Custom Reports in Google Analytics allow you to create a view of the data in your account that goes beyond the default reports you see in the Google Analytics interface. This is important, because the columns that you see in default reports are confined to a pre-set number of metrics that can be viewed at a time. As you get more advanced in learning Google Analytics, you will find that sometimes the default views are not enough in order for you to do proper analysis. This is where custom reports come in, allowing you to combine metrics from several reports into a single location that can be used for analysis today or in the future.
Google Analytics Custom Reports are used by analysts in a variety of fashions. For example, you can use them to link together PPC cost data with product performance for your e-commerce store. Another example would be looking at search query data by geography. There really is no limit to the possibility to how you can use custom reports in Google Analytics, so use your imagination to start coming up with killer analysis!
How to set up a custom report
You can currently access your custom reports through the Customization tab in the Google Analytics interface
Custom reports come in three formats: Explorer, Flat Tables and Map Overlay.
The Explorer table mimics the familiar reporting interface of Google Analytics, where you have the ability to start with a dimension and then “drill down” into more dimensions. These reports are best consumed electronically, on your computer screen, due to the way drill downs are presented.
Flat Table Reports
Flat table custom reports do exactly that – flatten the dimensions that you are viewing into a streamlined tabular format. These reports are particularly useful for when you have data that you need to view without drilling down. Flat table reports are often used for exporting data a spreadsheet tool like Excel for analysis, or for printing a report for consumption outside of Google Analytics.
Map Overlay Reports
Somewhat new to Google Analytics is the ability to view metrics in a map overlay format. This is particularly useful if you would like to view where in the world you are seeing traction for your key metrics. What cities in the world are the most socially engaged with your content? Use the Map Overlay report to find this and many answers.
Map overlay reports can be very useful in discovering areas where you are most successful.
Organizing Your Custom Reports
You can organize your custom reports into categories in order to make your most common reports easily accessible.
Your report organization categories will be visible on the left hand side of your screen:
Custom Reports Gallery
Do you have a great custom report that you would like to have featured on this page? Please contact Jeffalytics to share the details!