As the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) tracking gets closer to becoming the only version of Analytics after 1 July this year, we now look at the principle of dimensions and metrics. These have always been the core elements of Google Analytics to reflect the way a website is being found and used, and they remain so in the new GA4 reports.
A dimension is defined an attribute of analytics data. It describes data and is usually text as opposed to numbers, usually shown as the rows of a table. An example of a dimension is ‘Event name’, which shows the name of an event that someone triggers on a website or application (such as “click”).
A metric is a quantitative measurement, such as an average, ratio, percentage, and so on. It’s always a number as opposed to text and usually shown as the columns of a table. One way to think about metrics is that you can apply mathematical operations to them. An example of a metric is ‘Event count’, which shows the total number of times an event is triggered.
Dimensions and metrics appear in GA4 reports, explorations and in the audience and segment builders. It’s also possible to collect information that Analytics doesn’t capture with these by creating custom dimensions and metrics.
You can view the standard ones that are available, or by using the GA4 Dimensions & Metrics Explorer to see the dimensions and metrics for a given property. There are also other very useful demos and tools and for GA4 available.
Some dimensions and metrics are populated automatically when Google Analytics is installed on a website or application. Other dimensions and metrics require some configuration before they’re populated.
Grayed-out Analytics dimensions and metrics
A dimension or metric may be grayed out when the dimension or metric is incompatible with other dimensions or metrics that have been applied to a report or exploration, or when it’s not possible to apply the dimension or metric to the selected exploration technique.
What the value (not set) means
(not set) is a placeholder name that Google Analytics uses when it hasn’t received information for a dimension. Learn the most common reasons why (not set) values appear and how to troubleshoot them.
If you want to know more about how the use of dimensions and metrics in GA4 reports can improve the ROI of your business’s advertising budget, please contact us for more information.