Getting Started with Exploration Reports in Google Analytics 4

Nicholas Hooker - November 1, 2022

As you begin to dive into the Google Analytics 4 reporting interface, you will notice the “Explore” section This is a new custom reporting feature that allows more custom reporting beyond standard reports. This section is a hub for your custom reports also known as “Exploration Reports.” These reports allow you to analyze your data by dragging and dropping dimensions and metrics to answer complex questions about the data.

When selecting a new exploration report, you have the option to start from scratch or choose from the template gallery as seen by the screengrab above. The most common exploration reports are free form, funnel exploration, and path exploration. However, by clicking into the “template gallery” you can choose from a variety of options like segment overlap, cohort exploration, user lifetime, etc. If you would like to learn more about the various exploration techniques, click here.

Navigating the Exploration Report Layout

Once you’ve chosen a new exploration report. The exploration reporting layout populates allowing you to explore the data in more detail. This exploration reporting layout consists of 3 sections defined below.

These sections are:

  1. Variables
    • Is a panel on the left-hand side of the custom reporting layout. It allows you to select the exploration report name, timeframe of the analysis, segments, dimensions, and metrics you can use in the exploration.
  2. Tab Settings
    • Is a panel in-between the variables section and the canvas section. It allows you to control/configure the data displayed in the selected tab of the canvas. In this section you can control the type of exploration technique and its corresponding data settings.
  3. Canvas
    • Is on the right-hand side of the custom reporting layout. It displays the data selected in the tab settings in the format of a specified exploration technique. Additionally, you can have multiple tabs which allow you to use various exploration techniques in a single report.

Important Things to Know

There are a couple of things you should know before creating and using exploration reports!

The first is that the data in exploration reports and standard reports may differ. This is because both type of reports provide different views and levels of granularity on your data. There will be times when dimensions and metrics in standard reports are not supported in exploration reports.

The second is that data thresholds may be applied to your data. Typically, these thresholds are applied to prevent you from identifying who the users are within your data set. If you would like to learn more about data thresholds, click here.

The third is that exploration reports can be shared with other users who have access to the same property. The only caveat is that they will only be able to view the report and will not be able to edit it. To edit an exploration report after it has been shared with you. You must duplicate or copy it.

Wrap Up

So, there you have it, a quick overview on what to expect from Exploration Reports in Google Analytics 4. Like any new platform, there is a learning curve, so don’t feel discouraged! If you are looking for help improving your organization’s tracking and analytics capabilities, please reach out to info@morevisibility.com.

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