You must not circumvent any privacy features (e.g., an opt-out) that are part of the Service.
Ok, technically this isn't Part 1. Part 1 actually happened at instcon 2015 where I learned from Chris Long about using Google Analytics to monitor Canvas activity. But then, more pressing matters took over, the switch to new ui happened, and the JS was left behind.
Yesterday, I noticed Jeremy Perkins had created How to Set Up Google Analytics for Canvas in preparation for CanvasCon USF: Using Google Analytics to Understand Canvas Usage. This rekindled my interest especially because he documented how to create custom dimensions for Canvas User ID, User Name, Course ID, and Course Name and provided the necessary code to get it working.
It didn't take long for me to get set up because most of the analytics side of things were already done. I just had to grab my tracking ID and Jeremy's code and add it to our custom JS file. True to his post, it was only 15 minutes later and I was seeing real-time data again.
What was new, was that this time I could add dimensions to the reports to find information that actually was useful to me in Canvas. Who is that 1 active user at 3am and what is their role, and what course are they in? Oh, right, it's me...
This is really a game-changer
The dimensions are a game-changer for the value Google Analytics insights can provide. These insights are a game-changer for admins and their institutions because THIS is what we (if I may be so bold as to speak for all of us) have been looking for from Canvas Data; "Here's a unique identifier, please give me a UI now to start immediately answering questions and thinking up new questions to ask."
Unanswered Questions from the Rabbit Hole
- What are the risks, vulnerabilities, and other potentially scary unanswered questions?
- How much do I still not know about Google Analytics (besides "a lot")
Some Pretty Data Visuals
My current favorite dashboard setup
Monitoring Activity: Pageviews vs Sessions, All Users vs Mobile/Tablet Users
Content Drilldown of Most Active Course down to the quiz question level