November 20, 2015

Calculated Metrics – Google Analytics

abacusI have come across plenty examples of calculated metrics but they were lacking what I needed. Understanding how to create your own calculations based on existing Google Analytics dimensions and metrics is one thing. However, if your company has custom metrics based off of standard calculations, how id that accomplished? A perfect example is gross margin. I need to understand my revenue based on a margin of 32%. Luckily, with some trial and error, that can easily be achieved by Google Analytics and reported via a custom dashboard.

Calculated Metrics – By the numbers

Calculated metrics are created in the Admin section of your account under your specific reporting view. A full write up can be found on the Analytics support site. Here is my scenario:

  • I need three custom calculations based on internal business rules
    • The metrics have been provided by the accounting dept.
  • A custom dashboard needs to be created for analysis
    • These rules need to apply to our PPC activity only 
    • Which means I need to create filters within the dashboard to report only on these metrics

I’ll start off with calculating margin.

  • Give the metric a Name and External Name – in my case, GMM
  • For calculating margin, we need it measured in dollars, so I chose Formatting Type of Currency
  • Accounting indicated that our margin is 32% (these numbers have been changed to protect the innocent…and the innocent’s margins). We calculate margin as Revenue * margin. Nothing too outlandish.  Google Analytics makes life easy when creating these metrics. The suggested data points from which I can choose are suggested by Analytics once I start typing in the Formula field (in this case revenue):
  • I am looking for overall Revenue, so I choose that suggested data point.
  • Now I enter the margin percentage which has to be calculated as a decimal value and not actual percentage (.32). Leaving me with Revenue * margin:
  • That is all there is to creating the calculation, now I need a way to show the data

Showing Calculated Metrics in a Custom Analytics Dashboard

I have to pull the margin metric into a dashboard. Since I named the metric GMM, here is what I did:

  • Go to Reporting > Dashboard > + New Dashboard
  • Chose a canvas
  • Clicked +Add Widget
  • Chose Metric
  • I search for the metric I created – gmm

    • Choose the metric suggested
  • If I ran the report as is, I would get the margin for all traffic sources but I am only interested in AdWords
  • I create a filter
    • I am sure there are many ways to create the filter, but this is the method that worked for me. Let me know what filter you would use.
  • I have AdWords and Analytics already linked
  • I just need the AdWords Account name to create the filter
  • Once I have that, here is the filter I created
    • Obviously you would use your account name instead of ENTER ACCOUNT NAME
  • Once I save the widget and calculated metric are added the my dashboard






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