Enhance GA4 Reporting Functionality with Calculated Metrics in Data Studio

Enhance GA4 Reporting Functionality with Calculated Metrics in Data Studio

Since Google Analytics 4 (GA4) was publicly released in October 2020, people and companies have been eagerly diving into what the new reporting platform can do, exploring the differences between it and Universal Google Analytics, and racing to configure their own GA4 setups in order to try it out for themselves.  

There are many exciting new features of Google Analytics 4 including robust exploration reports, a fully event-based reporting structure, intuitive mixing of web and mobile analytics data and the very handy debug view report. Google is also releasing new features periodically as well. We’re excited to see how the platform matures over time. That said, there are some things that analysts attempting to answer important questions for their businesses will notice are missing at the time of this writing; in particular, today we will be discussing calculated metrics. Below we will talk about a few reasons you may wish to have them though they aren’t in Google Analytics 4 at this time and how you can take advantage of a Data Studio dashboard in order to supplement that functionality yourself. 

What Are Calculated Metrics and Why Are They Useful? 

While many of our readers will have some degree of experience with calculated metrics in Universal Google Analytics, we’ll go over what they are for those who are new or just getting familiar. Calculated metrics can take existing metrics and use them in math equations to generate new metric values. This can be helpful to enhance reporting. Here is a basic example: 

{{Revenue}} / {{Users}}

The above custom metric will show you the revenue per user. Now see a more advanced example below: 

Engagement Score: take metrics you feel are important and demonstrate engagement with your content and combine them together to create a useful score showing the overall engagement of users on your website. Multipliers are being included alongside many of the metrics to provide weighting based on importance. Here is an example of a Universal Google Analytics calculation:

{{Unique Pageviews}} + ({{Blog Post Reads}}*3) + ({{Social Shares}}*3) + ({{Blog Comments}}*3)

If you try applying weighting to your own calculated metrics, be sure to do so based on how important you find each metric to your business. 

Calculated Fields in Data Studio 

Without the ability to create calculated metrics in Google Analytics 4, Data Studio’s calculated fields can be a great stand-in! Take a look below at how you can achieve the engagement score calculation shown above in a Data Studio dashboard: 

Step 1: Add a metric to your Data Studio report 

Add metric

Step 2: Click on create field

Create field

Step 3: Setting up your calculated field

  1. Name your calculated field
  2. Enter your formula and look for a green checkmark underneath the formula field to ensure that the formula is considered valid by Data Studio
  3. Ensure the type is set to “Number”
  4. Click Apply

Set-up calculated field

Step 4: Try it out in your dashboard!

For more information on what you can do with calculated fields in Data Studio, check out the official Google documentation and be sure to check out our past article on 5 Calculated Fields in Data Studio.

What calculated metrics do you find useful in your reports? Do you have any thoughts on your experiences with Google Analytics 4 or with Data Studio’s calculated fields? Share them with us in the comments below!

Other Posts in Our 2021 Data Studio Series:
  1. Create Calculated Fields in Blended Data Source Tables with Data Studio
  2. Gain Insights on Data Studio Reports in Google Analytics
  3. Understanding the Advantages of Geo Charts & Google Maps in Data Studio
  4. Supplementing GA4 Reporting Functionality Using Data Studio (this post)
  5. The Quick Reference Guide to GA4 Ecommerce Data in Data Studio
  6. Key Storytelling & Visualization Elements for Meaningful Stakeholder Reports
  7. Turn Up the Dial on your Dashboard Design with New Gauge Charts
  8. Visualize Your User Journey with Horizontal Bar Charts in Data Studio
  9. Taking Advantage of Data Studio Community Connectors
  10. Time Saving Layout Features You Should Be Using in Google Data Studio
  11. Quick Introduction of the New Report Publishing Control in Data Studio
  12. Guide to Collaboration & Transfer Ownership Features in Data Studio
By |2021-12-21T13:09:12-05:00December 9th, 2021|0 Comments
Categories: Data Studio, General

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