Google Analytics

Google Analytics lets you analyze data from all touch points in one place, for a deeper understanding of your customer experience. With Grow, you can build customized reports that stay updated in real time, allowing your team insights into improving interactions of your customers with your company. This article will give you an overview of the Grow/Google Analytics integration.

Connecting to Google Analytics

  1. Select the Data tab next to the Dashboard.
    This takes you to the Data Overview page.
  2. Click on the Connections button.
  3. Click on the blue Connect button at the end of the Your Top Data Sources options.
  4. From the list of Connections, search and select the Google Analytics logo.

A window pops up to log in with your Google credentials. Once the connection is successful, a green confirmation message is displayed.
If the green success message pops up without the window to enter your credentials, that means your previously logged in Google account was used to connect to Grow.

Data Warehousing

Google Analytics is on the Grow Data Warehouse, which we highly recommend you use. For more information about warehousing your data, visit the Data Warehouse Help Article.

Google Analytics 4 properties are only available within the data warehouse. To access your Google Analytics Universal properties, please use the Direct Query method instead.

Custom Tables

Grow offers you the flexibility to configure your custom tables based on the dimensions, metrics, and date groupings that you see fit. Note that Google Analytics' API limits the number of dimensions (7 plus date grouping) and metrics (10) that can be selected within a single report, but you can configure as many reports as you need. For a full list of dimensions and metrics available within Google Analytics 4, visit Google's Help Center.

GA4_Add_a_custom_table.png

Following tables are part of the Grow Data Warehouse:

  • Views By Page Title And Screen Class
  • Users By Language
  • Users By Country
  • User Acquisition By Channel
  • Sessions By Channel
  • Sessions By Device Category
  • Event Count By Event Name
  • Daily Snapshot

Warehousing Your Data

  1. Starting with the Connections Overview Page, navigate to your Google Analytics connection and click on it to open the Connection Details page.
  2. Select the Manage Connection button inside the Connection Details section to open the warehouse table selection flow.
  3. Once you have finished selecting the data that you want stored in the Data Warehouse, click the Sync & Store button at the bottom of the Manage Connection page. This will begin the initial population of your warehouse with the tables you defined. Populating your data warehouse for the first time may take a while, even up to several hours.
  4. While your data is "In Queue" or "Processing", you may continue working within the app.

Sync Interval

Full Sync

The default sync interval is 12 hours per table.

Incremental Sync

Incremental sync is not available for Google Analytics.

To learn more about sync intervals and how to adjust the default settings, please visit the relevant section of the Data Warehouse help article.

Direct Query

A direct query connection can be used to pull data into Grow. With abnormal usage, Direct Query can run into API limitations depending on the data source. For this reason, we recommend that you use Grow's Data Warehouse for a more performant, reliable experience.

Building a Metric

To help get you started in using Google Analytics, here's a quick tutorial for building a metric that measures the number of new and returning visitors to your site in the last 90 days. It also briefly covers the different parameters you can select when pulling in a custom report.

Endpoints

Google Analytics does not have any set reports. Any reports that pull data from Google Analytics are created using a combination of metrics and dimensions. This makes the reports very dynamic, but it can sometimes be tricky to make sense of. Here is what a Google Analytics report is made of.

  • Metrics are quantitative measurements. The metric Sessions is the total number of sessions. The metric Pages per Session is the average number of pages viewed per session.
  • Dimensions are attributes of your data. For example, the dimension City indicates the city, for example, "Paris" or "New York", from which a session originates. The dimension Page indicates the URL of a page that is viewed.

Another way to see it is that Google Analytics metrics are numbers or integers. For example, the number of conversions, users, page views. Dimensions, on the other hand, are how you want to separate the data. How do you want to look at it by day, by operating system, etc.

This Google Analytics doc has a list of all of the available metrics and dimensions. It has a nice feature that lets you see which metrics can be queried with which dimensions, which can be very handy because not all metrics and dimensions go together.

API Documentation

Google Analytics 4: https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/reporting/data/v1

Universal Analytics: https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/reporting/core/v4

This is for reference only; you should not need to consult these to use the connection in Grow.

FAQs + Tips and Tricks

Is Grow compatible with GA4 properties?

Yes! As of February 2022, you can now access GA4 properties using the data warehouse.

Google Analytics launched a new property type in October 2020, and right after it went live it was set as the Default option for when you create a new Property in GA. The new property type is named GA4 (Google Analytics 4), while the previously used one is called UA (Universal Analytics). Once GA4 became active, all reports that had been previously created under Universal Analytics were automatically renamed as UA-name_of_report.

Why is my site not listed in the Data Warehouse?

The Google Analytics connector for warehouse is compatible with GA4 properties only; if you have UA properties, you can upgrade to GA4.

Please take note that:

The GA4 Setup Assistant wizard does not backfill your new GA4 property with historical data. Your GA4 property only collects data going forward. To see historical data, use the reports in your Universal Analytics property.

Why is my site not listed in the drop-down in Direct Query?

The Google Analytics connector for Direct Query is compatible with UA properties only; if you only have GA4 properties and you need to use Direct Query, it is possible to create a new property that uses both GA4 and UA.

I'm getting the error: "Selected dimensions and metrics cannot be queried together"

Some of the Dimensions and Metrics are not compatible together. Google provides a metrics and dimensions explorer, which can help you avoid those compatibility conflicts. Search for one of the metrics or dimensions you want to use and check the box next to it. The fields that are not compatible with that one will be grayed out. You can select multiple fields to see if the combination will or will not work.

What is the difference between a Metric and a Dimension?

Metrics are quantitative measurements. The metric Sessions is the total number of sessions. The metric Pages/Session is the average number of pages viewed per session. Dimensions are attributes of your data, or ways the data can be categorized. For example, the dimension City indicates the city, for example, "Paris" or "New York", from which a session originates. The dimension Page indicates the URL of a page that is viewed.

How can I find the ID number for a custom dimension or metric?

If you have a custom metric or dimension set up on your GA property, you can use that in Grow. Go to Admin > Custom Definitions (under "Property") > Click on "Custom Dimensions" (or "Custom Metrics". There you will see a list of the dimensions or metrics you have created for that property along with an index ID. You will use that index ID to add a custom dimension to your Grow report using the syntax ga:dimensionXX, where "XX" is the ID.

GA-custom-dimension-id.gif

Why am I getting an error connecting up my account?

Double check you have enough admin permissions for that Analytics account you are trying to connect. If you keep getting an error page that says Grow could not retrieve the auth info you might need to give yourself more permissions, or ask your Google Analytics admin for more permissions.

Can I use Filtering?

Yes, it is not required but can be used to clean up your data prior to bringing it into Grow. The simplified form of a filter statement is ga:{Metric/Dimension}{Operator}{Expression}. For example, if you wanted to only see data from iPhone users we would type in ga:mobileDeviceModel==iPhone.

How do I use Filtering?

The basic form of a filter is the Google Analytics tag ga: followed by a metric or dimension followed by an operator followed by an expression or ga:{Metric/Dimension}{Operator}{Expression}. We recommend reviewing and referencing the Google documentation before using filters.

How do I use Custom Segments?

To add a standard segment, click the blue 'Segments' button. From the list that pulls up, choose a segment to sort on.

If you want to use a custom segment, you need the segment ID. To find the ID for a custom segment, go tohttps://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/query-explorer/ and authorize it with your GA account. Then select the Account, Property, and View that contains the custom segment. Down a little farther, click on the Segment field and select the custom segment. It should give you something that looks like gaid::TBqO5f1bQZ6rGzdcMuRAOg. Cut and paste that entire field into the Custom Segment field in Grow.

finding-ga-custom-segment-id.png

How can I track individual Goal Conversions and Completions in Grow?

The metric you see in the dropdown menu is ga:goalXXCompletions and ga:goalXXConversions. The XX are placeholders for the goal number you are wanting to track. For example, if you were interested in the number of goal 3 completions your statement would look like ga:goal3Completions. We are unable to quick edit the inserted values but we are able to manually type them in the Custom Metric field below the metric selection dropdown. When you are done click Add. Please note that ga:goalXXCompletions and ga:goalXXConversions (with the XX placeholder) are not queryable options, so if you leave these in your list when you select Get Data you will get an error message.

Can I track real time data?

Yes, though you are still limited to Grow's 5-minute (or longer) refresh rate. To add a real time metric or dimension, simply start searching for rt: in the metric or dimension list and select the values you want to see. You will also need to remove the ga:date dimension and set the date range to Current Day.

Note that there are some metrics and dimensions that cannot work together, so if you see the error message Selected dimensions and metrics cannot be queried together. that means you need to remove one of the fields selected.

ga-realtime-data.gif

Does Grow have any sampling options?

We provide the same 4 sampling options in Grow that Google Analytics has. The lowest option pulls in very quickly, but has higher sampling limits.

Grow does also have an Unsampled Report feature. If you want to get access to it, contact one of our sales representatives.

What is Sampling?

Google Analytics (GA) restricts the amount of data it returns when a query includes a large number of dimensions or a large amount of data. In other words, if your data for a particular web property within a given date range exceeds a certain number of visits, GA will aggregate the results and return a random subset of that data, called sampled data.

They do this to speed up their servers and reduce the data they have to hold in memory. Unfortunately, this can lead to differences in numbers for different reports. This affects both the Google Analytics web interface as well as Grow, since they use the same API.

Google will tell you when it is sampling your data, as you will see a yellow bar along with the sampling percentage.

Is sampling a problem? Sometimes. You can think of the sampling percentage as a rough confidence level estimator. At a 90% sample, you can be around 90% confident that the data is close to correct. At 50% we are 50% confident. At 1% sample, we are 1% confident. (Note that this is a very rough estimate. Always double check your data.)

There are several things you can do to reduce the amount of sampling that happens:

Change Your Date Range

If you are trying to look at a 3 year period, then you might want to consider changing that to a smaller time span, to get the total visits to your site under that 500k level. You can also create a report that is under 500k visits per month, then pull in a few reports with different dates and aggregate the data yourself in Grow.

Use Standard Reports

The standard reports in Google Analytics are never sampled. So if you are applying a segment, or using a custom report and get sampled, see if you can get the same data with a standard report.

Create a New Profile with Different Filters

Maybe you want to look at the content reports for just your organic visitors, and applying the organic medium advanced segment forces you into a sample. You can create a new profile to just capture your organic traffic, and then put a filter on that profile to only allow organic traffic. If you apply any segments in the profile it will get sampled, but the standard reports will hold the unsampled information for just that organic traffic.

I'm tracking "Users," but the numbers don't match between Grow and Google Analytics.

Users are measured a little different in Google Analytics than some of the other metrics (like Sessions). Google is counting the number of unique users for whatever grouping you are using. In the GA screenshot, it is showing the number of unique users per day in the line chart, but the unique users for the time period (the month of January) in the summary at the bottom.

Another way to explain this is if you have only the same five people visit your site each day for a month, they will count as five unique users each day. But if you were to look at the entire month in Google Analytics, it would be only five unique users for the month. If you took the daily day and added it all together, it would say 150 users that month, which is inflated.

By default, Grow adds the ga:date dimension to new reports. If you are planning on viewing the data by month, it's best to remove the ga:date dimension and use ga:yearMonth instead. This will group the data automatically from Google and match the monthly numbers you get in Google Analytics.

GA-users-example.png

Why do my numbers in Google Analytics and Grow look different?

Grow uses the same API that Google uses to display their results. It is the exact same pool of data. If it is not matching up, then Google or Grow is looking at things differently. Once those are in sync, the data will be exactly the same. Below are some common reasons numbers appear to not match up:

Date Ranges need to be exact

The date ranges in Google Analytics and Grow need to be exactly the same. If they are not GA does shift historical data points as the dates change. Setting an exact range that is the same fixes this. This is especially true when looking at "Users" by a specific time period.

Comparing Apples to Apples

For example, in GA if you are looking at a screen shot that is sessions by date, and in Grow, the metric is displaying sessions and pageviews by date, the results could be different. When comparing numbers by date it must be an exact comparison. By adding pageviews in the Grow metric it changes the sessions numbers and vice versa. Also make sure you have the same dimensions in both reports.

Different metric/dimension

Google Analytics has hundreds of metrics and dimensions. New Sessions and new Session percentage looks the same but is different. Same thing for top 5 pages metric, which is not the same as top 5 page paths.

Was this article helpful?