Find your way around Analytics

Learn the main features and controls of a Google Analytics report.

New to Google Analytics? Use this interface map and the numbered sections below to familiarize yourself with the main Reporting tools and controls.

Google Analytics reporting interface map
Reporting tab interface map

Note: access to certain features or pages in Google Analytics depends on your permissions. Additionally, some features are only available to Premium users. So it's possible you won't see all the elements or features described here.

In this article:
Navigation links

Appearing at the top of every screen in Google Analytics, the navigation links provide access to the 4 main product areas:

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2 Accounts, Settings, and Diagnostics

Every page in Google Analytics also displays the currently active account information and provides controls that let you change settings, get help, and respond to diagnostic messages.

  • Click drop down menu icon to access both your personal Google account, as well as your Google Analytics account. Use account search to quickly find Analytics accounts, properties, or views.
  • Click Settings Settings to change user settings, send feedback to Google or get help with Google Analytics.
  • Click Notifications to see any messages generated by Google Analytics' automated diagnotistics.
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3 Report navigation

This is where you access all of your reports.

  • Click a report category to see the reports in that category. (The Acquisition category is open in the interface map graphic above.)
  • Use the search box to quickly locate a specific report.
  • Dashboards let you see your most important reports in a glance.
  • Use Shortcuts for faster access to the reports you use most often.
  • Click close panel to hide the report navigation pane. Click open panel to open it again.

Throughout this Google Analytics Help Center, you'll see references to reports like this: Acquistion > All Traffic. This is a shorthand meaning, "the All Traffic report, which lives under the Acquisition category.

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4 Report header

The report header appears at the top of every report in Google Analytics. The header includes the report title and controls that act on the report as a whole.

  • Click Customize to tailor a standard report to fit your specific needs. The customiztion option is available for many but not all, reports.
  • The Email option let you share a report with people, even if they don't have a Google Analytics account.
  • You can Export your report data for use in other applications, such as Excel.
  • Use the Add to Dashboard link to embed the current report in a dashboard.
  • Shortcut creates a link to the current configuration of this report. You can access all your shortcuts in the report navigation panel.
  • The date selector lets you change the date range of the report. You can compare two dates, or two ranges of dates by clicking the drop down menu icon icon.
  • The sample information section tells you the size of the session sample being reported upon. Use the drop-down menu to switch between a smaller sample (for faster response time with less precision), or a larger sample size (for greater precission with slower response time).

Analytics Education

Click the school icon icon to see help content and video tutorials explaining the currently selected reporting category..

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5 Add segments

All segments

A segment is a subset of your Analytics data. Adding one or more segments to a report can help you compare and contrast your data in meaningful ways.

  • Edit, copy or remove an existing segment by clicking it.
  • Click + Add segment to further segment your data.
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6 Report tabs

Explorer tab

This is where your report data begins. Google Analytics reports display your data in one or more tabs, giving you multiple views of that data in a single place. Most (but not all) standard reports contain an Explorer tab; typically, this has 2 parts: a graph view of your data for the selected time frame on top, and a data table below. Some reports will show additional tabs, such as an Overview tab, or a Map Overlay tab.

You can add and edit tabs using the Customize link in the report header, as noted above.

The metric group links below the report tab label determine which metrics are shown in the data table; for example, Summary, Site Usage, Goal Set 1. Located immediately below the Explorer tab label.

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7 Graph view

The top portion of most Explorer tabs displays a graphical view of your data. Graph controls include:

  • Graph metric selector: change the metrics plotted on the graph view. You can compare 2 metrics on the graph; for example, Sessions vs. Bounce Rate. Located below the metric group links.
  • Graph time-scale buttons: change the time-scale of the graph. Choose between day, week, or month. Located to the right of the graph metric selector.
  • Graph type buttons: change the graph display. Choose from line graph or motion chart. Located next to the graph time-scale buttons.
  • Click the icon to open the Annotations drawer. You can make a note directly on the report. This control is located immediately below the graph's time axis.
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8 Data table view

The lower portion of the Explorer tab displays report data in tabular form. The primary dimension and metrics displayed depend on the type of report and on the metric group selected in the Explorer tab controls.

Data table controls include:

  • Primary dimension links: change the primary dimension in the report.
  • Plot Rows button: add rows you've selected (by using the checkboxes) to the graph view.
  • Secondary dimension menu: add another dimension to the report.

    To remove a secondary dimension, click the X in the dimension column's header.

  • Sort Type menu: change the order of the rows in the data table. Your choices are:
    • Default: basic alphanumeric sort. The default order is high to low. You can change this by clicking the column header.
    • Absolute change: sorts date range comparison data by amount of change rather than absolute values
    • Weighted: sorts percentage data in order of importance instead of numerical order.
  • Search: display only rows matching your search term. Click advanced to filter the data table in more complex ways.
  • Table display buttons: change the way the data table is displayed. Your choices include:
    • Data graph button icon Data: displays the data in a tabular view. This is the default table view.
    • Percentage graph button icon Percentage: displays a pie chart, showing the contribution to the total for the selected metric.
    • Performance graph button icon Performance: displays a horizontal bar chart, showing the relative performance for the selected metric.
    • Comparison graph button icon Comparison displays a bar chart plotting the performance of the selected metrics relative to the site average.
    • Term cloud button icon Term cloud: displays a visual representation of the performance of keywords (not available for all reports)
    • Pivot graph button icon Pivot: rearranges the information in the table for certain reports by pivoting your data on a second dimension.

There are a few additional controls not shown in the interface map image at the beginning of this article:

  • Pagination controls: change the number of rows displayed, jump to a specific page of data, or navigate page by page using the controls below the data table.
  • Refresh report link: update the data displayed in the report by clicking the link located at the very bottom of the page, next to the generation date.

Understanding and interacting with the data table

The first column of the data table is the primary dimension. Your data is grouped by this column. If you've selected a secondary dimension, that will appear in the next column, further grouping your data. The remaining columns in the data table are the metrics associated with the selected dimensions.

You can perform a number of actions directly on the data table, such as:

  • Use the checkboxes preceding a row to select that row. You can then plot the selected rows on your graph view using the Plot Rows button.
  • Hover over the ? icon in a column label to see a definition of that dimenion or metric.
  • Sort the table by a column by clicking the column header. Note: this is a simple ASCII sort. To perform a more sophisticated sort, use the Sort Type button.
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