How data is stored and displayed

[GA4] Understand how Analytics stores and displays data

How data is stored in Google Analytics

Google Analytics stores data from your website or app in two types of tables optimized for either performance or flexibility.

One group of tables aggregates your data to provide fast, unsampled results to the most common requests. The other group of tables stores more granular event and user-level data to provide the flexibility for one-off, advanced investigations.

For each request, across all parts of Analytics (reports, explorations, and the Data API), Google chooses the table that provides the most accurate results using the default sampling settings, which are 10m events for standard properties and 100m events for Analytics 360 properties. (Analytics 360 properties have access to higher sampling limits in Explore.)

Data limits

Each group of tables has data limits. While most properties won't reach these limits, larger properties with more data might. In such cases, results might be grouped under an (other) row or sampled and these approximations will be indicated in the data quality icon.

The (other) row

The (other) row is a row that appears in a report, exploration, or Data API response when the number of rows in a table exceeds the table's row limit. When this happens, Analytics surfaces only the most common dimension values and condenses less common values under the (other) row. Learn more about the (other) row

Data sampling

Data sampling is the data-analysis practice of analyzing a subset of data in order to uncover meaningful information from a larger data set. The practice enables you to retrieve data more quickly with minimal impact to data quality. Learn more about data sampling

How to address data limits

When some results are grouped under an (other) row or sampled, Analytics 360 users can access unsampled results through one of the following premium features:

  • Expanded data: You can expand the data grouped under the (other) row for reports and explorations that you frequently use, providing you with unsampled results. This feature is ideal for reports that you plan to use frequently. If you return to a report that has an (other) row frequently, an expanded data set will be created for you automatically. Learn more about expanded data
  • Explore more detailed results: Google Analytics enables you to recreate a report as an exploration and apply the higher sampling limit by choosing “More detailed results” (this will use a higher sample size of 1B events instead of the default 100m). In most cases, 1B events are enough to generate unsampled results. Learn more about getting detailed results
  • Explore unsampled results: If the “More detailed results” option still provides sampled results, you can open the data quality icon and trigger unsampled requests that have even higher limits. Learn more about unsampled requests

If you are not an Analytics 360 user, you can instead either export the data from your Analytics property to BigQuery for unsampled results, or narrow the date range to lessen the amount of queried results.

If you would like to upgrade your property to Analytics 360, reach out to a sales representative for more information. When you upgrade a Google Analytics 4 property to 360, the property immediately benefits from the increased limits.

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