In a period where the challenges we face in user deduplication with the introduction of the Personal Data Protection Law and GDPR into our lives have further increased, Google announced the good news about its new cross-device reporting capabilities in Google Analytics. The new cross-device features, which are available with beta version in several Google Analytics 360 accounts for nearly two months, have been activated for all the accounts as of July 11, 2018.

What is Cross Device Measurement?

According to the device usage study published by Globalwebindex in November 2017, the average number of devices owned by a general Internet user (age range of 16-64) is 3.23, and this figure increases up to 3.90 in 25% segment with highest income level. As the digital ecosystem grows, device usage is undoubtedly the most important breakdown, which is impossible to ignore, for the user adventure where the time and number of touch-points increase continuously.

Cross-device measurement is a method that sheds a light to this breakdown and allows you to take special actions by recognizing your user regardless of the device.


Google Analytics – Default Cross Device Reporting

Essentially, cross device reporting is a feature that has been around for years in Google Analytics. In business models where users can log in (or can be precisely deduplicated), we are able to access this report for a long time by implementing User-ID integration and opening a custom Google Analytics view for this integration. In this way, we can also see device-based intersections like how many of our users are using mobile and desktop.

Therefore, our prescription required for default cross device reporting appears as follows;

• A business model in which a user can log in (or can be precisely deduplicated).

• Deduplication of the user with a random ID at the background.

• Deduplication of the user on different platforms by using this ID and performing the relevant integration.


New Cross Device Features & Google Signals

All of the requests we have mentioned above are disabled with the new cross device features. In the new cross device system, Google carries out the user deduplication, not you, and Google does this through Google Signals.

Also with the announcement of the Google Marketing Platform, “Signal Based Marketing” and “Signal Based Measurement” terms will take up a considerable place in our lives. We also need to lay emphasis on the answer of the question “What is Google Signals?”.

Google has a total of 7 products with more than 1 billion users, and each of these products has thousands of anonymous and authorized data points which are called “customer signals”. Google Signals can be considered as a system that allows you to better recognize your user and develop a more relevant communication strategy by bringing together and empowering all these signals.

After device usage habits and Google’s machine learning system are involved, we are also able to measure the movement of the user between the devices with Google Signals. You can get more information about Google Signals, which contains data of the users who enabled Ad Personalization in Google account ads settings, from the relevant help page.


What are the advantages of new Cross Device features?


  • You no longer need a business model where you can log in (or which allows precise deduplication). After the user enables the Ad Personalization features, Google Signals starts to recognize the device-based actions of the user for you.
  • You are no longer required to spend resources to perform User-ID integration.
  • You are not required to open a separate Google Analytics view. You can use the new cross device report in all views.
  • With the anticipation that the number of users enabling the Google Ad Personalization feature will be much higher than the number of users logging in to both the mobile and desktop site versions of your business, you can have a much higher volume cross device map.


What reports can you access with the new Cross Device features?

Device Overlap Report

It helps you to interpret the interactions and data clusters on different devices through a single image. It brings a light into your platform based budget breakdowns by analyzing which devices have more interaction with each other and the place of multiple device usage in the consumption habits of your users.

You can also create a device overlap report with a breakdown of the operating system based on device category.


Device Paths Report


You can access the sequence view of your users’ device habits and performances from the device path report. The report data can be broken down into many different dimensions such as campaigns, channels and resources, and you can analyze how your investment in any platform influences another platform.

In addition to all these, by taking an event, page display or target reference point you determine, you can observe the data for the previous or next steps from this reference point and thus measure the contribution of your in-site processes on your business goals based on device and many more breakdowns.


Acquisition Device Report


The acquisition device report combines attribution and traffic metrics to allow you to see the relationship between user acquisition and your conversions. In addition to measuring how much revenue does the users, which you have acquired from any device, create through the same device, it also allows you see the entire device interaction and conversion table by accessing to the revenue volume information generated by the same users on other devices. You can break down the acquisition device report based on different aspects such as campaign, channel, resource etc. as in the device paths report.


How can you enable new Cross Device features?

To enable all new cross device features mentioned, first visit the admin tab in your Google Analytics account and enable Google Signals by following the Tracking Information> Data Collection path under the relevant column for that property.

If you do not see the Google Signals settings under the Data Collection tab, you’ll have to be patient for a while. The new cross device in beta status and Google Signals features are expected to spread to all accounts in a few weeks.