If you’re starting with Google Analytics 4 (GA4), one of the most common questions that will appear in your mind is, “What happened to the views in Google Analytics 4?”
You used to set up your views in Universal Analytics (UA) and customize them as you wanted. But when you get into the “Admin” section of GA4 to set up a view, you will see no option for views in there!
GA4 utilises an event-based, mobile-first model. So Google made some changes in its interface to adjust to this new model. Therefore, you can’t find a lot of stuff in GA4 that you are familiar with through Universal Analytics.
Instead of views, you have only one reporting view. Instead of making custom views as you used to do in Universal Analytics, you can now apply data filters to your reporting view.
Quick Jump To:
In UA, you can create up to 25 views for each property. To see views in Universal Analytics, you need to go through this process accounts > properties > views. Your views are used to create custom data segments, to which you can add filters.
Some regular uses of views in UA include excluding internal traffic and filtering traffic from specific subdomains. You can also aim for goals and conversions for a particular view to calculate them for that dataset.
In Universal Analytics, It’s best practice to keep at least three views; Raw, Test, and Main. It is super important as you can’t recover data that’s already been filtered out.
You can create many additional views based on your business and goals. This was a very useful feature. But this does mean that many are still hesitant to switch to GA4.
So, GA4 doesn’t have a view feature. But you might have been using views in UA to exclude your internal traffic and customise your data as per your requirement.
So, What does GA4 use if it doesn’t have views? Or How can you use it to do the stuff you were doing with Views in Universal Analytics? Well, It uses a single reporting system that is fed by data streams instead of views.
Data streams are data sources that can include your website, iOS app, and Android app. You can have any or all three in one GA4 Property. In GA4, you can apply property-level filters to customize your single report view.
Instead of using view filters in Universal Analytics, you can now use data filters. When setting up a data filter, you’ll apply it directly to the data stream.
Here are some critical notes about data filters in GA4:
People are migrating from Universal Analytics because of the unique features GA4 has to offer, but It is still new. So new features will be added along the way.
Internal traffic is a way to keep track of and monitor all the traffic coming from your network; it includes any traffic from an IP address or range of IP addresses you set out.
You make rules that point out internal traffic. Each one tests IP addresses against user-defined parameter values. When you create an internal traffic definition, the traffic_type parameter automatically adds to all events with the parameter value you defined.
Developer traffic rises from your app on the development device. And can be identified using the debug_mode=1 or debug_event=1 event parameters. If you exclude developer traffic by a filter, you can still see it in DebugView.
Using a Data filter is easy in GA4. First, create the filter, then apply it. Let’s look at an example together.
One of the most useful views in UA is filtering out internal employee traffic. Utilising the data filters, you can do the same thing with Google Analytics 4.
So, let’s dive into how to filter the internal traffic in GA4. Follow these step-by-step guide:
Google Analytics 4 has a lot of different features. But it will take time to adapt.
You’ll obviously notice is that there are no longer views in ga4. Instead, you will see data filters. Data filters allow users to customize their single report with ease and precision! Data filters are easy to set up.
Create new filters and apply them to your reporting view. But be sure to test the filter before activation, as filters are permanent to all data collected. Not to mention it’s also limited to a GA4 property.
As GA4 is regularly evolving and is still new, stay tuned for updates.
Are you already using GA4? If not, have a look at the benefits of Google Analytics 4, and you’ll see what you have been missing out on.