How to get started with OWOX BI: Importing cost data

OWOX BI is a personal marketing analyst that helps businesses grow faster with the help of three products: Pipeline, Attribution, and Smart Data. These products allow you to:

  1. Collect and consolidate data from analytical and advertising services
  2. Set up an attribution model based on this collected data, taking into account the value of all channels with which the customer interacts on the way to conversion (both online and offline)
  3. Build reports from consolidated raw data

Depending on the OWOX BI plan, different combinations of these solutions are available. We’ve prepared this guide so new users can easily and quickly start working with the OWOX BI service. It describes the first steps for beginners: creating a project in OWOX BI and automatically importing cost data from advertising sources into Google Analytics. Doing this won’t take more than 10 to 15 minutes.

Table of contents

Why you need to automatically import cost data

Are you tired of manually collecting paid advertising statistics or checking data across interfaces in various ad services to see which campaign is most effective? OWOX BI will do this for you.

To avoid manually uploading data, it’s enough to create pipelines from your advertising services to Google Analytics. OWOX BI will then automatically upload data on costs, views, and clicks on your campaigns from these advertising services to Google Analytics. At the same time, it will process dynamic parameters, check UTM tags in your campaigns, and report possible errors.

This allows you to compare the ROI/ROAS of advertising campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Criteo, and other sources in a single interface — Google Analytics.

By the way, if you aren’t an OWOX BI user yet, you can try all the functionality free of charge.

How to get started with OWOX BI

If you don’t have a project in OWOX BI, create one by signing in with your Google account:

log in OWOX BI project

Next, select your site and click Start Trial:

start trial

You’ll then enter your OWOX BI project. We recommend you start by setting up importing the expenses from advertising services to Google Analytics. To do this, go to the main page of your project, locate the Pipeline section, and click Create Pipeline:

create Pipeline

How to import cost data from an advertising service to Google Analytics

First of all, make sure your advertising links have the correct UTM tags. Then create a data set in Google Analytics that will load your advertising expenses and create a data stream in OWOX BI. Let’s take a closer look at these steps.

Step 1. Create a data set in Google Analytics

To create a data set, log in to your Google Analytics account, click Data Import in the Admin panel under the Property settings, then click Create:

create a data set

Select the Data Set type in the window that appears:

select the data set type

Now specify the name of your data set and select the view to load the cost data into.

fill in the data set details

Please note that cost data will only be available in the views you specify in this step. If necessary, you can always return to this setting and change or add a view.

In the Data Set schema section, select the parameters you want to receive from the advertising service:

select the parameters for data importing

These are the settings we recommend you use to import data correctly:

  1. Date (ga: date) — mandatory
  2. Source (ga: source) — mandatory
  3. Medium (ga: medium) — mandatory
  4. Cost (ga: adCost) — mandatory
  5. Campaign (ga: campaign) — recommended
  6. Keyword (ga: keyword) — recommended
  7. Ad content (ga: adContent) — recommended
  8. Clicks (ga: adClicks) — optional
  9. Impressions (ga: impressions) — optional

Under Import Behavior, leave Summation (DEFAULT) checked, click Save, then click Done.

import behaviour details

Don’t forget to check the currency in the Google Analytics view to which you want to load your ad cost data. If you use one currency in your advertising service and another in your Google Analytics view, then when you import cost data, OWOX BI will convert it to the currency specified in Google Analytics. If necessary, you can change the currency in the view settings.

Now you can move on to creating a Pipeline in OWOX BI.

Step 2. Create a Pipeline in OWOX BI

To start automatically importing cost data, log in to your OWOX BI project. In the Pipeline block, click Create Pipeline:

create a pipeline

On the page that opens, you’ll see a list of advertising sources with which OWOX has direct integrations. Select the service from which you want to transfer data:

list of advertising services

If you don’t find your data source in the list of available services, select Other Sources. We’ll tell you how to set up a custom Pipeline below.

After selecting your data source, select an existing advertising service or use the Add button if the system doesn’t show the service you want:

provide access to advertising service

Select or add access to your Google Analytics account. To do this, you must have Edit level access to the Google Analytics property.

access to GA property

Now specify the property and data set in Google Analytics that will display the cost data you’re importing. You can use this data in all views associated with the specified data set.

specify a data set

Finally, you need to specify the import start date. By default, this is the current date, meaning OWOX BI will start loading cost data starting today.

If you want to upload historical data to Google Analytics, click the calendar icon and select the date from which you want to import cost data. Customers with paid OWOX BI plans can import historical data for the past six months. Start users can import data for the previous day.

tha start date of data import

Now specify your VAT percentage to deduct VAT from the imported cost data. Why should you do this? Because some advertising services transfer amounts with tax, others without. To bring your data into a single format, you must exclude VAT for some sources.

For the convenience of our users, we’ve removed the VAT field from the settings in those Pipelines where it’s not necessary. But just in case, here’s a table showing how popular services transfer cost data:

Exclude VAT during exportDO NOT include VAT during export
Google Ads, Facebook, Bing, AdRoll, Sklik, Twitter, Outbrain, Yahoo, CriteoHotline, Trafmag

In the same step, select the Google Analytics view to which you want to load cost data. To bring imported data into a single format, OWOX BI will use the currency and time zone of this view.

Once you’ve adjusted all the settings, click New.

You’re all ready! Your data will appear in Google Analytics within 36 hours of the pipeline being created (with the free Start plan, downloading may take a little longer).

Where in Google Analytics can you see downloaded cost data?

Once data is successfully imported, you’ll be able to analyze displays, clicks, expenses, and ROAS across different sources and campaigns in the Acquisition – Campaigns – Cost Analysis report:

Cost Analysis report

You can also quickly access the Cost Analysis report directly from the OWOX BI interface. To do this, go to the settings of the desired pipeline and click the active link in the View row:

settings of a pipeline

At the same time, OWOX BI ensures your reports contain the most up-to-date information. The fact is that advertising services can update data retrospectively to exclude traffic from bots and invalid clicks, for example.

OWOX BI automatically updates data in Google Analytics if it changes in the advertising service within 21 days. For the Start plan, the update period is 7 days.

How to import cost data from sources that have no direct integration

If you haven’t found the service you need in the list of ready-made OWOX BI integrations, it’s not a problem:) You can use the semi-automatic method: Click Other sources to load cost data into Google Analytics.

This pipeline will load source/medium data into Google Analytics and the OWOX BI interface and will ask you to enter cost data yourself.

In principle, the settings are the same as when creating an automatic import, except for the last item. You also need to create a data set in Google Analytics ahead of time (read how to do this above) and then set up data import in OWOX BI.

To add cost data from a source that isn’t listed, log in to your OWOX BI project. In the Pipeline tab, click Create Pipeline. From the list below, select Manual ad cost data input:

other sources

Then provide access to Google Analytics:

access to Google Analytics

Choose the Google Analytics property and data set you want to load cost data into:

data set details

Specify the percentage of VAT to exclude during import, select the Google Analytics view to load the data to, and click Create Pipeline:

create a pipeline

Within 24 hours, source/medium information will appear in the OWOX BI interface. You can then manually enter cost data. To do this, go to Other sources on the OWOX BI pipeline page and enter the values in the Costs column:

a pipeline page

In the Google Analytics Cost Analysis report, the data will appear the next day.

How to validate imported cost data

You can go to the page of a pipeline in OWOX BI and view detailed information on it. If an error has occurred while importing the data, you’ll see it in the description (as well as its cause).

In addition, information is available here on whether there are discrepancies between data in Google Analytics and the advertising service, and if so, by how much the data differs:

information about mistakes

OWOX BI also has a Data Monitoring service that allows you to track the completeness and relevance of data uploaded to Google Analytics from third-party advertising services.

A visual report is available at any time showing all your project threads and download statuses for each day:

Data Monitoring service

By clicking on a particular cell, you’ll see details of the status: the exact percentage of discrepancies and the exact time at which OWOX BI last updated data in Google Analytics.

Frequently asked questions

Can I import cost data into multiple Google Analytics views at once?

Yes. To do this, go to your Google Analytics account, click the Admin tab, click Data Import in the property settings, and then select the views you want to import the data to.

What level of access to advertising services does OWOX BI need to import cost data?

For all advertising sources, OWOX BI requests read or the equivalent minimum level of access to correctly collect detailed advertising campaign statistics. For more information, see the OWOX Help Center.

OWOX BI in no way affects your advertising account settings or advertising campaigns.

Save your time! With OWOX BI, you don’t need to regularly prepare CSV files or understand APIs and Apps Script. In just five minutes, you can create a pipeline from your advertising service to Google Analytics and get up-to-date cost data daily.