Why we need a meta layer for GTM and an example of information it could include

Dear Data-Traveller, please note that this is a LinkedIn-Remix.

I posted this content already on LinkedIn in August 2022, but I want to make sure it doesn’t get lost in the social network abyss.

For your accessibility-experience and also for our own content backup, we repost the original text here.

Have a look, leave a like if you like it, and join the conversation in the comments if this sparks a thought!

Link to Post

Screenshot with Comments:

Screenshot of Timo Dechau's LinkedIn post with text about a meta layer for Google Tag Manager

Plain Text:

Google Tagmanager is one of the simplest tools I am using.

It basically consists of three things: Variables, Triggers, and Tags (ok, 1-2 more – workspaces and versions).

This is great because it makes it easier to master this tool.

But especially in growing tag manager setups, there is one thing missing for me: a meta layer.

I can have a good technical tag manager setup and still struggle with it.


Because there is additional information that would be useful to have in the tag manager:
– Ownership of tags – especially when multiple teams are involved, I want to know who requested and owns the tag to ask the most important question: “do we still need this one”
– Consent Compliance – yes, I can handle the consent state in GTM. But consent is more: is it added to the privacy policy, does it have clearance from the legal team
– Expiration date – I like the concept of expiration dates for tags. So they have to be actively renewed by the owners. Helps significantly with decluttering a setup

In a big setup, we have built a meta layer for GTM by using Google Sheets and the GTM API.

In the Google Sheet, we add all the metadata that is important for us: owners, expiration date, and consent status. The script then keeps the sheet and GTM in sync. All context information gets added to the tag notes.

And on top, we calculate a score for each tag based on the information provided, so we can quickly see which tags are missing meta information.

I am pretty happy with this first implementation and like to extend it, so it can handle expiration dates (with warnings and notifications and automatic pausing of tags).

What do you think? Are missing a meta layer too?