Google Analytics (GA) is a free service from Google that allows for everything from a quick overview to an in-depth analysis of your site’s visitor data. Basic BU analytics tracking codes are included on all WordPress-based sites on the subdomains www.bu.edu, bumc.bu.edu, sites.bu.edu, and blogs.bu.edu. You can use GA to gain insight into how visitors are using your website in order to improve the user experience.

For more advanced needs, sites on www.bu.edu, bumc.bu.edu, and sites.bu.edu may need/prefer to use a department-specific tracking code in addition to the BU codes.

There are two ways to use Google Analytics at Boston University.
Depending upon your needs, you may use Basic BU analytics, department-specific analytics, or BOTH methods.

1. Basic BU analytics

  • GA data from December 2005 to present. (Some sites from 2005-2009; all WP-based sites from 2009 to present)
  • Does not include administrative-level access to the BU GA account, and therefore cannot be used for setting up campaigns nor for using other advanced GA features.
  • Read/analyze access is available to bu.edu website admins and approved consultants.
  • This tracking code is included on all WP-based sites on bu.edu, even if you are using a department-specific tracking code.
  • Pre-defined site-specific views in GA are limited in number by Google and are therefore available only to the main websites for schools and colleges, and a select few other major academic and business units.
  • Most BU websites (i.e. those without a pre-defined site-specific view) will need to use Custom Segments (see Custom Segments in the links below) to filter your site's traffic from the overall BU traffic.

2. Department-specific tracking code

  • Create your own departmental account in GA, get your own GA tracking code, and add it to your site (see Sending Data to a Separate Analytics Account in the links below).
  • IS&T does not manage this account -- you maintain it within your department.
  • The main BU tracking code remains, and both the BU account and your department-specific account get the same GA data.
  • You have full admin-level access to your own GA account. Use this option if you need campaigns and other advanced GA features.
  • You do not get the historical data with your own tracking code -- you start collecting data only at the time you add your own code.
  • Using your own code eliminates the need to create Custom Segments to filter your traffic from the overall BU traffic.

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