The biggest problems with our KPI report
When we published our first report on how Google’s data analytics services were tracking us, many people called us out on the error.
They said it was a mistake, that it was not accurate, and that Google’s numbers were inaccurate.
Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, in response, issued a statement clarifying that the company was not tracking users with “opt-out” tracking, but rather with “in-app” tracking that used the data to identify users.
That means that if you’re not a KPI-certified Google Analytics user, your analytics data is not going to be included in the company’s report.
But Pichari also said that KPI reports are accurate, that they’re accurate about the number of people who are logging in each day, and accurate about how many people are accessing Google Analytics in the first place.
“The only thing that is not accurate is that we don’t have any real-time data about how active people are,” Picharai said.
We contacted Google about the errors and got a response from Picharia’s office.
“We apologize for the error and want to make clear that we do not track the number or the type of activity that people do on our services,” the statement read.
Pichiares office did say, however, that the error was in a “miscommunication.”
That didn’t stop a slew of people from saying that they didn’t know if the error meant Google was tracking them, or that they had no idea what was happening.
“Google Analytics is not tracking my activities at all,” said one user.
“They don’t give me a chance to opt-out,” another said.
“If this is true, then this is a huge privacy violation.”
We reached out to Google for more information, and we’ll update this article when we hear back.
The biggest problem with the KPI problem isn’t that Google was collecting data about the people using Google Analytics, it’s that Google is tracking them.
“In general, we are not tracking individuals or the activity that they engage in,” Google’s Pichario wrote.
“For the most part, we only use aggregate statistics for analytics, and those aggregated statistics can show a lot of data, but they don’t represent a person’s actual behavior or the content that they consume.”
Picharya also said Google was only tracking a portion of the data it received from KPI.
But that’s not the only problem with this error.
The error also led to other reports that were inaccurate, like the one published last week in The New York Times, which stated that Google Analytics had actually seen a 40 percent increase in activity among the roughly 8.5 million people who use Google Analytics.
The Times also wrote that the number reported by the company could have been inflated, since it included “users who are not KPI users.”
Google has responded to the Times’ inaccurate report by saying that the spike is only “a very small portion” of the activity it saw.
We asked Google about Picharyas claims about the error in our interview, and have yet to hear back from the company.
“Some of the claims about Google Analytics activity that we are seeing on a daily basis are based on incorrect assumptions,” Pichearyas said.
He also said the error didn’t affect Google’s reports about how people were actually using Google.
“As a matter of fact, it doesn’t impact the way we’re delivering our analytics,” Piacarera wrote.
We’ll update if we hear from Google.
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