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Webinar recording – Advanced configuration and custom reporting in Google Analytics 4

About the webinar

In this webinar from James Akers, Tech Champion for Data Analytics and Insight, you will learn how to configure Google Analytics 4 (GA4) to track custom metrics and build your own reports.

You will learn:

  • How to build custom reports to analyse user behaviour, optimise marketing campaigns and track your key objectives
  • What additional tools are available to audit the data and understand the terminology
  • The advanced configuration options in GA4 to set up custom Events

Resources, links and further information

Download the webinar presentation slides (PDF) >

Useful browser extensions

In the webinar we used the Analytics Debugger extension for Chrome to look at what data is being passed to Google Analytics 4. An alternative for Firefox browsers is dataslayer, although the interface is nowhere near as nice. Unfortunately there are no equivalent extensions for the Edge browser.

Google Analytics 4 terminology

The wording and terminology in GA4 is a steep learning curve. In the GA4 interface you can hover over many of the Metrics and Dimensions to learn more, and the following articles can help understand what everything means:

Demo website – Peasant Party

In the webinar we used this demo website to discuss Conversion tracking and how to use the Analytics Debugger extension.

Reporting options

We went through three approaches to reporting with GA4 data; Reports, Explorations and Looker Studio. The following articles and videos go into further depth about each:

Training courses

We recommend exploring the following training options to expand your understanding of GA4:

Questions from the Q&A

How do we access the Business objectives collection if we didn’t see or choose the options during account creation?

The Business objectives collection of reports is available in your Library. You can Publish this collection to see it in your reports list. This help article from Google explains the steps.

What is thresholding and how can we stop it happening?

Theresholding occurs when Google Signals is turned on. To prevent users being identified with the additional age, gender and advertising interests data – Google removes these uses from reports, “thresholding” the data available. To stop reports being affected by thresholding you  can update the way GA4 identifies it users by updating a setting in Admin > Property > Reporting identity from Blended to Device-based. Alternatively, you can turn off Google Signals if you don’t need that level of detail about your users. Remember, it’s not all of your users, just a small sub set (usually 20-30%).

What is the difference between Ecommerce Purchases and Transactions?

Purchases are the individual products sold, Transactions are each unique order made through the ecommerce platform.

Will Exploration reports disappear?

Some of the data available in Explorations is restricted by the data retention setting (Admin > Data settings > Data retention). There is a choice of either 2 months (default) or 14 months. This setting limits how far back you can look at some of the information in these reports. It is recommended to switch this setting to the longest period.

How can I export data from Universal Analytics (UA)?

After Digital have written an article which explores the different options. We recommend using the Google Sheets add-on option for most UA accounts. Once you understand how it works, it’s very quick to pull data out for archiving.

How can I see Campaign data from my email newsletters?

Most of the popular email platforms have functionality to automatically add UTM Paraameters to any links so these can be tracked in GA4. These help articles from MailChimp and Dot Digital explain how.

Further Support

The Digital Culture Network is here to support you and your organisation. Our Tech Champions can provide free 1-2-1 support to all arts and cultural organisations who are in receipt of, or eligible for, Arts Council England funding. If you need help or would like to chat with us about any of the advice we have covered above, please get in touch. Sign up for our newsletter below and follow us on Twitter @ace_dcn for the latest updates.

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