This morning I published a blog post entitled “App Gives You Access to Any Site’s Google Analytics Data” before I had wrapped my brain around just how the application, called Nacho Analytics, does what it does, and in retrospect, I think the title was a bit of an overstep. A more appropriate headline might have been “View Reporting for Any Site in Google Analytics.”

Why the pivot?

Well, it looks like Nacho Analytics is buying data from one or more sources that collect it from people who have downloaded a toolbar (or something like that), then extrapolating more “accurate” numbers from the sample in much the same way that sites like Alexa and SimilarWeb have been doing for some time, and that being the case, users aren’t really viewing a site’s Google Analytics reporting, rather they’re viewing an approximation or estimation of site activity in Google Analytics.

Old hat or new tricks?

If I’m right, the only discernible difference between those existing offerings and this new one is that the latter uses Google Analytics, rather than a proprietary system. And while that’s a pretty cool way of doing it, it’s not the same as having access to a site’s actual Google Analytics reporting.

Google Analytics reporting is super-granular, so it’s possible that Nacho Analytics provides much more granular reporting than that of Alexa or SimilarWeb, and that would be a meaningful differentiator, but I’ve never had premium access to either site, so I’m not sure how they compare to NA. If you do have some insight, please leave a comment or get in touch. I’d love to hear about it.

Cautious optimism

While my initial enthusiasm is somewhat muted by the technical realities, I do think that Nacho Analytics has what I would call “directional” value, meaning that the actual numbers may be off, but their relative relationships are accurate. For example, I might not have a high degree of confidence that Product A converted 329 times and Product B converted 193 times, but I’m relatively certain that Product A converts at a significantly higher rate than Product B; and there’s certainly value in that.

Next steps

As things continue to unfold, I’ll provide updates here. I’m also planning to analyze Nacho reporting against actual Google Analytics data in an attempt to determine just how accurate NA is, so keep an eye out.

4 replies on “A Second Look at Nacho Analytics”

Puzzling…

“it looks like Nacho Analytics is buying data from one or more sources that collect it from people who have downloaded a toolbar”

“users aren’t really viewing a site’s Google Analytics reporting”

1. But the URL users are viewing is analytics.google.com – clearly access is being granted to Google Analytics accounts…?
2. NachoAnalytics is clearly advertising “See Anyone’s Google Analytics”, not aggregated data from other sources such as toolbars. Not sure what your source is for the toolbar suggestion…? In the webinar they explained that the additional data comes from accessing historical data.

Hi Alistair, thanks for commenting!

What it seems to be doing is setting up a new GA site inside of the user’s account, then passing the data, which comes from somewhere other than Google into the GA presentation layer.

Yes, they are advertising “See Anyone’s Google Analytics,” and if I’m right about all this, I think that’s misleading at best; which disappoints me because I’m a long-time SpyFu customer and I thought they were above making false claims in their marketing.

The toolbar suggestion comes from knowing that’s how similar products (SimilarWeb, Alexa) get their data, which was reinforced by discussions on r/bigseo and SEOChat. In fact, it’s possible that SimilarWeb could be the/a data source.

And the “historical analytics” reference explains the type of data, but not the source of it.

I recon you are right about this (I really do not like their misleading approach/marketing).

Essentially they are using GA as a front end to what they are doing. And I am pretty sure Google’s terms of service will not allow that….

Clever, yes, but flawed in so many ways – particularly in its marketing.

Thanks for adding to the discussion, Brian. It seems they’re already having TOS problems.
http://resources.spyfu.com/limited-access-nacho-analytics/

Not the reason I would have expected, but I wonder if this is just an easy way for Google to make this go away.

As an aside, this also gives us another clue as to how NA works. I had stated that it creates a new property in your account when in fact it’s creating the property in its own account then sharing the view.

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