Controls for Reports in Google Analytics

Adapt your Google Analytics report to your project: With the reporting tools, you can, among other things, change the period of your analysis, the samples or the primary dimension in your report. But that’s not all: Find out in this article how you can get even more out of your reports.

Choose time periods

You can find the time period selection in the top right of every report. Here you can choose between a predefined and a user-defined period. You can use a predefined time period by selecting one of the following options in the Time period menu:

  • today
  • Yesterday
  • Last week
  • Last month
  • Custom time period.

Custom time period

To set your own period, first select the Custom option in the Period menu. Then proceed as follows:

To select a single date, click on the desired date in the calendar. To select a specific week, click on the first and last day of the desired week in the calendar. To select a time period that suits your project, first, click on the desired start date and then on the end date in the calendar. The selected days will then be highlighted.

Another useful function is comparing two time periods. To do this, click on the Compare with previous data box and then use the controls to set the second period. When you have selected a new period, click on Apply.

Change time graph

Once you have defined your period as described above, Google Analytics offers you the opportunity to visualize these periods with the time graph. To do this, go to the function Graphics from and display your data graphically by the hour, day, week or month. You can change and analyze your view as you wish. You do this as follows:

  • For example, for Hour, you would go to the Visits report. In the Visitors → Visitor Trends section, you have the option to display graphics by the hour.
  • The day period is the standard view for graphics. After selecting this option, 24 data points are displayed for the 24 hours of a day.
  • If you select the period week, it starts on a Sunday and ends on a Saturday.
  • For two weeks, two data points are displayed, so that each data point contains the sum for the week.
  • If you select the month period, you will be based on the actual calendar months. One data point is displayed here per month. However, partial months are not highlighted in the graph.

Adjust samples in reports

To optimize the accuracy and loading speed of your reports in Google Analytics, you can change your sample size. How does it work?

  1. Go to your report you want to optimize
  2. Next to the report title, click the yellow icon and click Sampling Options.

You now have two options:

Greater accuracy: Here the maximum sample size is used to obtain results, the full set of data as closely as possible corresponds

Shorter response time: Here is a small sample that is used to show you results faster

But watch out – as soon as you close Google Analytics, the settings reset again.

Change the primary and secondary dimensions in the report

The primary dimensions are listed in Analytics reports at the top of the data table. To change it, do the following:

  • Find the list of primary dimensions above the data table
  • Click the primary dimension that you want to apply to the table

The secondary dimensions are subordinate to the primary dimensions. To add them to a primary dimension, do the following:

  • Below the list of primary dimensions, click Secondary Dimension
  • Select the dimension from the list of dimensions
  • To select the secondary dimension, simply click on the name of the secondary dimension

Use pivot tables

A pivot table helps you to evaluate your data, which is available in tablet form, in a structured manner. The table summarizes all the data in such a way that the most important properties of the data are pointed out.

This brings you a great gain in clarity of your data. With this multidimensional view, you can compare groups of data with one another and spot trends that you might otherwise have missed.

This function enables you to find out, for example, the bounce rate and the number of page views for each landing page and to compare this data with each of your campaigns.

Sort by weight

The function sort by weighting offers you the possibility to have your data sorted in per cent according to their importance. To activate it, proceed as follows:

  • First, click on the Bounce Rate column heading in a table
  • Then select Weight in the Sorting Type menu above the table

A bounce rate of 100 per cent on a single visit to your website is not a very helpful proposition. It looks different from the meaningfulness of a bounce rate of 70 per cent with 1,000 visitors to your website.

Sorting by weight is especially helpful when you are working with large amounts of numbers. The function places the rows with the most meaningful statistics at the top of the list.

Export and share reports

Google Analytics also offers you the option of exporting reports and allowing them to be sent automatically via e-mail, for example. You do this as follows:

  1. Open the report you want to export. Check whether the time period and the settings have been specified, as these will be adopted during the export
  2. To the right of the report’s title, click Export
  3. Choose an export format:
  • CSV
  • TSV
  • TSV for Excel
  • Excel (XLSX)
  • Google Sheets
  • PDF

The file is then created automatically and is available in the download directory on your computer.

Share reports

To share a report with others:

  • Open the report
  • Click Share to the right of the report title
  • In the To field, enter the recipient’s email addresses, separated by commas
  • As usual, enter a subject and select the format for the attachment and the frequency
  • If you selected a transmission frequency other than Once in the previous step, click on Advanced Options and select the desired period under Active for
  • Enter the email text in the appropriate text field
  • Click Submit

Customize standard reports

You can use many standard reports as the basis for custom reports. To create a new custom report based on an existing standard report:

  • Open the report that will serve as the basis for the custom report
  • Click Edit in the action bar above the report
  • Follow our guide to creating custom reports

Solution gallery

The solution gallery is essentially a classic link directory. Behind these links, various ready-made solutions can simplify your work with Google Analytics. You can use the Solutions Gallery to import and share custom reporting tools and assets such as dashboards and segments into your Analytics account.

Motion diagrams

Motion diagrams allow you to display the dimensions in your report in combination with up to four measured values ​​over a certain period. You can call up movement diagrams for a report by clicking on the movement diagrams button in the upper right corner of the time graph.

Another step further. In this chapter, you learned how you could get even more out of your reports by adapting them to your project. In the next chapter of the Google Analytics guide, we’ll cover the custom reports!