Google Analytics Custom Reports
While Google Analytics comes with a myriad of built in reports, sometimes you just need something different. That may be because you need a more complex report, or you need a simpler report without metrics that you don’t care about cluttering the layout. Let’s take the need for a simpler report first by creating a custom report that’s about as simple as it gets. We’ll create a report that has a single dimension and a single metric, since all reports must have at least one dimension and one metric. We’ll create a custom report that shows the metric Users segmented by the dimension Default Channel Grouping. This will wind up giving us a custom report that shows how many Users have come from each Channel. For example, how many users have come from Organic Search; how many users have come from Social; etc.
Create a Simple Custom Report
- We start by clicking the Customization button at the top of our window.
- We then click the button for a New Custom Report.
- We then give our report a name.
- We then select the type of table we want. We’ll select Flat Table, and talk more about Explorer and Map Overlay tables later on in other posts.
- We will then choose our dimension. Click on the + add dimension button.
- And since we decided above to use the dimension Default Channel Grouping for this report, start typing in the word “default.” You’ll see the choice appear as follows. Select it.
- We will then choose our metric. Click on the + add metric button.
- And since we decided above to use the metric Users for this report, start typing in the word “users.” You’ll see two choices appear as follows. That’s because there are two metrics available that contain the term “users.” Select the Users choice.
- At this point, you can simply click Save at the bottom, and your report will be run, and it will also be available for your future use under the list of Custom Reports on the left (see screenshot). All you need to do is return to the Customization button at the top at any time to view your list of Custom Reports on the left.
Editing Custom Reports
- You have probably already noticed that it would have been easy to add other metrics to this report. Let’s go ahead and do that now. First, we need to edit our custom report. There are two ways to do this.
- You can click the Edit button because you are currently already in the custom report you want.
- Or you can go to the Overview section of Custom Reports.
Note that while there are only 10 rows shown in our screenshot here, if you look at the bottom right of the screenshot, you’ll see that there are actually 42 rows of data. You can of course change the “Show rows” number to see all of the data at one time.
It would be natural to say to yourself at this point, that this is really annoying to look at, because even if you sort by Default Channel Group, the Day of Week Name column is not in order, which makes it really hard to look at the data. So here’s a solution to that. Edit your report as we’ve shown you how to do earlier in this post, and change the metric from Day of Week Name to Day of Week. Yes, they are different. The difference is that Day of Week is a number from 0 to 6, where 0 represents Sunday. Once you’ve edited your report, and saved it, you’ll get output similar to this.
ga:channelGrouping, ga:dayOfWeek, ga:dayOfWeekName
Put the following in the metrics box: ga:users
The query explorer is excellent for generating multidimensional reports. However there is also another way to generate “explorable” multidimensional reports within Google Analytics itself. It is called an Explorer Table.
To generate an Explorer Table, go back and Edit your existing report, and click the Explorer button.
Alright, now you know how to generate a custom report. You know how to add dimensions and metrics. You know the difference between a Flat Table and an Explorer Table and when to use each. You also know about how to use the Google Analytics Query Explorer. Of course, we could go on and on, but this should give you a great start in using some of the more advanced reporting features in Google Analytics. To ensure you use Google Analytics to the best of your ability, read through and follow our Google Analytics: Best Practices guide.