This article is about Google Analytics 4 properties. Refer to the Universal Analytics section if you're still using a Universal Analytics property, which will stop processing data on July 1, 2023 (July 1, 2024 for Analytics 360 properties).

[GA4] Free-form exploration

Explore your data using tables and graphs.

Delve into your data using the highly customizable and flexible free-form exploration technique. Free-form exploration lets you:

  • Visualize data in a table or graph.
  • Arrange and order the rows and columns of the table as you like.
  • Compare multiple metrics side by side.
  • Create nested rows to group the data.
  • Refine the free-form exploration using segments and filters.
  • Create segments and audiences from selected data.
In this article:

Create a free-form exploration

  1. Sign in to Google Analytics.
  2. On the left, click Explore.
  1. At the top of the screen, select the Free form template. 
  2. Under VISUALIZATION, choose how you want to display the data:
  1. Table icon.Table (default)
  2. Donut chart icon.Donut chart
  3. Line chart icon.Line chart
  1. Scatter chart icon.Scatterplot
  2. Bar chart icon.Bar chart
  3. Geo chart icon.Geo map

Learn more about creating and editing explorations.

Example free-form exploration

The example below explores the relationship between Device Category and Screen Resolution by Country, measured by number of Users and Revenue. The table reveals that while the screen resolution for the majority of desktop users is 1366x768, the bulk of the revenue is generated by users on 1440x900 screens. You could create a segment from this data point and use that to further explore this audience's behavior.

Exploration example

You can also display the data using a number of different visualizations. The following example shows a line chart that compares the Mobile vs. Organic Traffic segments applied to the previous data table. You can choose different visualizations to get different insights about the people who visit your site or app.

Line chart example

Anomaly detection

With anomaly detection, you can identify outliers in your data using a line chart. This option is on by default in the Tab settings panel, and you can configure the detection model with these two settings:

  • Training period (last days) refers to the number of days prior to the selected date range are used by the anomaly detection model to calculate the expected value of the metric displayed.
    • For example, if your currently selected date range is the first 10 days of the month, and you set the training period to 7 days, the anomaly detection model will use the data from the 7 days prior to the beginning of the month.
  • Sensitivity sets the probability threshold below which anomalous data will be reported. Sensitivity doesn't affect how the model "thinks": rather, it just specifies how data should be labeled. The probability of a point occurring at a particular value is predicted by the model and is not influenced by sensitivity.
    • For example, a sensitivity of 5% means that any point occurring with a probability of less than 5% is considered anomalous. Therefore, a higher sensitivity model might result in reporting more data as outliers.

Once the Anomaly detection model is defined, Explorations applies a Bayesian state space-time series model to the training data to forecast the value of the metric displayed in the time series.

Finally, Explorations flags the datapoint as an anomaly using a statistical significance test with p-value thresholds based on the selected sensitivity.

Configure the free-form exploration

Set up the free form with these options:

Common Options Description

Switch between chart types.

Segment comparison Apply up to 4 segments to the exploration.
Filter Restrict the data shown in the exploration according to the conditions you provide. Filter clauses are applied using AND logic.
Table options  
Pivot Display segments in the table as rows or columns.
Rows Display up to 5 dimensions as rows in the table.
Start row Select the starting row in the table.
Show rows Set the number of rows to show in the table.
Columns Display up to 2 dimensions as columns in the table. Using multiple dimensions creates column groups.
Start column group Set the starting column group in the table.
Show column groups Set the number of column groups to display in the table.
Values Display up to 10 metrics in the table.
Cell type Display metric values as plain text, bar charts, or heat maps.
Pie chart options
Breakdown The dimension used to provide the breakdown data series for the visualization.
Row limit Set the number of data series displayed in the visualization.
Values Display a single metric in the chart.
Line chart options
Granularity Set the date interval for the chart. The week interval starts on Sunday. The month interval starts on the 1st day of the month.
Breakdown The dimension used to provide the breakdown data series for the visualization.
Lines per dimension Set the number of data series displayed in the visualization.
Values Display a single metric in the chart.
Anomaly detection Turn anomaly detection on or off. See below for more information.
Training period (last days) Increase or decrease the timespan used to examine your data. Longer training periods can increase accuracy.
Sensitivity Set the probability threshold value, below which anomalous data will be reported. A higher sensitivity value may result in reporting more anomalies.
Scatter Plot options
Breakdown The dimension used to provide the breakdown data series for the visualization.
Y Axis The metric used on the vertical axis
X axis The metric used on the horizontal axis
Geomap options
Geo breakdown The location dimension used to provide the breakdown data series for the visualization.
Points per dimension Set the number of data point to show in the visualization
Values Display a single metric in the chart.
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