In Google Analytics, a segment is a subset of your data. For example, of your entire set of users, one segment might be users from a particular country or city. Another segment might be users who purchase a particular line of products or who visit a specific part of your site.
You can apply segments defined in Google Analytics to your Data Studio charts. This helps ensure that your Data Studio and Google Analytics reports show the same data.In this article:
How segments in Data Studio work
Segments in Data Studio work just like they do in Google Analytics. Applying a segment to a Data Studio report filters the data exactly as it would in your Analytics reports and dashboards. You have access to the same segments in Data Studio as you do in your Google Analytics view.
Types of segments
Google Analytics provides 3 types of segments:
- System: predefined segments available to all users in any view. You don't need to do anything special to use these in your Data Studio reports.
- Custom: user defined segments. These can include custom metrics and dimensions, which might not be available in all views.
- Shared: segments that have been shared with you by other Analytics users.
You must add custom and shared segments to your reports before you can use them. System segments are already available for you to use.
Once you've added a given segment to your report, you, as well as other editors of the report, can apply it to any Google Analytics-based components. You can apply segments to a single chart, a group of charts, a page, or to your entire report.
What adding a segment means
The first time you select a custom or shared segment to use in a Data Studio report, that segment gets added to the report. To add a segment to a report:
- You must be able to edit that report
- You must have access to that segment in Google Analytics
- The data source for that report or component must be based on the Google Analytics view in which that segment is defined
When you add a segment to a report:
- You are considered to be the "owner" of that segment in that report
- A copy of that segment's current definition in Google Analytics is added to that report
- A link to that segment's definition in Google Analytics is stored with the report
- That segment appears in the Added segments section of the segments picker
- You can apply that segment to other components in the report
- Other editors of that report can also apply that segment to components in the report
- If you (or anyone else) makes a copy of that report, the new report will contain that segment
What applying a segment to a component means
Once a segment is added to a report, editors can apply it to components in that report. Doing this causes the data displayed by that component to be filtered according to the segment definition currently in effect.
Synchronize segments with Google Analytics
Data Studio keeps the segments in your Data Studio reports synchronized with Google Analytics. This means you can update the segment definition in Analytics and see your changes reflected in your Data Studio reports.
When does synchronization happen?
Synchronization happens whenever the data in the report refreshes, for example:
- When you (or someone else) clicks the Refresh data button in your report header
- When the cache expires,
- When Data Studio requests fresh data for any reason
Turn synchronization off
You can turn segment synchronization off using the Resources > Segments menu. When synchronization is off, the segment uses the current copy of the definition and will not update it when the report is refreshed. This lets you try new segment definitions in Analytics without changing your Data Studio reports.
Copy reports and components with segments
When you copy a report, or copy a component from one report to another, any added segments get copied as well. However, depending on your access to the segment, certain rules apply:
When you copy a report...
If you have access to the segment in Google Analytics, both the segment definition and the link to the segment in Analytics get copied to the new report. The sync property (either on or off) gets copied as well.
If you don't have access to the segment in Google Analytics, only the segment definition gets copied to the new report. The link is not copied, and synchronization is disabled.
When you copy a component...
If you copy a component to a report that already has the original segment added, and you have access to that segment in Google Analytics, the new component gets a copy of the segment, as well as the link to Analytics. The sync property (either on or off) gets copied as well.
If the segment has not been added to the report, only the segment definition gets copied. Synchronization is disabled. If you have access to the segment in Google Analytics, you can turn the sync property back on by clicking the icon next to the segment in DATA properties panel for that component. Otherwise, synchronization is disabled and you can't turn it back on. This helps protect the data of the person who originally added the segment.
Limits of segments
Number of segments: You can only apply a single segment to a component.
Changing data sources: If you change the data source for a component that has a custom segment applied, and the new data source connects to a Google Analytics view that doesn't contain the same dimensions, metrics, filters, or other configuration options used by the segment, then that segment may no longer work as expected. If this is the case, it may be difficult to detect that the segment is no longer being applied. For these reasons, you should avoid changing the data sources for components with custom segment unless you are sure the new data source supports that segment.
- About segments (opens in the Google Analytics Help Center)