Challenges in standard GA reports
The standard reports in Google Analytics are so limiting. What if you want to add a user’s metric to your regular report? Or add more than two dimensions to the report? Or want to apply a reusable filter? Or share the report configuration with someone without sending along your data? What if you have an ecommerce site, and you don’t want to have to export two separate reports just to get session’s data and revenue / conversion data?
Google analytics provides you with the ability to create custom reports that allow you to apply filters, get the exact metrics you want, apply more than two dimensions and much more. You can create custom reports which can be e-mailed to users daily, weekly or monthly.
How to create a custom report?
3. Decide on the type of report you want.
- Explorer Report – Allows dimension drilldowns. This is the same style you are used to when looking at a Google Analytics standard report.
- Flat Table – To see the dimensions side by side, go for this option
- Map Overlay – The map overlay report is a report that shows you your data on a map. Used to view results by country.
4. Metric Groups – Select the metrics that you want to see in the report e.g. users, sessions, revenue etc. The metrics selected in the metric group will be shown as the data columns in the final report. You can create a maximum of 5 metric groups, and in each group you can have a maximum of 10 metrics.
5. Dimension Drilldowns – In dimensions you can specify how you want the data to be further sub-related. The drilldown is broken down by individual rows on your final report. Select the dimensions that you want to see in the report e.g. channel, source/medium, country etc. The maximum you can select is 5 dimensions.
6. Filter (optional) – Apply a filter only if you may want to exclude/include some traffic or data from your report.
7. Views (optional) – If you have more than one property/view you may want to use this report for other properties/views.
Custom Report example for each type of report
1. Traffic by Day of Week Name & Time of Day: It allows you to compare metrics by day of the week, and it displays the actual names of the days instead of numbers
- Metrics: Sessions, Page Views, Avg. Session Duration and Bounce Rate
- Dimension: Day of Week Name
- Report Type: Explorer
2. Traffic by Browser, Browser Version & Operating System: This is a very useful report for ecommerce sites, but can be used for other businesses as well.
- Metrics: Sessions, Conversion Rate, and Transactions
- Dimension: Browser, Browser Version and Operating System
- Report Type: Flat Table
3. Traffic by Country: This is a very useful report for sites have a presence in more than one country.
- Metrics: Sessions
- Dimension: Country (or Continent, Sub Continent or City)
- Report Type: Map Overlay
Custom Reports helps you customize your data to make it even more relevant for the users viewing the reports. Using multiple dimensions instead of the default secondary dimension (in the standard report) provides even more flexibility.