I am constantly looking for ways to improve the Analytics Edge add-ins for Excel and the connectors that work with them. For the free products (Basic Add-in and Free Google Analytics connector), I have noticed 2 things seem to consistently affect a number of people on a daily basis. The latest release of the Free Google Analytics connector addresses them both (v1.13.0 released 2018-11-26).
The first common problem is date references, and there are 2 types of common errors here:
- swapping the start and end dates by accident. The software would tell you that it can’t start after the end date, but the new release goes one step further: it swaps them for you and runs the query. The best kind of error message is the kind you never see.
- using bad cell references for the start and end dates. There were 3 scenarios here: the reference was correct but the case didn’t match (‘UK’ vs ‘Uk’), the reference pointed to a location that didn’t exist (worksheet deleted or renamed?), or the cell reference was good but there was no date at that location (moved the cell?). With the new release, the case no longer matters and the error messages have become more explicit as to what is wrong.
Account Not Found
The second common problem people run into is the “Account not found” error. This error usually pops up when you share a workbook with someone else (covering for you while you go on vacation?). Workbooks contain a reference to the account to be used, but the actual account credentials (security tokens) are stored on your computer. When someone else tries to refresh your report on their computer, the add-in looks for the account credentials referenced and can’t find them. With the new release, instead of popping up an “Account Not Found” error, the product opens a login window for the referenced account. If the person can successfully log in to the account, the queries will run as desired. Problem solved, and people unfamiliar with the product aren’t left wondering what to do.
Saying Goodbye to Excellent Analytics
Also in this release, the conversion wizard for Excellent Analytics queries has been removed. It has been over 4 years now that the open-source Excellent Analytics product stopped working. For anyone still using it to tweak old queries parameters manually, you can still do that by opening the Query Worksheet and changing the values there (see: Hacking the Query Worksheet).
You can get the update by opening the License wizard, clicking the Free Google Analytics entry, and hitting the Install button.
[The Google Analytics Pro connector update is coming]