Google Analytics User Policy

Effective Date: July 1, 2023

This policy is defined in accordance with the Website CMS User Policy 31.006.

A. Introduction

This Google Analytics User Policy is designed to govern the use of Google Analytics and its associated features, including Looker Studio and Google Tag Manager, by the staff and administrators of Ohio University ("University"). This policy outlines the rules and guidelines for accessing, analyzing, and interpreting University-associated website and application data through Google Analytics and an explanation of the referenced tools. By accessing and using Google Analytics, including Looker Studio and Google Tag Manager, users agree to comply with this policy.

B. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure responsible and ethical use of Google Analytics and its data within Ohio University. It aims to provide guidelines for accessing and analyzing data to promote accurate reporting, protect user privacy, and maintain the security of the University's information assets.

C. User Responsibilities

  1. Access and Authorization
    • Users must obtain proper authorization to access Google Analytics including Looker Studio Dashboard and Google Tag Manager through University Communications and Marketing. Access privileges will be granted based on the user's role and responsibilities within the University. Users are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of their login credentials and must not share their account information with unauthorized individuals.
      • All users must be provisioned using their email address.
  2. Data Privacy and Security
    • Users must handle all data obtained through Google Analytics with the utmost care and in compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and University policies. Users shall not attempt to access or use data for unauthorized purposes or disclose sensitive information to unauthorized parties.
  3. Compliance with Applicable Laws and Policies
    • Users must comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, as well as University policies and guidelines. This includes but is not limited to data protection laws, copyright laws, and policies regarding acceptable use of technology resources.

D. Google Analytics 4

  1. GA4 Overview
    • Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a powerful web analytics platform that provides insights into website and app usage, user behavior, and conversion tracking.
  2. Transition from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4
  3. User Access to GA4 platform
    • Due to the complex nature of data collection and data interpretation in the new GA4 system, access to the raw GA4 data will not be accessible to general users. Ohio University’s University Communications and Marketing department has developed custom, preconfigured dashboards in Looker Studio that users will be provisioned to view and use. These dashboards contain pre-filtered data that is easily consumable and interpreted at a glance.

E. Looker Studio Dashboard

  1. Looker Studio Overview
    • Looker Studio is a data visualization and exploration tool that integrates with GA4 to create interactive reports, dashboards, and perform in-depth analysis.
  2. Data Accuracy and Integrity
    • Users are responsible for ensuring the accuracy and integrity of the data they analyze and report using Google Analytics. They should exercise caution when interpreting data and avoid making misleading or false statements based on the information obtained.

F. Google Tag Manager Management

  1. Google Tag Manager Overview
    • Google Tag Manager provides a convenient and efficient way to manage and deploy tags on your website, reducing reliance on manual code changes in Drupal CMS and enables greater control and flexibility in tracking and marketing implementations.
  2. Google Tag Manager Container Management
    • There are two global Google Tag Manager containers used for the management of all internal and external vendor tag deployment including pixels, custom javascript, and additional custom event tracking. These containers are managed by University Communications and Marketing.
    • Ohio University partners must report the use of outside vendors to University Communication and Marketing when University-owned website traffic is being monitored.
    • Tags and pixels applied to all webpages must be approved by University Communication and Marketing. UCM reserves the right to request changes of any tags and their associated triggers.

G. UTM parameter tracking

  1. UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) tracking
    • Users that wish to track external traffic to University-owned domains must adhere to a naming convention determined by University Communications and Marketing. Examples of UTM tracking mediums include email campaigns and newsletters, paid advertising, and social media posts.
    • No UTM parameters are to be added to internal University-associated webpages directing traffic to internal University-associated webpages. UTM tracking parameters are in place to track incoming site traffic from external sources. View details on UTM guidelines

H. Violations and Consequences

University Communications & Marketing" reserves the right to remove users' access to GA4 at any time for violating the policy, lack of use, or any other reason.

I. Contact Information

For questions or concerns regarding the use of Google Analytics and Looker Studio at Ohio University, please contact Zoe Graham,

J. Policy Review

This policy will be reviewed periodically and updated as necessary to ensure its relevance and compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Users are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the most recent version of the policy.

By using Google Analytics, Looker Studio and/or Google Tag Manager, users acknowledge that they have read, understood, and agreed to comply with this policy.