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Secure insights and streamlined access: Enabling single sign-on (SSO) for Google Analytics 4

Life sciences organizations have come to rely on a variety of applications for their daily operations, leading to the challenge of managing multiple credentials and complicating access control. Single Sign-on (SSO) enables individuals to log in to multiple applications by using a single set of credentials.
This report focuses on the implementation of SSO for Google Analytics (GA) by integrating it with Identity Providers (IdPs). As organizations leverage SSO for seamless access management, integrating GA with the SSO framework becomes imperative.
This integration not only streamlines user authentication processes but also ensures centralized access control and enhances security across the analytics infrastructure of the organization. Notably, the focus on GA is especially critical because of its lack of straightforward support for the Security Assertion Markup Language and OpenID Connect (SAML/OIDC) protocol, which is used for SSO, necessitating a strategic approach to enable seamless SSO integration.
Authentication and access control challenges in growing life sciences organizations
User challenges
Users who are involved in analytics and commercial operations within a life sciences organization often find it cumbersome to manage multiple sets of login credentials for the various applications and services they use daily. As the organization expands, the number of credentials increases, leading to password fatigue, forgotten passwords, and increased frustration. All users desire a seamless and efficient authentication experience without compromising their data security.
Administrator challenges
Administrators face challenges in managing user access across a diverse array of applications and services. Manually provisioning and de-provisioning user accounts, especially when employees join or leave the organization or change roles, is time-consuming and error-prone. Maintaining centralized control over user access, monitoring activities, and ensuring compliance with security policies become increasingly complex as an organization expands.
Security challenges
Life sciences firms, along with their intellectual property, are exposed to increasing security risks due to inadequate password policies, such as password repetition/ reuse and the use of easily guessable passwords. Managing security policies across various applications becomes challenging, and the lack of visibility into user access activities poses a threat. In addition, there is an increased risk of unauthorized access or data breaches if user credentials are compromised, especially when employees use the same password across multiple systems.
Accurately measuring the impact of omnichannel execution has become a challenge due to the collaboration of multiple online and offline channels throughout various stages of the product lifecycle. For instance, some channels are specifically designed for building brand awareness without having a direct impact on prescriptions, making it hard to quantify their influence. The inherent interactivity among digital channels makes measuring results more difficult. For example, if one digital channel works well for a HCP, it can positively affect the responsiveness to the other digital channels. The problem gets even trickier when measurements are done separately at different frequencies, along with the continued use of old measurement methods.
Solving access challenges with SSO
SSO emerges as a compelling, proven solution to these challenges, enabling users to authenticate with a single set of credentials across all applications.
Solving access challenges with SSO
As depicted in the diagram above, SSO simplifies user authentication and authorization by providing a unified identity for each user. With SSO, users can access various platforms, such as GA, Veeva CRM, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Customer Data Platforms, AWS Data Lakes, Amazon Redshift, Google Cloud, Tableau, Power BI, and more, via a single identity linked to their enterprise ID.
Two common protocols facilitate the SSO process: SAML and OIDC. SAML is an XML-based open standard for exchanging identity information between services, whereas OIDC uses JSON Web Tokens to share identity information. The diagram below illustrates how an IdP works with SAML.
Solving access challenges with SSO
Why SSO should matter to life sciences organizations
The introduction of SSO in the workflow can benefit life sciences organizations in the following ways:
Enhanced user experience
SSO integration offers seamless and convenient user experiences where users only need to remember and enter a single set of credentials to access GA and other applications. This eliminates the challenge of managing and memorizing multiple usernames and passwords, resulting in a simplified login process. Users can access the platform quickly and with minimal friction, making their interactions with GA more user-friendly.
Improved security and compliance
SSO integration significantly enhances security by providing a robust authentication process. Users must authenticate once through the SSO system of the organization, which is typically fortified with advanced security measures such as multi-factor authentication and access controls. This reduces the risk of unauthorized access and data breaches.
Streamlined management and reduced cost
SSO simplifies user management by centralizing user provisioning and deprovisioning. Administrators can easily add or remove user access to GA and other integrated applications from a single dashboard. This reduces administrative overhead, as it eliminates the need to manage user accounts individually across multiple platforms. Moreover, SSO lowers the cost of password-related support and maintenance, as users have a single set of credentials to manage.
Flexibility, scalability, and insights
The scalability of SSO ensures that it can accommodate a growing user base without a proportional increase in management effort. Life sciences organizations can also receive insights into how their applications are being used by users.
Increased user productivity and brand reputation
SSO integration leads to increased user productivity as users save time that would otherwise have been spent on repetitive logins. This efficiency boost positively impacts work output. In addition, a smooth and secure login process enhances user satisfaction, making them view the organization more favorably. A strong focus on user experience and security has a positive impact on the brand reputation of the organization, further strengthening its image.
Integrating Google Analytics with SSO
Although GA offers numerous advantages, it lacks native support for SAML or OIDC SSO protocols. These protocols are pivotal to achieving seamless SSO integration and ensuring secure user authentication. The absence of SAML/OIDC support in GA poses challenges for both centralized access control and user experience.
To bridge this gap, many IdPs use a password vault and browser plugin. In this approach, a browser plugin securely transfers user credentials to the GA login page via SSL encryption from the password vault. Although this method provides a workaround for SSO, it comes with certain limitations.
Although GA may not directly support SAML or OIDC for IdP integration, Google Workspace and Google Cloud Identity offer native SAML support. Leveraging these services as middleware enables the establishment of SSO and effective user access management.
Enabling SSO through this integration involves several key steps:
IdP configuration:
Configure the IdP to enable SSO.
SAML connection:
Establish a SAML connection between the IdP and Google Workspace/Google Cloud Identity.
API Connection:
Set up an API connection between the IdP and Google Workspace/Google Cloud Identity for real-time user provisioning.
Middleware Property Mapping:
Assign Google Workspace/Google Cloud Identity groups to GA properties with appropriate roles.
Customize the user access model according to organizational policies and requirements.
This detailed approach ensures a seamless and secure user experience while enhancing access control and management efficiency.
Effective operating models for life sciences organizations
Following the integration, adopting an effective operating model can enable centralized access management through the IdP. Admins will have the capability to manage access centrally, ensuring seamless onboarding and offboarding processes for users.
This automated approach significantly reduces security risks and eliminates the need for continuous oversight. In addition, admins can conduct audits easily and centrally for all applications, including GA, via the IdP. Overall, the operating model streamlines access management, enhances security measures, and simplifies auditing processes for improved efficiency and compliance. Let us consider two example workflows to assess the efficiencies gained with an effective SSO integration.
Operations models for user journeys
Users are enabled to seamlessly access GA through SAML SSO integration with the IdP of their organization. With a single click on the IdP dashboard or by visiting the GA website, users are automatically redirected to the SSO application of their organization for authentication. Upon signing in with their SSO credentials, the IdP generates a SAML authentication request and sends it to GA. Once validated, users are granted instant access to the GA dashboard, streamlining the user experience.
Operating models for admin journeys
Your admins now have the ability to assign GA access to users directly within the IdP, streamlining the access assignment process. This streamlined approach simplifies access management by consolidating user permissions within a centralized platform. By leveraging the IdP, admins can easily assign and manage user access to GA, eliminating the need for manual configurations across multiple systems. This centralized approach not only enhances efficiency but also ensures that consistent access control measures are applied, promoting a more secure and compliant environment.
Admins can also effortlessly revoke user access to GA by simply de-assigning the application within the IdP. This streamlined approach simplifies access management by consolidating user permissions within a centralized platform. With this centralized control, admins can efficiently revoke access to GA for any user by removing their assignment within the IdP.
Integrating GA with IdPs for SSO login addresses the challenges of managing multiple credentials, enhances security, and streamlines access control in the life sciences industry. Despite the lack of native support of GA for SAML/OIDC, leveraging Google Workspace and Google Cloud Identity as middleware offers a viable solution.
As life sciences organizations continue to evolve in a digital landscape, SSO integration provides a foundation for enhanced security, efficiency, and compliance. By unifying access to critical applications such as GA, organizations can optimize their operations, reduce costs, and empower their workforce.
This report serves as a comprehensive guide for life sciences organizations seeking to implement SSO integration with GA, emphasizing the importance of this solution in today’s data-driven life sciences landscape.
At Indegene, we specialize in helping organizations overcome these hurdles and maximize the benefits of IdP integration with GA, or with other products in your enterprise technology stack. Contact us today to get started with enhancing security, centralizing user access, and streamlining user provisioning.


Shivam Srivastava
Shivam Srivastava
Ramu Aitha
Ramu Aitha

Insights to build #FutureReadyHealthcare