In our continuing blog series on Google Analytics 4 (GA4) – which will become the only version of Analytics to collect data in 2 months time – we now take a look at the Insights reporting tool.
Analytics Intelligence is a set of features that uses machine learning and conditions that can be configured to help you understand and act on the trend data being indicated. This has previously been available within the established Universal Analytics (which will stop tracking data from 1 July this year) but has been further enhanced in GA4.
Analytics Intelligence provides two types of insights:
Automated: Analytics Intelligence detects unusual changes or emerging trends in your data and notifies these automatically on the Insights dashboard, within the GA4 platform.
Custom: It’s possible to create conditions that detect important changes in your specific data. When the conditions are triggered, the insights can be seen on the Insights dashboard, and there’s an option to also receive email alerts. Up to 50 custom insights per property can be created.
How to see Insights in Analytics
On the Analytics Home page, scroll down to the Insights section:
In the Advertising snapshot report, see the Insights card:
To see a full list of insights, manage insights, or create new custom insights, click View all Insights.
This Insights dashboard shows the most recent automated and custom insights for your GA4 property. The dashboard is refreshed in real-time as new insights are triggered, and when Analytics identifies interesting insights.
- Click the cards to see full details.
- Click ‘Load more’ to see older insights. Insights are retained for one year after they are generated.
- Every time you interact with an insight, Analytics Intelligence learns which ones you’re most interested in and ranks your new insights accordingly.
- You can also learn how to create and manage custom insights. (Either the Analyst or Editor role is needed to create, edit, and share insights).
GA4 also provides these three useful functions: Anomaly Detection; Contribution Analysis; Recommendations:
Anomaly detection is a statistical technique that Analytics Intelligence uses to identify anomalies in time-series data for a given metric, and anomalies within a segment at the same point of time.
Using historical data, Analytics Intelligence predicts the value of the metric at the current time period and flags the datapoint as an anomaly if the actual value falls outside the credible interval.
While time-series based anomaly detection uses historical data to flag a single metric within a single dimension value, Google also provides anomaly detection simultaneously over several metrics and dimension values, at a point in time.
Contribution Analysis is a statistical technique used by Analytics Intelligence to identify user segments contributing to anomalies.
First, Intelligence uses a wide range of dimensions to generate a collection of user segments. Then, Intelligence calculates the anomalous metric value for the period of the anomaly and the control period, for each user segment.
Finally, Intelligence surfaces the user segments, on the anomaly insight cards (shown above), based on:
– The contribution of the user segment to the anomalous metric;
– The relative change of the user segment metric between the anomaly period and the control period.
You can read more about how to use Contribution Analysis.
Google Analytics surfaces tailored recommendations to help to get the most useful and accurate data and take advantage of new, relevant features as they become available. Google surfaces recommendations by looking at your property’s history, your settings, and trends across Google Analytics.
These recommendations appear in the Recommendations section of the Home page and contextually throughout Google Analytics at the top and to the right of any relevant pages.
Recommendations might not be seen if the property recently started running, but be sure to check back again soon. Google Analytics regularly discovers and launches new recommendations.
You can read more about the types of recommendations.
If you want to know how the use of GA4 and custom insights can help your business, please get in touch.