As part of their Digital Strategy Program, the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) is developing the Modern Data Platform (MDP), implemented as a Snowflake-based cloud data warehouse. The aim is to improve business intelligence and reporting by providing a single source of truth as well as automating updates from a multitude of data sources to help guide investment decisions.
One critical source of data to be integrated with the MDP is Google Analytics which tracks website traffic and usage. Google Analytics data provides the DOC with insights on the demand, demographic, and behaviours of website visitors, such as their online interactions with bookable and non-bookable DOC facilities. These insights can help improve the DOC’s online presence by ensuring that their website is responsive, easy to navigate, and provides visitors with the information they need.
Automating Google Analytics reporting with the help of FME and its integration with Snowflake
Before the introduction of the MDP, access to Google Analytics data was managed through Microsoft PowerBI, which requires data analysts to manually connect to and download data, and run reports on an ad-hoc basis. To provide staff with faster and easier access to more up-to-date information, the DOC partnered with Locus to build an automated process powered by FME.
A workflow was created to connect to the Google Analytics Reporting API using a Google service account and a cryptographically signed JSON Web Token (JWT) generated using the PythonCaller transformer for authentication. JSON data downloaded from the API is parsed and re-formatted to be recognisable by Snowflake before being inserted into the target database. The cryptographic functions are provided by a 3rd party Python module that can be easily installed in FME Form and uploaded to FME Flow. With the built-in Snowflake writer and Automations capability in FME, Google Analytics data can be easily loaded into Snowflake on a monthly basis, keeping reporting data up-to-date.
By automating Google Analytics reporting, the DOC is able to reduce data maintenance overheads and enable a much wider audience within the organisation to access reliable website data to support cross-platform analytics and reporting.