Hierarchy of accounts, users, properties, and views

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Accounts

An account is your access point for Analytics, and the top-most level of organization.

You need at least one account so you can have access to Analytics, and so you can identify the properties you want to track. How you manage the relationship between accounts and properties is up to you. You can use a one-to-one relationship of one account/one property, or you can use a one-to-many relationship of one account/many properties. You can have multiple Analytics accounts. If you do not have an account, sign up for one at www.google.com/analytics.

Properties

A property is a website, mobile application, or device (e.g. a kiosk or point-of-sale device.) An account can contain one or more properties.

Within an Analytics account, you add the properties from which you want to collect data. When you add a property to an account, Analytics generates the tracking code that you use to collect data from that property. The tracking code contains a unique ID that identifies the data from that property, and makes it easily identifiable in your reports. Analytics also creates one unfiltered view for each property you add.

Views

A view is your access point for reports; a defined view of data from a property. You give users access to a view so they can see the reports based on that view's data. A property can contain one or more views.

For example, within a property you might have:

  • one view of all the data for www.example.com
  • one view of only AdWords traffic to www.example.com
  • one view of only traffic to a subdomain like www.sales.example.com

When you add a property to an account, Analytics creates the first view for that property. That first view has no filters, and so includes all the data for that property. You should leave this original view unfiltered, so that you always have a view in which you can see all the data. You can create additional views and apply filters to them so that they each include the specific subset of data in which you're interested.

Once you create a view, the reports for that view will show data from the creation date of the view forward. For example, if you create a view on June 1, that view will show data from June 1 forward, but will not show any data collected prior to June 1.

If you delete a view, that specific perspective of the data is gone forever. Don't delete a view if you think you might ever want to report on that particular perspective of the data.

Users and  permissions

You add users to an Analytics account. You can add those users at the account, property, or view level; and you can restrict their access at each level. When you add a user, you identify that person by an email address that is registered in Google accounts, and you assign the appropriate permissions. Depending on the permissions you assign, that user can manage other users, perform administrative tasks like creating additional views and filters, and see the report data.

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