Google on its Analytics blog has announced its new Cost Data Import Tool, now in public Beta. The tool allows Google Analytics users to import cost data from any digital source (e.g., paid search providers, display providers, affiliates, email, social, even organic traffic) for a return-on-investment (ROI) calculation. That, Google believes, will provide a clearer view of media performance across all channels for more informed budgeting decisions.
That, says Google, is the "Piece of the puzzle [that’s] been missing: analyzing return on investment across all your digital channels."
Imported cost data can be viewed in one of two places, being 1) in a new report called Cost Analysis in Traffic Sources, and 2) in the newly publicly available Attribution Modeling Tool. both reports compare digital marketing channels against one another for performance.
Users can upload data via a self-serve API or using third-party applications. Four that Google Analytics list are ; NEXT Analytics; AutomateAnalytics.com GA Data Uploader ; ShufflePoint In2GA; and Analytics Canvas.
As one early beta customer describes it, "Before, we used to manually match paid search cost to revenue data in Excel…we have been able to automate this process, and can now much more accurately measure paid search campaign ROI within Google Analytics."
Cost Data Import will be rolling out over the next month. If your account has been enabled, you will see the Cost Analysis report show up in the Traffic Sources menu on the left-hand side of the Google Analytics interface (in the Standard Reporting tab).