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I am planning on building a web app with many different public-facing HTTP servers; each of which will have Google Analytics (GA) installed on them.

I'd like to create a "dashboard" app that consolidates the GA data into one screen. I've been perusing the documentation for this so-called GA API, but I can't tell what the end result of the GA API is:

  • Does the GA API allow me to do exactly what I am looking for it to do? Or...
  • Does the GA API do something entirely different (like allow me to share my data with Google+ or something else weird)

Since an API can be used to CRUD any kind of data, I guess I'm asking which way the GA API goes: is it for querying (reading) data from 1+ server instances, or is it for modifying data on those servers or somewhere else? Thanks in advance!

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The GA API is mainly for retrieving the gathered data. You can query this data in a lot of ways. Depending on your requirements, you may want to get the data you need on a daily basis and keep it cached, to reduce the web requests.

I have seen tools around that do this for you, but unfortunately I do not remember any names.

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At my workplace, we pull down the GA data periodically and store it in-house, so that we can run reports on it and generate dashboards from it at our convenience, so to speak; we're using a pretty direct series of RESTful calls and dumping it into a MySQL database, and then using jQuery to create dashboards from that. This decouples our front end from the overhead of the GA service calls.

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