What is Tagbird, what do you use it for, and what can you do with it?

Test your analytics implementation with our Chrome extension

  • Article
  • Technical Web Analytics
Pamela-technical-web-analyst
Pamela Greveling
Technical Web Analyst
4 min
05 Oct 2020

Tagbird is a Chrome extension developed by Digital Power. You can download it from the Chrome Web Store and add it to your browser. It is a debug/visualisation tool that provides a simple and clear insight into, among other things, the data layer, tag management events and analytics requests of a website. So you can quickly and easily test your entire analytics implementation with Tagbird.

This article will tell you how Tagbird can help you in your work as a Technical Web Analyst. Are you excited? Easily add the free extension to your browser and download the Tagbird manual at the bottom of this page! 

Tagbird helps you debug the following implementations:

Analytics 

  • Adobe analytics
  • Google analytics
  • Matomo/Piwik

Marketing tags 

  • Awin
  • Facebook
  • Google Doubleclick
  • Google Ads

Tag Management Systems 

  • Digital Event Queue (DEQ)
  • Google Tag Manager (GTM)
  • Relay42
  • Tealium
Tagbird
example of Tagbird in use

Why every Web Analyst Should use Tagbird 

I am genuinely super excited about Tagbird. At the beginning of my career, I took Tagbird for granted because it already existed when I started working as a Solution Consultant/Technical Web Analyst 2 years ago, and I immediately learned to work with it.

In the meantime, I have worked a lot with other people (who do not work with Tagbird) and have come to realise that the life of a Web Analyst, Web Developer or Technical Web Analyst looks very different without Tagbird. 

Without Tagbird, you have to rely on very labour-intensive and cumbersome methods to watch:

  • What your data layer looks like on each page (depends on the tag manager, but you'll need at least the developer console or the debug mode in GTM for that);
  • Which events are fired by the tag manager (each tag manager then has its own solution for that);
  • When an event is fired (you then have to look in the network tab of developer console);
  • Which data is actually sent to your analytics platform (Google Analytics/Adobe Analytics). You can see this in the developer console or with the help of platform-dependent debug tools, none of which provide as clear a view as Tagbird). 

In short: I have seen people doing very complicated things to find information, which Tagbird makes available in the blink of an eye. 

What Tagbird is very good at: 

  • Creating an overview of all the information you need (in other words: clearly bundling the different events of different tools);
  • Making the timing of events very clear (did this event actually fire when I pressed that button?);
  • It works super intuitive. You don't need any programming/developing skills to understand and use Tagbird. This also allows you to use Tagbird to give Analysts more insight into where the data they work with comes from. Analysts can also easily debug with it if they see something strange in the data. They do not need any technical knowledge for this;
  • It's reliable. The information I see in Tagbird always matches the information I can retrieve manually via the Developer Console.

An additional advantage of Tagbird: it has a handy button with which you can also see old events (from the previous page, for example) in your overview (eg. very useful when testing exit links, button click events that lead you to the next page, etc.). Without Tagbird, that information is not easy to retrieve.

What colleagues say about Tagbird:

"The tool saves you a lot of time with testing. You can see very clearly what is happening on a page in terms of tag management and what goes to analytics. If you want to do that in a different way, you will be doing a lot of manual work in the DevTools (Console, network, application), and it is often quite cluttered there.

For my work as a Technical Web Analyst, it's just a super handy tool.For example, downloading a complete data layer is a very nice feature. This gives you instant documenting, and you can still find out afterwards what happened on a page. I can recommend this tool to every developer!"

– Stef Gramser, Technical Web Analyst at Digital Power

"Debugging with Tagbird is super fast, easy and clear. You can see at a glance the variables in the data layer, which data you send to the web analytics tool and all tag manager events. It combines all information from the most used analytics platforms and tag managers.

Thanks to Tagbird, I have a clear overview of all the data I need to debug my analytics implementation, bundled and immediately available on my screen."

– Pamela Greveling, Technical Web Analyst, Digital Power

What I mainly use Tagbird for: 

Let's face it: As a Technical Web Analyst, I use Tagbird in almost everything I do.

  • Once I have created and delivered a tag plan, I use Tagbird to test whether the web developers have delivered the data layers correctly.
  • When I'm done testing the data layer, I use screenshots from Tagbird to provide clear and well-organized feedback to the developers about any errors.
  • Once I have created a tag, I use Tagbird to test if the tag is working correctly.
  • When I get questions about a particular event or analytics variable, I use Tagbird to find out where and how that event/variable is set.
  • If I suspect something is going wrong in the data layer/tag manager/analytics data, I use Tagbird to debug where the problem is occurring and which step in the implementation is to blame.

Getting started with Tagbird 

Tagbird is a handy tool to debug the web analytics implementation of various analytics tools. It works faster than alternative debugging methods, and several of our Technical Web Analysts report that Tagbird makes their job considerably easier.

Download the Chrome extension here and fill in this form to receive our manual with best practices.

Tagbird is intuitive and you don't need any technical knowledge to use this tool. This makes it a great addition in communication between (technical) web analysts and developers.

Tagbird's strength is that it can convert very complicated debug operations into one simple overview.

Are you enthusiastic and enjoy taking on challenges using tools like Tagbird? We at Digital Power are looking for Technical Web Analysts and would love to meet you! Check out our vacancy.

This is an article by Pamela Greveling, Technical Web Analyst at Digital Power

As a Technical Web Analyst at Digital Power, Pamela focuses on guaranteeing excellent data quality. After all, only if the data is reliable good insights can be obtained. She has helped several clients establish a robust analytics implementation for both their web and (native) app environments.

Pamela Greveling

Technical Web Analystpamela.greveling@digital-power.com

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