If you use Google Analytics 4 (GA4) to track your app or website’s performance, you are already aware of how effective it can be in providing essential insights into your audience’s behaviour and engagement with your content.
However, sticking to the standard reports in GA4 will not always work in your favour. There will be valuable data you need to make more precise business decisions, which might not be included in predefined reports.
But Google Analytics has a simple answer to this: GA4 customisation options. By creating custom reports and dashboards, you can focus on the metrics and dimensions that matter most to your business.
In this article, we will dive into customising reportings in GA4: setting up your metrics, creating a filter, a segment, and customising your reports and dashboards to gain even deeper insights and make the most of Google Analytics reporting capabilities to help your digital marketing efforts.
Customising reports in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) enables your business to gain a better understanding of your customer’s behaviour and make data-driven decisions.
Customised reports help tailor your analysis to your specific needs. You can track specific events, user demographics, or website behaviours, among other variables. In turn, you should aim for custom GA4 reports to help you adjust your marketing strategies, website design, and overall business decisions to gain a competitive advantage.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) offers a variety of standard reports to track and analyse website traffic. These reports include the following:
This report helps you understand your users’ journey and identify which areas need improvement to increase user satisfaction, engagement, and conversions.
You can see the majority of the reports in the Life Cycle collection. These standard reports provide a great starting point to understand how your users interact with your website or app across the different stages of the user journey. They contain the following categories of reports: Acquisition reports, Engagement reports, and Monetization reports.
If none of these reports cater to your business’s or client’s exact needs, you can always create a custom reporting in GA4 using the app’s built-in tools.
The fastest way to customise GA4 reports is to begin with a current report that is similar to what you want to build. Google Analytics offers a variety of customisation options and templates that can cater to your needs.
If you want to create a report that is completely customised to your needs, you may need to start from scratch and build the report from the ground up.
The best way to master creating custom reports is to start experimenting with the settings and playing around with the different options. This will help you become familiar with the various metrics, dimensions, and visualisation types available in GA4 and give you a better understanding of how to use them to answer specific business questions.
Detail reports can show data for one or two dimensions. It can have up to two visualisations and a table. You can customise these reports as an Editor or Administrator.
Here are the different GA4 customisation options for detail reports:
By default, a detail report only shows data for the last 28 days. To adjust the date range, use the drop-down menu on the top right of a report. You can set the date to a preset or a custom range.
Note that adjusting the date range for one report adjusts the date range on your view for the other reports in your property.
You can customise your report’s dimensions to fit what you want to see in your report. You can choose primary dimensions from the options in the report table.
To add, remove, or reorder the dimensions in your report, follow these steps:
You can add, remove, and reorder metrics in your custom report. You can put up to 12 metrics in the table in your report.
To customise your metrics, follow these instructions:
You can customise, reorder, and hide the charts that appear on the top of your detail report. To do so, follow these steps:
You can apply a filter in your custom report so anyone who views or uses your report will see the data based on the filtered view you set. For example, you can apply a filter to exclude data collected from websites.
To save a filter to your report, do these steps:
Summary cards sum up the data about one or more dimensions and metrics from a detail report. These cards appear in overview reports. To create a summary card, do the following steps:
If you create GA4 reports from a report template, it will automatically receive any update that Google implements for the template. These changes can include additional dimensions or visualisation updates. When receiving updates, any change that authorised users made to your report will not be affected.
By default, your reports are linked to their templates if they have one. However, if you don’t want your report to receive any updates, you can unlink your report by clicking the Unlink from template option in the report builder.
Note that once you save the report changes, you can no longer link your report again in the future.
Anyone granted the required permissions can delete custom reports from the library by doing the following:
Edit an existing report via the Report Builder. Simply hover over a detail report and click the three vertical dot menu.
Note that when Edit is selected, a sidebar will appear with GA4 customisation options. This menu makes it easy to create different report customisations.
Save all your customisations by clicking the Save button and saving your work as a new report.
You can create a custom report by following these steps:
Here is an example of the templates you’ll be able to choose from, during the report build stages:
Exploration reporting in GA4 is a collection of advanced techniques to help you understand your customer’s behaviours. Exploration Reports enable you to quickly perform ad hoc queries and easily configure and switch between techniques to analyse data in more detail.
Reports and Explorations can give you different views of your data. While Explorations are focused more on the raw event and user-level data, reports are generated based on daily aggregated tables that have specific system limitations.
In cases where a query exceeds the quota limit for processing events, Google Analytics utilises a portion of the available data as a sample.
Create and customise Exploration Reports by following these steps:
Here are some examples of the templates you can find during the exploration reports stages:
By using explorations to segment data based on dimensions such as user demographics, behaviour, device, and traffic source, you can gain a more granular understanding of how users interact with your website or app and identify opportunities for improvement.
The Explorations interface is divided into 3 main columns:
The Variable column is the section where you can select the data you would use in the report. This column is responsible for all the details of data input. It contains the following elements:
The Tab settings allow you to edit different reports from techniques, visualisations, and filters. Here are the following elements found in this tab:
You can see your changes in real-time while editing an Explorations report in the preview canvas on the right side of the left-side menus (In this case, the Variables and Tab Settings menus). It also allows you to create additional tabs for your report.
Explorations are also saved automatically as you edit them. Additionally, you can undo, redo, export data, or share exploration in the preview.
Google Analytics 4 offers a powerful platform for analysing website performance, and one of its key features is the ability to customise reports to suit your unique business needs.
Whether you’re interested in tracking website traffic, analysing user behaviour, or optimising your website for better performance, GA4 customisation options can help you achieve your business goals.
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