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Advanced Analysis in Google Analytics 360: Part II – Segment Overlap tool

Anton Dolgiy   
August 1, 2019  3min. read


In part I of this article we discussed the benefits and use cases surrounding the Exploration feature within Google Analytics 360. This article focuses on the Segment Overlap feature, which is unique to Advance Analysis. 

Segment Overlap

The purpose of segments within Google Analytics is to compare a few subsets of data side-by-side to see any commonalities or differences. With the revamped functionality of segments, the Segment Overlap analysis was created to see what compared segments have in common and how they intersect or interact. This analysis can help reveal some hidden or complex findings and, in turn, can be used to build new segments that could not be found otherwise. 

Use case

Some typical use cases for this type of analysis are to look at multiple touchpoints of your website visitors or define a segment of users who did a particular action (e.g. visited a key page, submitted a form, clicked on a button, or converted). For instance, you can filter canvas segments to include users who were ever touched with your display and who engaged via organic and paid search. Finding overlaps between these data points will help identify the users who have been using two or three channels to access the site. In another instance, you may want to know how your display ads Google Ads are driving direct visits:

Since some of these overlaps may appear bigger than you expected, there is an opportunity to take action or analyze further. For example, the above analysis will give you an understanding of what percentage of your traffic is actually direct and not being driven by display or paid search. You may also consider looking deeper into the overlap between display and paid search to determine which of them is building brand awareness and whether this is what you intended.

Finding an overlap between segments has never been available in Analytics, so you will want to take advantage of this. Looking at user-based segments (audiences) will help understand how particular behavior impacts your business’s goals. 

How It Works

You can apply up to three segments that will be part of the Venn diagram. The size of circles and overlaps will be determined by the highest metric you’ve applied under the values pane. You have to apply at least one metric to use this technique. You can include up to five dimensions in the breakdown pane and up to 10 metrics as values. All dimensions and metrics will be used in the data table mirroring of Exploration setup. Similarly, this type of analysis enables you to apply a filter to further refine the data (filters pane).

Hovering over a circle will show the size of a segment, excluding overlaps, if you’re moving the cursor inside the circle. Once you hover over any diagram area, a corresponding row in the data table will be highlighted. If you right-click on any circle, overlap, or data point within the table you’ll see a prompt to take one of the following actions (just as in Exploration): create a segment, build an audience, or view users in the User Explorer report. Segment Overlap combines data exploration capabilities while identifying relations between datasets represented by Analytics’ segments.


Continue reading part III of this article