Google Analytics (GA) is invaluable when you need to slice and dice web traffic data along numerous dimensions. For example, by date, time, location just to name few measuring visits, vistiors, pageviews, etc. For full list of possible combinations take a look at this documentation.
While many business users and SEO/SEM analyts use GA on regular basis to manage their Internet Marketing spend and improve site traffic for better ROI, they can chart a single measure for different segments and analyse one metric at a time. Many a time users download their data from adwords or get GA data through their in-house API setup. With almost all business users having used Excel as one of their main analytical tool, they prefer it over other tools (either in-house or 3rd party). Also, as quickly as things change in Internet Marketing (IM) world, some quick analysis business user can do on their own allows them to respond to quickly to market changes. You may find bullet 3 and 4 in this article from Avinash Kaushik relevant.
One freeware plug-in that provides the solution is ExcellentAnalytics’ plug-in for Excel.
It is pretty simple to use and an user can start using it immediately. Once the data that you are interested in is downloaded through this plug-in, you can exploit Excel abilities to further analyze the data without any other (IT) application needed.
After downloading and installing the plug-in, select “ExcellentAnalytics” menu at the top when you bring up MS Excel 2007 and click on “Account” button; then enter your GA email and password for it to connect to GA. Click on “New Query” and select the profile of interest to you and select valid dimensions and metrics. If it is an invalid combination or query, the result set does not return any and hopefully future release of this plug-in will provide some user friendly info.
There were queries that didn’t return right result sets. For example, “Visitor Recency” metrics like “most visits the previous visits happened: X days ago”. Or under Filter section dimensions are assumed to be string type and any dimension that is a number can’t be entered. For example, you selected “visit count” dimension and want to filter any visit count less than 5. You can’t. Hey, it is a freeware and it does a decent job for quick analysis. Use it with caution and having said that you can always check the numbers against GA’s report to make sure the plug-in didn’t mess up anything.