An exercise I’m planning to run by my students in a an upcoming class.

Think of uses can you make of Google Analytics Measurement Protocol that aren’t the standard website/application tracking.

The Measurement Protocol is Google’s API for sending data into Analytics that is agnostic of the platform using it. It can be used in different scenarios, from data kiosks to IoT.

Rolling this idea in my head got me thinking. What if we implemented Google Analytics at a country long toll road to track drivers behavior?

The basics

Some elements were immediately clear. Each entrance to the road is a Session. A section driven through would be a Pageview. In the pageview we would need to know the section passed through and the driver’s direction. This would require that the road is split into its two directions — e.g. North and South.

So a pageview for a section driven would be something of the likes of “/north/section-13″.

The Landing Page will indicate where a driver entered the road. Similarly the Exit Page will indicate where they left. And the cherry on top — the Pages per Session is the number of sections the driver drove through.

In Israel, where certain sections of the road are open toll free, Content Grouping can be used to differentiate between the section types (Regular/Toll free).

Events

So we know how many people came in, where, and the road’s utilization.

Another important feature would be tracking unusual events on the road.

For example car accidents. This can simply use Event tracking. Any accident can be reported as an Event, which is of course triggered on a specific section. This can later help on analyzing accident prone sections of the road.

Ecommerce

At the end of the day, we’re a business. So each trip not only has to be recorded but also billed.

So the Product will be the number of sections passed. The Category can take in the driver’s direction.

This will give us a clear dashboard of our road’s earnings.

User tracking

Any driver coming in has a clear identifier — their car license plate. This can be used as a User ID (can be replaced with a non personal identifiable value to comply with Analytics policy) . This will enable tracking users lifetime value.

Additionally, a Custom Dimension can be used to indicate the user’s type — Registered, Unregistered etc.

Real Time Dashboards

Utilizing this Analytics feature can allow simple real time tracking.

It is easy to see which sections of the road are traffic heavy and when an accident has happened.

Final thoughts

First, please don’t share this to my students as I want them to be able to reach a similar breakdown themselves ☺

Second, feel free to comment on what you would add to the tracking. Very interested in hearing additional ideas.

And last, always keep exercising yourself to think outside the box.

Originally published on my blog on Medium.

About the Author

Elad Levy

Experienced Web Analyst, working for almost a decade now with various web analytics tools.
Also a husband, father of two rascals, and the co-founder of Fixel.

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