In our previous blog post, we discussed the standard reports in Google Analytics 4 (GA4). These reports are a great way to get started with and to get a quick overview of your data. However, standard reports can be limited in their flexibility and capabilities. Exploration reports are a more advanced reporting technique as it allows you to explore your data in a more granular way and to use more advanced techniques, such as filtering, segmentation, and custom visualizations.
I want to make it clear, however, that Standard reports and Exploration reports are both valuable tools, but they are designed for different purposes. Standard reports are a good choice if you want to get a quick overview of your data. Exploration reports on the other hand are a good choice if you want to explore your data in more detail and to use more advanced techniques. So, let's take a closer look at the Exploration report in this blog post.
There are 7 types of exploration techniques you can use based on your needs. We'll save a detailed explanation of each technique for a future blog post. For now, here's a brief overview.
In this technique you can analyze your data in a cross-tabulation format or use different visualizations, such as bar graphs, pie charts, line plots, scatter diagrams, and geographical maps.
In this technique, you can get insights about how groups of users with shared characteristics behave and perform to gain valuable insights.
In this technique, you Visualize the user journey in completing tasks on your website or app, and discover ways to enhance user experience while identifying audiences that may be either over- or under-performing.
This technique explores the connections between various user groups and employs this method to pinpoint new user segments that meet complex criteria.
In this technique, you can take a closer look at the users within the segments you generate or import. You can also delve into the specific activities of individual users.
In this technique, you can track the journey your users take as they interact with your website and app. It graphically represents the routes your users follow while engaging with your website and app.
In this technique, you learn to understand how your customers use your products and services over time.
GA4 Explore reports use the same format, tools and structure, some may differ from the other as some have additional features, but all of them should have these three sections.
This section allows the initial setup of the report, from choosing the right dimensions and metrics, to setting up the date range, adding segments as well as this is where you give a name to your report.
Tab Settings/ Settings
Once Variables are set, it’s now time to plot those data with the use of the features from the Tab Settings section. This is where you can add those dimensions and metrics you chose from the variables settings. This section also allows you to trim down the data from the report by applying filter conditions.
This is simply the section where you report will appear.
Exploration reports are a good choice if you want to:
Standard reports are a good choice if you want to:
Exporting a report
To save a copy of the report, click the Download icon in the upper right corner of the page. A dropdown menu will appear with the available formats. Select the format you want and the report will be downloaded to your computer.
Note: When you export to Sheets, TSV, or CSV formats, all the data available in the selected visualization is exported. This may be more data than is currently displayed. When you export to PDF, only the data currently displayed in the visualization is saved. (ref: [GA4] Get started with Explorations).
Sharing an exploration report
If you need to share the report to someone within your organization, on the upper right corner of the page beside the export icon, you click on the Share exploration icon.
Please take note of these important notes when sharing.
What are the limitations of Exploration reports?
Answers: Exploration reports are a powerful tool, but they do have some limitations:
Can I schedule automated email reports for Exploration Reports?
Answer: GA4 doesn't natively support automated email reports for Exploration Reports. However, you can manually export and share reports via email. Or one way to do this is to use Google Looker Studio. Looker Studio is a data analytics platform that allows you to create custom reports and dashboards. You can recreate the report that you want to schedule in Looker Studio and then set up a scheduled email delivery for the report.
What are the limitations of the GA4 exploration report?
After reading this blog post, you'll feel more confident using GA4 and have a clearer understanding of its full capabilities.
So, if you want to learn more, you can check out our blog posts to learn more about GA4 and how to make the most of it. Here are some resources to help you continue your learning:
Standard reports are a great way to get started with Google Analytics 4, but they may not be enough for in-depth analysis and decision-making. Exploration reports offer more flexibility and power, allowing you to uncover insights, identify trends, and optimize your strategies.
However, you should take note that both standard and exploration reports have their place in your analytics toolkit. The key is to understand when to use each one. Standard reports are a good choice for getting a quick overview of your data, while exploration reports are better for digging deeper and finding hidden insights.
In our upcoming blog post, we'll take a closer look at exploration report techniques, so you can learn how to use them to get the most out of your GA4 data. Stay tuned for more insights and tips to help you make better data-driven decisions.
Thank you for reading!