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Advanced Analysis in Google Analytics 360: Part I – Exploration tool

Anton Dolgiy   
July 22, 2019  4min. read
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Google Analytics 360 is an enterprise-level version of Google Analytics that features wider-reaching analytical and data exploration capabilities. Along with improved data accuracy, real-time reporting, and increased granularity, Google Analytics 360 also gives us more actionable insights through Advanced Analysis.

So, why is Advanced Analysis in Google Analytics 360 different than the standard reporting in Google Analytics, and how can it enrich the analytical experience?

Feature Set

First of all, with Advanced Analysis in Google Analytics 360 you can select between three techniques: Exploration, Funnel, and Segment Overlap. The Exploration technique is a data table similar to the Analytics’ reporting UI (User Interface) and the Funnel type was inspired by the custom funnels feature, but the Segment Overlap is unique to Advanced Analysis. Regardless, each feature set greatly extends the functionality of the reporting UI, including custom reports.

Exploration

The main advantage of this analysis type is the ability to arrange the dataset you’re going to explore by: group, sort, segment, filter, and visualize. All the changes are made in the reporting canvas which instantly saves them a new configuration, with no need to edit the settings manually each time. 

Segments

Similar to custom reports the platform enables you to apply up to four different segments but does so in a highly flexible and interactive way. Using the Pivot option allows you to see the data groupings separated by segments in rows, or columns, and above or below other dimensions:

Dimensions and Metrics

As opposed to custom reports, Advanced Analysis offers the option to arrange dimensions as both rows and columns, with additional flexibility in the way you are interacting with the data. The ability to include up to five dimensions and 10 metrics in a custom report widens the scope of reporting in the Analytics UI.

Filter

Adding a filter to a report can be executed in real-time and is customizable across Analysis’s tabs – a feature that is not available in custom reports. Simply drag and drop a dimension or metric to the Filters section from the Variables panel or click the dropdown menu to select it from the list. You will then be prompted to choose the match type (depending on the variable type) and enter a value the filter will be compared to. 

Additionally, you can filter your analysis based off the values in the analysis canvas. Any combination of dimensions and/or segments can be isolated to take a deeper look at the performance or excluded sections to make the analysis more relevant. Just right-click the required row or column in the interface and select the appropriate option:

Table Type

In the report’s viewer, you are able to change the table view by selecting one of the three options under Cell Type: Bar Chart, Plain Text or Heat Map. For example, viewing a report visualized as a heat map will help you focus on the most noticeable measure values regardless of the sorting you’d applied:

Visualization Type

The table is not the only option of how you could visualize the data; you can arrange the data in other available graph types: Donut Chart, Line Chart, Scatterplot, and Geo Map. When you want to compare the relative value to other data points, you may consider the Donut Chart option, especially if the number of proportions is fewer than seven. So, the contribution of each medium to the total userbase or revenue can be estimated on a donut chart. If you want to display how a KPI (e.g., conversion rate or AOV) was trending over time, then Line Chart is for you. 

The Scatter Plot is the best option to break down your traffic by a dimension against two measures. Let’s say, you’d like to compare how your channels are driving traffic to number of conversions. You’ll have to put traffic (the number of users or sessions) on one axis, put conversions on the other axis, and add the channel to Breakdowns. You can now easily determine the position of each data point on the graph:

The Geo Map view shows metric values attributed to geographical locations on a map. All chart types are visually compelling and simplify building graphs in Google Analytics. Each chart allows for four segments: one breakdown dimension that will be measured against a specified metric, one metric (two metrics for scatterplot), and up to 10 filters. If you are not an advanced user of Data Studio you may consider Advanced Analysis as a starting point for building visuals in order to clearly communicate an insight.

Action

Whatever technique or visualization style you’ve selected, this feature enables you to immediately take action on the data. This is as easy as right-clicking on any dimension or metric value and selecting from the drop-down menu:

You can create a segment from any subset of data, build an audience shared with Google Ads, Display and Video 360, or look into the users of the segment by selecting “View Users”. The last option will take you to the User Explorer report and display the corresponding segment that has been applied. Advanced Analysis takes interacting with a report to the next level, enabling to deep-dive into the data in a matter of clicks. 

Continue reading part II of this article