiple reports, the new feature will make those tasks easier, Walton said.
"With the release of add-ons for Google Sheets, getting your Google Analytics data into Google Sheets has never been easier," he said. "It's great for data manipulation and for all the things you would normally do with data in a spreadsheet," he added in a video explaining how the tool works.
Google offers add-ons for Sheets and both its other productivity tools, Docs and Forms. The company describes add-ons as tools that help extend the functionality of an application by automating routine tasks and integrating it with external services. Most add-ons for Google's productivity suite are from third-party developers.
The add-on for Sheets allows users to query the Google Analytics API and pull data back into the spreadsheet. The new functionality makes it easier for users to query and report data from multiple views, Walton said.
Other benefits include the ability for users to do custom calculations, create and embed visualizations, schedule reports and updates automatically, and control access to data and visualizations by taking advantage of sharing and privacy features in Google Sheets.
For Google Analytics customers looking for more advanced capabilities, Walton recommended two add-ons for Docs and Sheets created by third parties. One of them is Supermetrics for Google Docs and Sheets, an add-on that basically allows users to pull their business metrics into Sheets, according to its creator Supermetrics.
The add-on connects Sheets to Google Analytics, Adwords, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter and allows users to quickly build dashboards and reports with data pulled in from any of these sources.
The other add-on that Walton recommended was the Analytics Canvas Google Sheets Add-on from nModal Solutions. As with the other add-ons, this one automates many routine cut-and-paste tasks by giving Sheets users a way to read and write to Google Analytics and other data sources like Excel, Access, SQL Server and Oracle, according to the company description of its capabilities.
Separately, Google is scheduled to end compatibility support of Google Analytics with Microsoft Internet Explorer on Jan. 31. After that date, users who continue using IE 9 with Google Analytics may find some features not working properly, the company has previously cautioned. Google will continue to support IE 10 and newer versions and all recent versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari.