This article is about Universal Analytics properties, which will stop processing data on July 1, 2023 (July 1, 2024 for Analytics 360 properties). If you haven't already, start using a Google Analytics 4 property.

About User Data

Leverage user data from external systems to better serve your audience.

You can enhance user Segmentation and Remarketing Audiences by importing user information stored outside of Analytics, such as in CRM systems. Use this import type to upload user metadata such as a loyalty rating, date of last purchase, or lifetime customer value.

In this article:

How User Data import works

Implementing User Data Import requires that you be able to generate unique identifiers for your users and send them to Analytics by appending these IDs to your tracking code. For example, you might derive the user ID from your website or app authentication service, or by extracting it from your CRM system. You would then add these unique identifiers to your tracking code and send to Analytics as hits. The unique identifiers can then be used as the key to map the user to the uploaded data. Uploaded data is stored in custom dimensions.

There are 2 ways to store user identifiers in Analytics:

  • Using the User ID dimension
  • Using a custom dimension

User ID vs. custom dimensions

If your use case is joining CRM data to collected hit data, we recommend using a custom dimension to hold the user ID. The built-in User ID dimension that is available in Analytics is primarily intended to use in cross device reporting and not for data import. Using a custom dimension will prevent data collisions between IDs that are used for the User ID feature and IDs that may be used in external systems.

Learn how to set a user ID in hits in the Google Developer documentation.

Learn more about the User ID feature and cross-device reports.

You can use (i.e. upload and use in hits) the same user IDs that you maintain in your offline data source as long as these IDs do not contain any personally identifying information. Note that the Analytics terms of service, which all Analytics customers must adhere to, prohibits sending personally identifiable information (PII) to Analytics, such as names, social security numbers, email addresses, or any similar data.

Analyze and take action

Once you've imported user metadata, you can analyze and act on it using custom reports, Segments and Remarketing Audiences. You should perform the following tasks in order:

1. Create a custom report

The easiest way to verify and evaluate the imported user data is to create a custom report. For example:

  1. Sign in to Google Analytics.
  2. Navigate to your view.
  3. Open Reports.
  4. Select Customization > Custom Reports.
  5. Click + New Custom Report.
  6. Change the report type to be Flat Table.
  7. Add the custom dimension containing the user metadata (e.g., Lifetime Value).
  8. Add Sessions or any other metric you would like to use to measure a user groups behavior.
  9. Click Save.
2. Create a Segment

Create a Segment representing the users you want to target. From the custom report perform the following steps:

  1. Click Add Segment.
  2. Click + New Segment.
  3. Click Advanced Conditions.
  4. Change filter from Sessions to Users.
  5. Select the custom dimension (e.g., Lifetime Value ) containing your imported User Data.
  6. Add any filters, conditions or sequences to the Segment
  7. Cclick Save.
  8. Iterate with the segments conditions and view the results in the custom report until you are satisfied with the segment.
3. Create a Remarketing Audience

After your create a segment, you can use it as the basis for a Remarketing Audience:

  1. Follow the instructions to create a remarketing audience. When you reach the Define your audience step, click Import Segment.
  2. Select the segment you created above (e.g. Lifetime Value).

Next steps

Once you've created a Remarketing Audience, you can then create a new Google Ads campaign and add your Audience to an ad group. See the Google Ads Remarketing Help Center article for details.

Data Set details

The Data Set is the container that will hold your imported data. Expand the section below to see the Data Set details.

Data Set details


  • Scope—the scope determines which hits will be associated with the import dimension values. There are four levels of scope: hit, session, user and product. Learn more about scope.
  • Schema Key—lists the key dimensions or metrics. The key is used to join the data you upload with the existing data in your hits for this Data Set type.
  • Imported Data—lists the dimensions and metrics available for the data you upload to Google Analytics.
The dimensions and metrics listed here for the schema key and imported data are for reference only and may not be complete; the actual dimensions and metrics available will appear in the user interface when you create the Data Set.
Scope User
Schema Key Either of the following:
  • User ID
  • Custom dimension (User scope)
Imported Data

Custom dimension (User scope)


You may not upload or associate personally identifiable information with User Data Import.

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