About custom dimensions & metrics

Custom dimensions and custom metrics are like the default dimensions and metrics in your Analytics account, except that you create them yourself. You can use them to collect and analyse the data that Google Analytics doesn't automatically track.

In this article:

Pre-requisites

Custom dimensions and metrics are only available for properties that have either been enabled for Universal Analytics or that contain at least one app reporting view.

Custom dimensions and metrics require additional setup in your Analytics account and in your tracking code. Once you have completed both steps of the setup, you can use them in your reports.

Using custom dimensions and metrics

Custom dimensions can appear as primary dimensions in Custom Reports. You can also use them as Segments and secondary dimensions in standard reports.

Custom metrics can appear in Custom Reports and as Segments in standard reports.

Limits and caveats

There are 20 indices available for different custom dimensions and 20 indices for custom metrics in each property. Premium accounts have 200 indices available for custom dimensions and 200 for custom metrics.

Custom dimensions cannot be deleted, but you can disable them. You should avoid trying to reuse custom dimensions. When you edit the name, scope and value of a custom dimension, both the old and the new values can be paired with the either the old or the new dimension name. This conflates data in your reports in a way that cannot be accurately separated with a filter.

Custom dimension examples

When you’re ready to create a custom dimension, ask yourself:

  • Is this an attribute?
  • Can it be assigned different values?
  • Can different values and metrics be combined/associated to create meaning in my reports?

For Example:

  • Membership would have two possible values "Yes" and "No". Alternatively, it could have the values "Standard", "Premium", and "Non-member".
  • Login state would have two values "Signed in" and "Not signed in" or simply "Yes" and "No".

These dimensions would allow you to, for example:

  • Segment reports by membership status and login state.
  • See conversion rates by membership and login state.

Custom metric examples

When you’re ready to create a custom metric, ask yourself:

  • Is this quantifiable – can I measure it as a sum or a ratio?
  • Does this meaningfully relate to a dimension?
  • Can this metric stand alone? Can it be combined with another metric (either custom or default) to create even more meaning in my reports?

For example, metrics like Score, Awards, or Points could be combined with a variety of dimensions and would allow you to create segments based on usage of your app or site.