Data Surgery, A Miraculous Recovery

2 min readMar 22, 2016


With data at the core of most businesses, Google Analytics (GA) has become the default tool for most websites to use for tracking their users. It is mostly free, easy to setup and use. But are we using GA at its optimal level to give us what we need?

One of our key learnings while running our Creative Data Lab, is that most participants are not really sure if their GA is setup correctly to deliver the data they need. There was a need to diagnose everyone’s GA even before a Lab. Such a need gave rise to Data Surgery, a series of sessions where you become a patient and have a 1 to 1 diagnosis of your GA data with us.

Led by our resident data surgeon Jonathan Briggs, we hosted 9 “patients” at our campus recently. The session started off with a basic questionnaire, to find out a few things including:

  • How you are currently using GA
  • If you are running any automation, competitor benchmarks and e-commerce tracking
  • What you would like to be answered by Analytics

I felt like a patient (although I was meant to be the resident male nurse), observing how each layer of the analytics framework was stripped and analysed.

It was fascinating and made me curious to learn more.

There were some interesting questions, such as “If I am building a website that’s meant for rural India, can GA help me find out which mobile phones they are using so that I do not spend too much budget on creating a website with a wrong resolution?”

The answer to that is: Yes, Google Analytics can help you do that without spending too much of your development budget.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Jonathan also contributes regularly on his blog,, if you are keen to dive deeper into data & customer centricity.

Originally published at