A view is the subset of property in a Google Analytics account where you can access reports and analysis tools. Everyone has a unique perspective on how they see the world. Similarly, depending on the objectives, they will have a unique take on how they would like to see their data. Google Analytics is highly customizable to address your business needs. It will help you to see data the way you want to.
By default, Google Analytics creates one unfiltered view for every property in your account, but you can set up multiple views on a single property. Any data you send to an Analytics property automatically appears in all views associated with that property.
For example, you have two sections of your websites, and you want to understand three different things.
- What is the total page views you are receiving from the entire website?
- What are the total page views you are receiving for section A of the website?
- What are the total page views you are receiving for section B of the website?
Generally, we understand this by creating two different properties and adding the numbers to find the answer to our question. However, Google Analytics makes our job simple. You can create one property with a view that will collect data from both the property in one view together. Second view with data from website A and the third view with data from website B. This way, we optimize our time by having everything together and getting answers to our questions seamlessly. Google Analytics View property pretty neatly helps us to understand this.
Views are a powerful feature that helps us to see data the way we want to. We can filter what we want to see and what we don’t want to. Anything can be filtered, such as data from a specific IP address, a specific location, a specific URL, etc. There are tons of filters available with Google Analytics that can answer almost any question you have.
Google Analytics can also help you add your team members and control what you show them. Sometimes we don’t want users to have access to a certain portion of our data. In such cases, we can create a new view with data for only that portion which the user needs to access, and we can provide access to the user to that specific view only.
What is the difference between web and app Views?
There are primarily two type of views
- App view
- Web view
Though the fundamentals of both views are the same, the analysis given is slightly different depending on what you are choosing. For example, app views give you some reports that aren’t available in web views, like Crashes and Exceptions, and the Google Play reports and web views give you Site Content reports.
Though both the data can be seen no matter what view you choose, it is best to choose the one you prefer moreover the other because it will give you a better analytics experience. For example, if you only collect data from mobile apps, select an app when you create a view, and only collect data from websites and select the web.
What are the advantages of Views in Google Analytics?
- It avoids manual error in segmentation. If we add manual filters and work with our data, there is a chance of making an error while doing that over a period of time. Ideally, we would want to minimize any chances of errors in whatever we do. Google Analytics views will help you create custom segments based on your needs. It would be a one-time exercise, and the data is ready for every time.
- It gives a lot of filters to use, depending on our focus area. We might focus a lot of our efforts on organic search, and we might run a paid campaign on Google Ads or a social media platform, focus on direct traffic, and so on. We can understand how our users interact with our website and how the traffic is generated for each of these, and more filters. We would have to create a new view for each filter, and every time we open it, we will see our data ready for us to analyze.
Important points to note while creating Views:
- One should always have one unfiltered view, i.e., it contains the entire data in one place, and any customized data can be seen using a different view by adding a filter to it. This is very important because once we add a filter to any view, then the filtered historical data is also deleted, and there is no way we can bring it back. If we add a wrong filter and don’t have an unfiltered view, then the data is lost forever.
- We should always filter internal views as it will only skew the results artificially. Some plugins are available to use, such as ‘Google Analytics Opt-out Add-on (by Google),’ which will not send any information to Google Analytics from that particular browser. The idea is simple; whether you are using an extension or a filter inside Google Analytics, we should not include any internal views.
- If you are a business that provides service or sells a product only to a specific location, then it would make sense to have a view only for those locations and one for the rest. After all, your marketing efforts will mostly be concentrated in those areas, and you would like to know how it is performing.
Google has provided this powerful but easy to use analytics tool for free and provided us an option to add up to 25 views. It only makes sense to make use of these features to make better, faster, and more efficient decisions. However, to do that, the biggest question you should ask before you start is ‘What is it that I want to know?’