The below is the announcement email the Google Analytics team sent out this morning, happy reading:
Dear Google Analytics users,
We are writing to let you know about a change in our service offerings. If you have logged into your account recently, you may have noticed that you can now choose to share your Google Analytics data. By providing data sharing options, we hope to provide you with transparency, control, and new services based on your preferences.
To learn more about data sharing settings, visit our FAQs: http://www.google.com/support
We're also happy to announce industry benchmarking as the first new feature available to those who opt to share their data. Benchmarking lets you compare your metrics against industry verticals.
To enable this optional new feature, an administrator on your account will need to make the following selections on the Google Analytics data sharing settings page:
1. Log into your account. You'll see the yellow data sharing settings box on the Analytics Settings page.
2. Click the "More data sharing options" link within the yellow box.
3. Select the second checkbox to specify that you want to share your data "Anonymously with Google products and the benchmarking service". You can also choose to share your data "With Google products only" to take advantage of advanced Google advertising products and services as they become available.
The industry benchmarking feature is currently in beta. Once you have enabled benchmarking, it may take up to two weeks before the categorized, aggregated and anonymized benchmarking data shows up in your reports.
For more information on the benchmarking service, visit our FAQs: http://www.google.com/support
In addition to the new benchmarking service, opting to share your data will also enable you to take advantage of new advanced Google products and services as they become available. We think these services will offer greater insight and sophistication to users who have opted to share their data. However, if you would prefer not to use these services, simply specify on the settings page that you don't want to share your data.
The Google Analytics Team