Understanding the importance of customizing reports in Google Analytics 4 is crucial for targeted data analysis tailored to your business needs. Indeed, you can modify the dimensions and metrics displayed in the Traffic Acquisition report. However, the approach you take to do this can have significant implications.
Pros and Cons of Modifying the Original Report:
- Customisation: Allows for analysis more aligned with the specific KPIs of your company.
- Efficiency: Makes it easier to locate critical metrics without having to sift through generic reports.
- Competency: Once you gain more experience, you can save time by updating the original report.
- Risk of Error: Changing the original report could result in the loss of data or insights if poorly managed.
- Complexity: Unless you have deep knowledge of GA4, modifying the original can be risky.
- Collaboration: Other team members using the same report may be adversely affected by the changes.
If you are a less experienced user or wish to preserve the original format, best practice would be to create a new version of the report. This will allow you to experiment with different metrics and dimensions without altering the base report that others may be using.
For more experienced professionals who are confident in their understanding of the metrics, modifying the original report could be a more efficient option, as long as it’s done cautiously.
- Navigate to the reports menu and select “Traffic Acquisition”.
- Look for the pencil icon to edit the report. (Note: If the icon is not visible, you likely do not have the permissions to edit the report). (See image below)
In the subsequent step, based on what’s selected in the image from step 2, we can view the dimensions and metrics that are currently set. This view will inform the metrics we choose to select or modify.
Caution: Avoid Altering the “Report Template” Connection
Note that while making modifications to dimensions and metrics, exercise caution to ensure that you do not alter the connection to the “Report Template.” Doing so could have significant consequences, impacting the standardisation and consistency of your reporting framework.
In the next step, we have the option to remove or rearrange the order of the metric columns for better visualisation.
In step 4, we can either type in the desired metric or scroll through the list until we find the metric we want to include. In this case, pay close attention to the specific metric you select, such as session conversion rate, bounce rate, etc.
In the following step, after clicking the ‘Apply’ button, we have the option to save the configuration we’ve made. We can either save it as a new report or save the changes to the current report. (Remember the initial note: “Exercise caution when saving your changes. Generally, it’s advised to save as a new report to avoid altering the original, unless you have extensive experience.”)
Takeway from Google Analytics 4 Standard Reports
So, we’ve learned that Google Analytics 4 reports can be modified, and these changes will be uniform for all users in the standard edition. In the paid version (Google Analytics 4 360), it’s possible to have custom menus, allowing for tailored views depending on the type of user function.
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