Episode 22: Inside Google Analytics with Phil Mui

In this episode, the Beyond Web Analytics team talks with Phil Mui, Senior Product Manager of Google Analytics about the evolution of Google Analytics.  The conversation covers the motivation behind the creation of Google Analytics through the many advancements that have been made to date.  The group also covers the challenges related to providing to a tool to user groups of multiple skill levels,  what type of companies can and should use Google Analytics, what “real-time” really means, the steps that Google takes to protect the privacy of data,  and Phil even sheds some light on what it is like to work with Avinash.

So download this podcast to your favorite mobile device or listen to the podcast here! If you have any comments or questions for the podcast, please use the comment section below.

Hosts: Adam GrecoRudi Shumpert, James Dutton
Guest Host:  Phil Mui

Phil Mui is the Senior Product Manager for Google Analytics, and is the product management lead for GA.  He has been PM’ing Google Analytics since the 1st year of GA.  He has a Ph.D. (EECS) from MIT and a Masters (Management) from Oxford University where he was a Marshall Scholar.  Prior to Google, Phil was a bioinformatics researcher in Stanford University.  He was also the founder of an early European display ads company Sharkhunt, which was sold in 2000 before Phil went back to graduate school.   Phil regularly speaks about Analytics and online measurements in industry conferences (SES, eMetrics, SMX) and academia.

Twitter: @philmui
Google Analytics Blog

Google Privacy Terms of Service
GA Partner Site
GA Application Gallery

Note: The sound clips used in this podcast were used under license.
Burnkit2600CC BY-NC-SA 3.0



  • Posted 8 June, 2010 at 6:34 am | Permalink


    Thank you for listening and for the comments. I understand your point. However, our goals are not to be investigative reporters nor do we want to do anything that would cause issues for our guests (or hosts).


  • Gene Juang
    Posted 17 June, 2010 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Why does Google provide Analytics for free? Is Google ethically right to provide such service? After all, the aggregate data of most website analytics should be measured and collected by someone who has no conflict of interest. Like Mui shared, Google has ad business that should raise question from Govt to step in and make sure Google’s so-called end users’ privacy effort is safely guarded. I can’t help but to fear Google eventually will use all these data collected for something of their benefit.

    Now back to the product itself. Aside from non-real time, GA’s limited to Site-level metrics only in most of its reports. Furthermore, it can’t segmentize visitors like the way SiteCatalyst does. However, SiteCatalyst is extremely expensive, though it is perhaps the most “relied” (not just used like GA) Analytical tools by major enterprises in the world.

  • Gene Juang
    Posted 17 June, 2010 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    And no, I don’t work for Omniture/Adobe….

    I forgot to ask, what do you all think about the measurement industry now that GA is rolling out many similar functions offered by paid vendors like custom report by SiteCatalyst or WebTrend. Will Google have yet another Monopoly in the analytic space?

  • Posted 4 July, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Hi Gene, about your question on why GA is “free”. Here is one way to look at it: the online marketing industry is still relatively young. To convince marketers to shift their offline to online spend, there need to be very good reasons. As an online advertising platform company, it is in Google’s interest to help convince marketers that online advertising can be very accountable. There are many marketers who cannot afford certain solutions in the marketplace. GA tries to satisfy the measurement & reporting needs of these marketers. It also turns out that GA has been designed very well (IMHO) — some enterprises also find GA more than meeting their measurement & reporting needs.

    Hope that this helps.

    - Phil

  • Posted 14 August, 2010 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    My favourite of your podcast series yet, very insightful to have someone so knowledgeable from inside Google.

    Shame we couldn’t tease out any future features of GA.

    The ‘black hole’ comments surprise me, I have never found GA to give tangibly different results from the other major tools.

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