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Building User Path Analysis in Google Analytics 360

Anton Dolgiy   
September 17, 2019  4min. read
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Now that you’ve read all about the pathing analysis capability within Google Analytics 360, there are serval important steps you should take when it comes to building a user path analysis.

 

  1. Select Technique. To start building a pathing report, just select the Path Analysis technique in the Analysis hub or select Path Analysis in the left-hand navigation page:
  2. Select Starting Point. The reporting interface will open, including typical elements of any Analysis: Variables, Tab Settings, and the analysis canvas. Depending on how you opened the report, it maybe pre-configured or you might have to create it from scratch. In the latter case, click under Starting Point to choose a parameter:
    Otherwise, you can also drag a dimension from the list of Node Types into the canvas. At this point, three dimensions are available – Event Name, Page Title and Screen Name, Page Title and Screen Class:
    Then, a right-hand panel will appear showing event names, page titles or screen names available for selection as a starting point:

    The starting point is the first instance of the selected dimension value in a user’s event stream. For example, if you’ve selected the Home screen name as the starting point for the analysis, GA will search for the first occurrence of the Home screen in all user paths and will build the report adding up all subsequent steps (events or pages / screens) into the path.

  3. Add Steps. By default, only one next step will be shown when a new report is created. You can change it any time later by clicking a data point – event name, page title, or screen name in the graph.Each step contains nodes – data points through which the traffic flows. Clicking on each of these will expand a node and add a new step. The graph is showing top 5 nodes for each step, all other values can be expanded by clicking on “+More”. You can select to show up to 20 values in a step, the rest of them will be grouped into “Others”.
  4. Change Dimension. It is possible to change the dimension for each step in a path separately, choosing between Event Name, Page Title and Screen Name, or Page Title and Screen Class. Click the dropdown below the step number to change the node type.
  5. Customize Path. You can also decide to display or hide some dimension values (nodes) in a path when you click on the pencil icon next to the step number. All the values you’ve selected will be displayed as separate data flows, others will be grouped into “+More”:
  6. Change Metric. Each point in a path corresponds to a number of events or users that represent it. There are three metrics available for pathing analysis: Event Count, Active Users, and Total Users. Event Count means the total number of events that occurred at each path step such as views of a particular page / screen or the count of events of a particular event type. Total Users will be reporting the number of unique visitors that were a part of a specific step in the visualized path.To change the metric, just drag one of these from the Metrics pane (Variables) to the Values pane (Tab Settings):

  7. Apply Segments. The ability to apply a segment to a path is a great feature of Path Analysis. You may want to visualize the path of users who dropped from checkout without completing an order to see if this helps identify issues with the UX.To apply a segment, just drag it from the Variables panel to the Segment pane (Tab Settings).
  8. Apply Filter. To narrow down the set of users who should be included in an analysis, you can apply a filter using any dimension or metric available in the Variables panel. For instance, looking at the users who came from a particular geo area or used Chrome.
  9. Exclude Data Flows. It is possible to exclude certain data points from an analysis. If you notice user flow that isn’t important to the exploration or impacts data accuracy you can easily exclude this point from the path.There are two options of how you can do it:- Exclude the data point from the current step in the current path;- Exclude the data point from all steps in all paths of the analysis.To do this, you need to right-click on a node and select a corresponding option. The excluded flows will appear as filters in the Node Filters pane (Tab Settings).
  10. View Users. Similar to other Analysis techniques, you can also view the users included into a particular data flow. Right-clicking on a node will open up the context menu with the View Users option. This will take you to a User Explorer report, displaying data for individual users from this data flow identified by a device ID:
    [Continue reading for the added benefits of Pathing Analysis in GA360]