How Digital Marketing Reports Automation Works?

How Digital Marketing Reports Automation Works?

What is Automation?

Automation is the technology by which a process or procedure is performed without human assistance. Automation can be performed in many ways in various industries. For instance, a software script can test a software product and produce a report in the information technology domain. There are also various software tools available in the market which can generate code for an application. The users only need to configure the tool and define the process

Why is Automation Important?

 Reporting is a time-intensive and a large part of the marketing agency operation. Performance is always examined and divulged on a regular basis. Weekly, Fortnightly, and monthly reports take time to create and their preparation wastes valuable time, time that should really go into building successful campaigns or working out strategies. For building reports, agencies spend a massive amount of time on a weekly basis collecting data and searching information that reflects those results in the best light manifesting higher engagement, better reach to the audience and ultimately – increases sales.

 There are hundreds of channels that marketers use to promote products and services: Social Media, blogs, Web Analytics, Google Analytics, Ranking tools, Paid Ads, and many more. All this data needs to be collected, analysed, and put into a report.

 Fortunately, enough Automation is the answer to the mechanism of regular data collection and work overload. Automated marketing reports are created in minutes. They free up hundreds of man-hours of valuable time every week. Once you connect to the data sources, the automated platforms collect data from data source and keep building reports even after you log out.

 From time to time, we encounter a lot of manual errors which are eliminated by automation. With decreased errors, you reduce the problems too and deliver a much better level of compliance. Automating your report generation means reduced workload, and an increase in time and a hike in productivity, which lets you prioritize on your job.

In our fast-paced world, it seems there is never enough time to get everything done before the end of the day. Your clients rely on the analyses you provide for their business decisions. Depending upon the effort a certain report requires, they are prepared only once a month, or, sometimes, once a quarter. By the time you see something going wrong, it’s been going wrong for weeks- and maybe you’ve wasted money on bad advertising or missed out on potential sales. When the analysis is automated, it can be run every day or every week.

 There are different automation tasks in Digital marketing, but this article will cover only reporting automation.Tools we used in Reporting Automation?

1) Microsoft SQL Server

A relational database management system developed by Microsoft, the SQL Server is a software product with the primary function of storing and retrieving data when requested by other software application. It may either run on the same computer or on another computer across a network (including the Internet).

2) Microsoft Excel and VBA

Microsoft Excel is the most powerful and popular tool for reporting and data collection. Digital marketing reports are also prepared in Excel and reports are automated in Excel with the help of VBA Macros Query. Macros is effective in automating the common and oft-repeated keystrokes that are used in Excel to create and edit spreadsheets. It pulls out the data from different data sources and then feeds into Excel reports.

3) Supermetrics (Paid Tool)

A business analytics software, Supermetrics puts all the metrics and performance indicators in a very accessible location, in a unified manner. Supermetrics was initially designed with the intent of helping companies access their Google Data in a more simplified way but it has now evolved to become a full-fledged business reporting platform that works in tandem with various analytics engine and tools.  The software has become an ideal platform to gather data and insights to help devise and implement web analytics, social media, and online marketing.

The Supermetrics for Google Drive is the flagship product that enables businesses to run queries and eventually, refresh their data with a push button and share reports and dashboards quite effortlessly with other team members.Below are the screenshots for better understanding:-

4) Google Data Studio (Data Visualisation Tool)

Google Data Studio is part of the Google Analytics 360 Suite - the high-end (i.e., pricey) Google Analytics Enterprise package. While many of us cannot afford to spend a fortune on an analytics tracking tool, the free version of Google Analytics is often opted for.

Google Data Studio (in beta) provides you with all that you need to transform your client’s analytics data into informational and comprehensive reports through data visualization.

The reports are intelligible, easy to share, and quite customizable to cater to each of your clients. It also provides us with the option to select how you want to present your data - line graphs, bar graphs, charts and so on. Fonts and colours can be easily changed, and reports can easily be branded with your logo.

 What’s exceptional about Data Studio is that apart from Google Analytics Data, it allows you to extract even Facebook data as long as it is in the format of a Google Sheet. Any reporting information on a Google Sheet can be pulled into Google Data Studio and turned into reports. If the data can be inserted into Google Sheets, then it will be visible in your reports.

 The fact that when the data source is updated, the new information automatically gets reflected in the reports that reference the source, which makes the reports quite dynamic. In addition, the reports can easily be shared, and people can be granted the permission to view or edit them.

Google Data Studio uses the method as Google Docs and Google Sheets. So just press the “Share” button to let your team members or clients view or edit the reports.

How do we automate Reporting?

Step-1 (Schedule Email Reports Through Google Analytics)

  1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account and select the site from which you want to receive reports.
  2.  On the main Dashboard screen, find and click on the small “share” button which is located above the main chart.
  3.  When the "Email Reports" page loads, you’ll see the fields to select the schedule report.
  4.  Complete each field with your information. These fields include email subject line, recipients’ email addresses, the frequency of emailed reports, and type of files. We normally send a CSV file and recommend scheduling reports to be sent on a weekly (or at the latest monthly) basis.
  5.  Click on “Send” or “Schedule” button. Now you’ll receive well formatted reports which will be sent to your inbox for reviewing, monitoring, and sharing.

 For “Email report setup screen”, refer to the screenshot given below:

Step-2 (Schedule Keywords Rank Report Through Paid Ranking Tool)

Schedule keywords rank email reports in a paid ranking tool.

 Step-3 (Run Microsoft Excel & VBA Macro Queries)

We follow the below steps to automate reports:-

  1. Run VBA query to download the Google Analytics schedule report from the mailbox, then run the process of data modelling, cleaning & structuring data and store in the Microsoft SQL Server database.
  2.  Run VBA query to download the keywords rank schedule data from the mailbox.
  3.  Create final reports through VBA user forms which fetch data from Microsoft SQL Server database and automatically send the report through to the client.

 Please refer to the below screenshots for “VBA User forms Screen”:-

Step-4 (Make database in Microsoft SQL Server)

Google Analytics data is stored in SQL Server with the help of VBA Macro queries.

Please refer to the below screenshots of our client reports:-


There are very few chances of any gotchas in report automation as automation depends upon the data sources so if there would be any fault or errors in data sources, then the report will automatically give errors. Below are the few errors or gotchas which occurs sometimes:-

  1.  If there are any update or change in Google Analytics reporting tool. This affects the data sources and VBA code gives an error. Types of changes in the data source are like dimensions and metrics fields can be changed or removed or a new field starts coming in the data source.
  2.  If someone changes or deletes the setting of schedule report in Google Analytics as multiple users work on the single account.

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