Data Collections in Google Analytics 4
Many basic interactions with your website or app are automatically collected as events in Google Analytics.
For example, the first time a user visits your website, the property will log this action as a “first visit” event.
You can also enable the enhanced measurement feature, an option that lets you automatically collect more events without having to update your website's code. Enhanced measurement lets you measure many common web events like pageviews, scrolls, file downloads, and video views.
To learn more about enhanced measurement and
Which events are automatically collected? Visit Google Help Center article.
Data collection fundamentals
Events are the backbone of how Analytics collects and processes data. To give you the full picture of how your customers interact with your business, Analytics collects and measures a few other pieces of info along with events
Select the icons in the image below to learn about these other kinds of data.
User properties are attributes about who's using your app or website that can help you better understand segments of your user base, like geographic location or device used.
Events are user interactions with a website or app that can be measured, like a video view.
Event parameters are additional pieces of information, sent with events, that can further specify the action the user took, or add further context to the event, like the name of the video or how long the user watched it.
A conversion is a type of event: Conversions are events that you've assigned a specific value, like a purchase or a download. You can measure many events, just be sure to mark the most important ones as conversions.
If you use Google Ads, can link your Ads account to Google Analytics and see your Analytics conversions in Google Ads. Visit this Help Center article to learn more.
Many basic interactions with your website or app are automatically collected as events in Google Analytics. But to be sure you're measuring the things that matter to your business, you'll likely need to create some more events as well.
Learn how to create new events in the following YouTube video.
Where to begin?
Now that you know how to create events, which ones should you focus on? Most businesses create events and parameters that are specifically valuable to their objectives. Here are some you can add depending on your objectives:
User interactions with a website or app that can be accounted for
Additional info that can further specify action user took
User interactions assigned a specific value and used in Google Ads
Events (page viewed, file download, video views) are user interactions with your website or app that can be measured.
Event parameters are additional pieces of information that can further specify the action the user took.
User properties are attributes about who is using your app or website that can help you better understand segments of your user base.
Conversions are events that you've assigned a specific value that matters most for your business.
Custom dimensions and metrics are just like default dimensions and metrics in your Analytics account, except you create them yourself.
Learn more about custom dimensions and metrics and how you can create these for your property in this Help Center Article.
Explore: Yap's Test & Optimize blog
Yap has a blog on elevating your online presence, where he also posts reviews of digital services, accessories, books . His users can subscribe to his blog, share his posts, or connect with him on Linkedin
This is how three anonymous users interact with this blog and how Analytics capture the data.
User 1 visits the blog for the first time on a tablet, reads one of posts, and subscribes to her blog, opting for weekly emails.
Event example: Subscribe
Event parameter example: Frequency = weekly
User property examples: Country = Singapore, device category = table
User 2 reads the latest review on Blogstatic and wants to share it with a friend, so they select the Share post button.
Event example: Share
Event parameter example: Content Type = review
User property examples: country = Ireland, device category = computer
User 3 is returns back to this blog, on their mobile phone and connect with the blog author on Linkedin.
Event examples: Click Linkedin social media button, Connect
Event parameter example: Visitor Type = return
Event parameter example: Value = over $55
User property examples: Country = Malaysia device category = mobile
Understanding dimensions and metrics
First, Analytics collects these user interactions as
events, event parameters, and user properties.
Then, it compiles all this data into reports. To represent this data in these reports, Analytics uses dimensions and metrics. For every automatically collected event parameter and user property, Analytics automatically creates a dimension or metric.
What are dimensions and metrics?
Dimensions answer the question “who, what, or where?” while metrics answer the question “how many?”
For example, dimensions answer the question, “what device is most commonly used?” while metrics answer the question, “how many users visited my site yesterday?”
For Aria's question, “How many of my users come from Ireland?” the dimension is “Ireland", 🇮🇪 and the metric is “how many.”
Customize the data you collect
All of this automatically collected data is used to generate the dimensions and metrics that make up the reports in Analytics. Even with all the automatically collected dimensions and metrics available, there may be times when you need to create your own based on your business’s needs.
Automatically collected dimensions and metrics are already scoped. When you create your own custom dimensions and metrics, you need to understand their scope in order to make sure you're measuring what you want.
There are two different ways to scope: by event and by user. So how do you know which one you need?
Scoping by Event
Are you trying to measure and report something specific about the events happening on your website or app? If so, you're interested in scoping by event.
Scoping by User
Are you trying to measure and report something specific about the users interacting with your website or app? If so, you're interested in scoping by user.
🚩 Custom dimensions can either be event-scoped or user-scoped, but custom metrics can only be event-scoped.
What about sessions?
A session is a group of user interactions with your website that take place within a given time frame. In Universal Analytics properties, Analytics groups data into sessions — these sessions are the foundation of all reporting in UA.
In GA4 properties, events — not sessions — are the basis of reporting, but you can still report on sessions in GA4. They are calculated differently from sessions in UA. To learn more about how sessions are calculated in GA4, visit this Help Center article.
Because sessions are the basis of reporting in UA, you can create session-scoped dimensions and metrics in UA.
Because sessions aren't the basis of reporting in GA4, you can't create session-scoped dimensions and metrics in GA4. To learn more about how data is collected in GA4 and UA, visit this Help Center article.
- Analytics collects and stores data as events. Events are user interactions with a website or app that can be measured, like a click or a view or download.
- A conversion is a type of event: Conversions are events that you've assigned a specific value, like a purchase or a download.
- Analytics reports use dimensions and metrics to organize your data. Dimensions answer the questions, "who, what, where?" while metrics answer the question, "how many?"
Sam runs a local news service, and he wants to segment his Analytics reporting to compare how the different sections of his news service are performing.
He creates an event parameter called "section" with a value for each section of news: "local news," "business," "arts & culture," "sports," and "opinion."
After Sam tags his pages with his new "section" parameter, what should he create to represent this parameter in his GA4 property?
Sam should create an event-scoped custom dimension.
He should create a dimension instead of a metric because he's measuring the sections of his news service, which are text-based & answer the question "what."
His dimension should be event-scoped instead of user-scoped because he's trying to measure information about an event, not about users.
There is no such thing as "session-scoped" in GA4 properties.
· Go to Reports to view readymade reports that answer common questions about how your users are interacting with your app or website.
· Go to Explore to use advanced techniques that go beyond the standard reports to help you uncover deeper insights about your customers' engagement.
· Go to Configure to edit your core measurement settings.
· Go to Admin to control your account, property, and user settings.