Reports

[GA4] Apply comparisons to reports

Compare different sets of data in your reports

Comparisons let you evaluate subsets of your data side by side. For example, you could compare data generated by Android devices to data generated by iOS devices.

In Google Analytics 4, comparisons take the place of segments in Universal Analytics.

How it works

You can create comparisons by using conditions based on dimensions and dimension values. For example:

Dimension Example dimension values
Stream <stream ID>
Platform Android, iOS, Web
Country Argentina, Germany, Japan
Audience Any audience you have defined
 

Multiple values for the same condition are evaluated with OR logic. For example, Platform = Android OR iOS; Country = Argentina OR Japan.

Multiple conditions within the same comparison are evaluated with AND logic. For example, (Platform = Android OR iOS) AND (Country = Argentina OR Japan).

Apply a comparison to a report

You can create a separate comparison for each data set you want to compare. For example, to compare app and web data, you can create one comparison for Android and iOS data and another comparison for Web data.

  1. In the top right of a report, click .
  2. Select a saved comparison or click + Create new in the top right to create a comparison.
    Tip: We've included prebuilt saved comparisons in your Google Analytics property for frequently needed use cases. These includes comparisons for direct traffic, organic traffic, web traffic, and mobile traffic.
  3. If you create a comparison, follow these steps:
    1. In the Dimension drop-down, choose a dimension. Only dimensions that have dimension values appear in the list. A dimension is grayed out if it's incompatible with other dimensions in a report.
    2. In the Match Type field, select a match type:
      • Exact matching (i.e., 'exactly matches' and 'does not exactly match') allows you to compare data that precisely matches or does not match specific dimension values.
      • Partial matching (i.e., 'contains' and 'does not contain') provides greater flexibility in comparing dimension values. Partial match phrases are case sensitive.
    3. Specify one or more dimension values.
    4. (Optional) Click + Add new condition to create up to 4 more conditions.
  4. Click Apply.

A color-coded version of the data appears for each comparison.

Save a comparison

Experiment icon for Gradual feature rollout  Gradual feature rollout: This feature is not yet available for all Google Analytics properties.

As an administrator or editor of a Google Analytics property, you can save comparisons to your Google Analytics 4 property. Saved comparisons enable you and others with access to your property to compare the user bases you care about without needing to recreate the comparisons each time you want to analyze those user bases.

  1. In Admin, under Data display, click Comparisons.
  2. In the top right, click New comparison.
    Note: You can save up to 200 comparisons per Google Analytics 4 property. Click Quota information to see how many comparisons have been saved so far.
  3. In the Dimension drop-down, choose a dimension. Only dimensions that have dimension values appear in the list. A dimension is grayed out if it's incompatible with other dimensions in a report.
  4. In the Match Type field, select a match type:
    • Exact matching (i.e., 'exactly matches' and 'does not exactly match') allows you to compare data that precisely matches or does not match specific dimension values.
    • Partial matching (i.e., 'contains' and 'does not contain') provides greater flexibility in comparing dimension values. Partial match phrases are case sensitive.
  5. Specify one or more dimension values.
  6. (Optional) Click + Add new condition to create up to 4 more conditions.
  7. Click Save.
  8. Enter a name and description for the saved comparison, then click Confirm.

After you save the comparison, you can edit, duplicate, and delete the saved comparison on the Comparisons page in Admin. Anyone with access to the property can apply the comparison to reports.

Turn comparisons on or off

Comparison definitions appear at the top of your reports. If you move from one reporting page to another with comparisons applied, all comparisons but the All users one will be unselected on the new page. When you go to a report, it shows data for All users by default, Click the symbol next to All users to turn on all of your previously applied comparisons.

To dismiss a comparison, click X to the right of the definition:

Remove a comparison from the top menu in Google Analytics

Advanced comparisons

To compare data based on complex criteria like sequences of user actions, you should first set up an audience defined with the complex criteria. After you create this audience, save a comparison that uses the audience as a condition.

Keep in mind, this method enables comparisons based on detailed conditions, but it will only apply to data gathered from the point when the audience was created onwards.

Limitations

If a report doesn't support a condition (for example, the report doesn't include one of the dimensions), then a blank card appears for that comparison. In this case, choose different dimensions for the condition or remove the condition. This is most likely to occur in the Realtime report.

Not all dimension values may be available. Some dimensions are not allowed to be excluded, while others are not available due to your configuration.

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