Clarisights has two broad classes of data sources - 

  1. Primary Data - these are all of the standard and custom advertising channels, Google Search Console, and flat data sources (POD).

  2. Secondary Data - these are typically the analytics sources like GA, Adjust, Appsflyer etc.

You might wonder if GA is a secondary data source, then what is POD-GA (which is a primary data source)? To explain that, let's first look at the distinction between Primary Data and Secondary Data.

Primary Data

When Clarisights imports the data from a primary data source, we import all of the metrics and dimensions and store those in the database. Considering an example, here's the Google Ads data of a hypothetical e-commerce store - 

In this case, since this is a primary data source, the imported data on Clarisights would contain all of the above dimensions along with the metrics.

Secondary Data

In the case of secondary data sources, when Clarisights imports the data, we do not store the dimensions from these sources, but instead use them as joining keys to join the data to the respective primary data source.

For example, in the case of Google Analytics (GA), we have an ID-based joining with Google Ads. That means, once GA data is imported, the above dataset would look like this - 

As you would notice, the GA dimensions like utm_source, utm_campaign etc are not available on Clarisights. Only the metrics from GA are available that are joined with the dimensions from respective ad channels like Adwords, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

This is also the reason why "Google Analytics" is not a separate data source when you're creating reports; its metrics are automatically included when an ad channel with which it is joined is added to the report. 

Also note that the logics for joining GA metrics to the ad channels are built into Clarisights; and we add to these logics whenever a new ad channel connector is made available. The way this logic works is currently not customizable per customer.

Okay, now we know what is GA on Clarisights. Then what is POD-GA?

There are lots of scenarios when you might actually need Google Analytics dimensions on Clarisights. You might want to look at organic traffic, influencer traffic etc. which are not joined to any specific advertising channel (and are thus not available in the 'GA' metrics). You might want to track data of an affiliate who sends clicks to your website through specific UTM combinations. These are all use cases when you need to independently look at dimensions like source, medium, landing page, device category etc.

For this purpose, in Clarisights we have "Google Analytics" as an option under the sources from which a POD can be created. Here's a link to an article on how to create a POD using Google Analytics source.

Using this, you will be able to choose the dimensions and metrics from Google Analytics that are relevant to that particular POD channel and also specify a filter that will be applied on data before it is imported. For example, you can create a POD called "Google Analytics - SEO" with the filter medium contains organic; you can create another POD called "Google Analytics - Influencer" with the filter medium contains inf etc. In each of these PODs, you are free to specify which dimensions and metrics you'd like to pull and see on Clarisights.

Note that each such PODs will be a different data source when you are creating reports. Following the above example, you will see "Google Analytics - SEO" and "Google Analytics - Influencer" as separate choices when you're creating a report. The metrics and dimensions for these will also be in separate groups.

Separate groups for different POD-GA sources in the metric picker

Separate groups for different POD-GA sources in the metric picker

In conclusion, Google Analytics (GA) is data that's joined to primary data sources, and thus only contains metrics and no dimensions of its own. On the other hand, POD-GA is data that is a primary data source; is customizable and has its own dimensions and metrics.

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