Activity-finder app provider creates a new revenue stream by supplying usage measurement dashboards

Sports and leisure, Web app developers
Single page app, Small business
Get Active web analytics
Activity-finder app provider creates a new revenue stream by supplying usage measurement dashboards
Discover how our data tracking strategy helped make sense of user behaviour for these series of single page web apps. Deciding on the right combination of virtual page views, events and custom dimensions meant data could be visualised in dashboards that told a story of how users interacted with the platforms. Played Software were able to upgrade their packages with these new dashboards that give insight into how users interact with the tool.

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Played Software are the creators of an activity finder app. With their database of activities covering the whole of UK, their clients offer local communities an opportunity to find activities near them and book online. Their clients include names like Change 4 life and Lucozade.

There were a number of challenges associated with tracking interactions using Google Analytics.

The activity finder is built as a web application. Because of the technology used, when the user interacts with the software, the URL doesn't change. To Google Analytics this means that every visit is shown as a single-page, bounced session - even if the person used the browsing tools and ended up booking the activity.

Before Played Software contacted us, some of the tracking was already set up by another web analyst. Unfortunately, the interactions were all logged as events and most used "DOM scraping" to collect details of what the user clicked. This approach refers to capturing information displayed on the page based on where it is placed on the page. While sometimes it is useful to complement data collection, the DOM scraping technique is prone to errors and often results in wrong information being passed.

Because of this existing data strategy, interactions were not connected to one another and they were not helpful for building a full picture of the user journey. And because of over-reliance on DOM scraping, some of the data pushed was jumbled and incoherent.

Played Software needed a major rethinking of the entire structure of how data pieces should fit together. This was crucial for making sense of customer journeys and visualising them in reports.

Services delivered

Custom data layer definitionData strategyData Studio dashboard creationFunnel visualisationGoogle Analytics configurationGoogle Tag Manager configurationSingle page app tracking


When we started working on tracking these apps we knew that we would have to use a combination of data logging techniques:

  • virtual page views show up in Google Analytics as individual pages that the user viewed, even though the URL never changed,
  • custom dimensions are data attributes that can be assigned to users (e.g. age), individual visits (e.g. location) or specific interactions (e.g. time),
  • events pass information about clicks and other interactions that don't cause substantial changes to the screen that the user sees (e.g. selecting a drop-down option).

We listed all possible interactions and determined whether they should be passed to Google Analytics as a virtual page view, a custom dimension or an event. It's important to define each action correctly as this would determine how a visualisation report can be built later on.

Once the strategy was defined, some missing information had to be added to the app and the best way to do it was using data layer pushes. We defined the code that was needed, so that the Played Software developer could implement it in the app.

We could then implement all the custom tracking and start collecting data. And because all pieces fit well together, visualising the user attributes and funnels with Data Studio was straight-forward.

As a result, Played Software could offer each of their clients a custom-branded dashboard that showed them who visited their finder, which activities they browsed and which ones they booked.


Visualised user journeys that can be accessed in client-branded dashboards
Making their app more premium with the support of a robust analytics functionality

Client's feedback

“Analytics and efficiently recording accurate data is a key part of our business. It’s also an area we struggled to find someone who could manage it successfully for us. Business Ahead took full ownership of the project, they clearly understood what needed to be done and how to achieve it. They removed all the worry from this part of our business and continue to keep improving our data in ways we didn’t think were possible. We look forward to working with them from here on out.”

James Clayson, Director, Played Software

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Business Ahead support marketing and optimisation teams with their website tracking and reporting needs – so that when you start your optimisation programme, you can achieve even better results. 

We help clients build the foundations for better website optimisation and traffic increase. We use website analytics to access and visualise data and discover new ways to improve website experiences. 

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