Customising Reports in GA4


9 mins

Customising reports in ga4

Table of Contents

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.

How to customise reports in GA4

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:

  • Reports Snapshot. The Reports snapshot is the overview report displayed on the navigation menu in GA4. It allows you to create custom dashboards showing key performance indicators (KPIs) for quick access to your business’s most important metrics.
  • Realtime report. As the name suggests, Realtime reports are reports that allow you to monitor all activities on your app or website in real time. With this report, you can see how your audience enters the conversion funnel, as well as their actions after they enter the funnel.
  • Life cycle report. The life cycle report is designed to explain the different stages in the customer journey (acquisition, engagement, monetization, retention, and churn) and how your users behave when on your website or app. 

This report helps you understand your users’ journey and identify which areas need improvement to increase user satisfaction, engagement, and conversions.

  • User reports. The User collection contains the details about your website or app’s users. This includes demographic data such as gender, age, location, and the technology and device they use to access your website, including app version and browser version information, among others.

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. 

Customising detail reports

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:

Adjust the date range

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.

Change the dimensions

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:

  1. First, click the Dimensions option in the Report data section.
  2. Then, click Add dimension.
  3. Afterwards, search for the dimension you want to add.
  • To remove a dimension, click the three vertical dot menu > Remove to remove a dimension.
  • To reorder a dimension, drag and drop the dimension in your desired order in the list.
  1. Click Apply.

Change the metrics

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:

  1. First, Click Metrics In the Report data section.
  2. Then, Click Add metric, and search for the metric you want to add.
  • To remove a metric, click the Remove icon.
  • To reorder a metric, drag and drop the metric to where you want to place it.
  1. Click Apply.

Change the charts

You can customise, reorder, and hide the charts that appear on the top of your detail report. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. In the Charts section, click the greater than symbol next to the chart name.
  2. Then, choose a new type of chart among the following options:
  • Bar chart
  • Scatter chart
  • Line chart
  1. Finally, click Apply.
  • To hide a chart, you can click on the Eye icon.
  • To reorder a chart, drag and drop it to where you want to place it.

Save a filter to the report

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:

  1. First, click the + Add filter option on the customisation menu.
  2. Then, Choose Include or Exclude to adjust the data included.
  3. Next, choose a dimension in the Dimension drop-down menu.
  • Choose one or more dimension values in the Dimension Values field.
  • You can also add up to 4 more conditions to your report by clicking Add new condition.
  1. Finally, click Apply.

Create a summary card

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:

  1. Click on the + Create new card in the Summary cards section.
  2. Then, select the dimensions you want to include from the detail report by browsing in the Dimensions dropdown.
  3. Select the metrics you want to include in the Metrics dropdown.
  4. Next, choose the kind of visual representation you want in the Visualization section:
  • Bar Chart
  • Pie Chart
  • Line Chart
  • Table
  1. Finally, click Apply.

Link or unlink the report

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.

Delete the report

Anyone granted the required permissions can delete custom reports from the library by doing the following:


  1. First, on the left side menu, click Reports.
  2. Then, select the Library option at the bottom of the menu on the left side of your window.
  • Note that if you don’t see this option, it means that you don’t have permission to access it.
  1. Next, go to the Reports section.
  2. Finally, hover over the detail report you want to delete and click the three vertical dot menu next to the report name > Delete.

Editing an existing report

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 a customised report

Save all your customisations by clicking the Save button and saving your work as a new report.

Creating a new custom report

You can create a custom report by following these steps:

  1. First, click the Create New Report button. You can choose to create a report from the following options:
  • Overview report
  • Detail report
  1. Then, create a detail report.
  2. Afterwards, select a template for your report that already has the metrics and dimensions required in the custom report.
  3. Customise your report with the options explained earlier.
  4. Save your changes with a new report name.

Here is an example of the templates you’ll be able to choose from, during the report build stages: 

Google Analytics 4 explorations reports

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:

  1. Hover on the collapsible menu at the left side of your window to expand it. Then, click the Explore option.
  • The Explore option presents the currently available Exploration reports.
  • The Explore section displays many templates you can choose from. To view the rest of the templates, click Template Gallery.
  1. Select your template. You can also create a new exploration from a blank template.
  2. Once you have selected your template, you can now proceed to edit your report.

Here are some examples of the templates you can find during the exploration reports stages: 

Main components of explorations reports

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:

1. Variable Column

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:

  • Name: In this field, you can set the name of the exploration you are editing.
  • Date Range: The date range helps you choose the time period for which you want to analyse data in the report.
  • Segments: You can use this option to select specific groups of data that you want to include in your analysis. You can choose a number of segments on the predefined selection available on the interface, or you can add your own.
  • Dimensions: This option allows you to choose the categories or groupings that you want to apply to your data in exploration (e.g., event names, number of clicks, product category)
  • Metrics: Metrics provide the numerical values or figures for your analysis. Just like dimensions, you can choose to add one or more metrics from the Metrics dropdown to use in your exploration. (e.g., number of users, engagement rate, conversion rate)

2. Tab Settings

The Tab settings allow you to edit different reports from techniques, visualisations, and filters. Here are the following elements found in this tab:

  • Technique. Techniques are different ways to customise how your report will interpret the data you input. This section includes the following:
  1. Freeform exploration – This allows you to explore GA4 reports data in a highly customisable and flexible way. In this technique, you can use any combination of dimensions, metrics, and filters to create the report.
  2. Cohort exploration –  This technique specialises in analysing how different groups of users behave over time. 
  3. Funnel exploration – This allows you to analyse how users move through the sales funnel. You can create a funnel that represents a specific conversion path, such as a customer completing a purchase or subscribing to your service.
  4. Segment overlap – With segment overlap, you can compare the behaviour of different user segments. You can create segments based on specific criteria, such as age or location, and then compare their behaviour through your report.
  5. Path exploration – This technique allows you to analyse the behaviours or patterns your users create as they move through your website or app and identify any factors that cause users to exit.
  6. User explorer – As the name suggests, this report is specially designed to analyse individual user behaviour and track their actions over time. These actions include the pages they viewed and the buttons or links they clicked, among others.
  7. User lifetime – This allows you to track the value of each user through the whole course of their interaction with you and identify any patterns or trends in their behaviour over time. 
  • Visualization. This option allows you to choose how to visually represent your data. (i.e., table, doughnut chart, line chart, scatterplot, bar chart, geo map)
  • Segment Comparisons. This option allows you to select or upload up to 4 segments to compare.
  • Pivot. Pivot is a tool that helps rearrange the information in your table in one or more dimensions. 
  • Rows. This option allows you to choose what category of dimensions you would insert as rows in your GA4 reports.
  • Columns. This option allows you to choose what category of dimensions you would insert as columns in your report.
  • Values. This option allows you to select a dimension to use as a metric for your report.
  • Filters. Use filters to exclude events or categories from your report.

3. Preview Canvas

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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