What is a Report in Google Analytics?

Have you ever wondered what a report is in Google Analytics? Reports are the building blocks of Google Analytics, but what are they made up of?

In Google Analytics, you can have either a Google Analytics 4 (GA4) property, or a Universal Analytics (UA) property, or both.

Not sure what property type you have? Learn about the differences between UA vs GA4 properties.

Tip: Enable dual tracking in MonsterInsights to collect data into both a UA property and GA4 property. For more information, check out our guide: How to Set Up Dual Tracking

Each report in either property type is made up of at least one Dimension coupled with multiple Metrics.

  • A Dimension is a qualitative measurement, or attribute of your data. Examples include: City, State, Country, Page, Page Title, Acquisition Channel, Referral page, etc.
  • A Metric is a quantitative measurement. Examples of metrics include: # pages viewed, average time on site, # of sessions, average session duration, Bounce rate, Conversion rate.

First we’ll look at dimensions and metrics in a UA property.

Universal Analytics

The Primary Dimension in UA properties is typically in the left-hand column of any Google Analytics Report, with the Metrics data being all the columns to the right.

Here’s some of the data from the Geo Location Report in the Audience panel of GA:

Google Analytics - Dimensions and Metrics

You can add an optional secondary dimension to the required primary dimension for further granularity in many reports:

Google Analytics Reports - Set Secondary Dimension to Page Title

Below you can see the addition of the City Secondary Dimension to the Primary Dimension of Country.

Google Analytics 4

Similar to UA properties, in each GA4 detailed report or summary card (when viewing overview reports) you’ll find descriptive characteristics of your data which are the dimensions of the report. These will be found on the left side of reports or summary cards.

To see a full list of GA4 dimensions, check out Google’s guide on GA4 dimensions.

Next to the dimensions will be the quantitative measurements of that dimension, known as metrics, which can be numbers, averages or ratios. These will be found on the right side of reports or summary cards.

To learn more about GA4 metrics, check out Google’s guide on GA4 metrics.

To add a secondary dimension while viewing a detailed report, you can click on the plus + sign next to the dimension.

Adding a secondary dimension helps sort or aggregate your detailed report.

As you can see, metrics are the specific numbers and data, while dimensions and secondary dimensions are the attributes of that data. Every report in Google Analytics is made up of both Dimensions and Metrics.

Now you know what a report is in Google Analytics! Ever wondered what Google Analytics is? See our article What is Google Analytics to find out more.