[GA4] Data differences between reports and explorations

Understand why your data may differ depending on where you see it

Reports and explorations both provide actionable insights into your web and app data. Usually, you'll see the same data in both areas. There are times, however, when you may see differences in the data shown in each area. These differences are expected, and are explained below.

To review the data differences between reports, explorations, the Google Analytics Data API, and BigQuery export at a glance, refer to the Reporting surfaces comparison table.
In this article:

Reports and explorations support different fields

By design, reports and explorations give you different views of your data, at different levels of granularity. For example, some dimensions and metrics available in reports aren't supported in explorations. When you open a report in explorations that includes unsupported fields, those fields are dropped from the exploration. If the report displayed a visualization based on the unsupported fields (for example, a line chart showing an unsupported metric), that visualization won't appear in the resulting exploration.

Filtering works differently in reports and explorations

In explorations, the filter allows you to choose the match type (such as contains, exactly matches, or begins with), and the expression used is case sensitive.

In reports, Search acts as a filter using a “Contains” match type and is not case sensitive. Note, this is the Search box between the visualization and the data table with a list of dimensions, not the Search field at the top of the Analytics interface, nor the Add filter button.

Differences between segments and comparisons

Comparisons in reports can use fields that aren't supported in explorations. Comparisons present in a report you open in explorations are converted into segments, and any unsupported metrics or dimensions in the comparison won't be included in the resulting segment in explorations. This can change the data included or excluded from the segment.

Date differences

Date ranges in explorations are limited to your property's data retention settings. If you create a report with a date range outside the user and event level data retention settings, and then open it in explorations, data prior to that range won't be included.

Low user counts

Data in a report or exploration may be withheld if you have a low user count in the specified date range. Data thresholds are applied to prevent anyone viewing a report or exploration from inferring the identity of individual users based on demographics, interests, or other signals present in the data.

Learn more about data thresholds.

Differences when using behavioral modeling

If behavioral modeling for consent mode is enabled you may see minor differences in the data between standard reports and explorations. Behavioral modeling uses machine learning to model the behavior of users who decline analytics cookies based on the behavior of similar users who consent to analytics cookies. When behavioral modeling is enabled, the machine learning algorithm processes two different data sets - aggregated tables for reports and raw event and user-level data for explorations. Structural differences in the two data sets can result in slight differences in modeled data between reports and explorations. The probability of a discrepancy increases with the number of users represented in the data who declined consent for analytics cookies.

Processing time differences

The data in Analytics comes from a number of different systems, and may be processed at different times. You may notice slightly different results when running queries for the past 48 hours, due to processing time differences.

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