Calculated Metrics have been a long requested feature for Google Analytics. In this post, I will provide 25 use cases for calculated metrics, in addition to showing you how to use them.
What Are Calculated Metrics?
How Many Calculated Metrics Can I Make?Calculated metrics in Google Analytics are derived metrics from standard and/or custom metrics. Standard metrics are metrics that Google provides for you like Users, Sessions, and Pageviews. Custom Metrics are any other non-standard metric you create like Logins, Signups, or Video PlayTime. You can make any combination of standard metrics with or without custom metrics using standard arithmetic operators like multiplication, division, addition and subtraction to build calculated metrics.
The standard (free) version of Google Analytics allows for the creation of 5 calculated metrics per view. The Premium version comes with 50 calculated metrics per view. Calculated metrics limits do not take away from your quota of custom dimensions and metrics. You could have 5 custom metrics, 20 custom dimensions and 5 calculated metrics per view for standard Google Analytics or 200 Custom Metrics and 50 calculated metrics for Premium. Learn about properties, views (profiles) and accounts from Google.
Where Can I Use Calculated Metrics in Google Analytics?
Calculated metrics are available in custom reports, dashboard widgets, and through the API. At this time you will be unable to use any of your calculated metrics in any of the standard reports. Being able to use them in dashboards, with the ability to link the dashboard widgets to custom reports where they are used, should meet the majority of use cases you would need a calculated metric for.
How Can I Make A Calculated Metric?
Making a calculated metrics is one of the easiest processes in Google Analytics. The hardest part will be finding them in the Admin section. After that it’s super easy, especially if you are familiar with Google Tag Manager! It will feel very similar to selecting variables (macros).
Step 1: Open Calculated Metrics
Assuming you have ‘Edit’ permissions to your Google Analytics account, find your way by clicking Admin -> Views -> Calculated Metrics -> Click ‘New Calculated Metric’.
Step 2: Create a Calculated Metric
To create a calculated metric you will need to provide a name, generate an external name, select a formatting type and enter the formula for the calculation of your metric. The name, integer and formulas can be changed at any time and will work retroactively. If you make a mistake or need to rename it there are no negatives to doing so! This is such an important feature, as accidental user errors in either the calculation or the selection of formatting type can happen to the best of us Google has made it user friendly in that we can make mistakes and make as many updates as we need to correct them. The end result will have the metric calculated historically to whatever the current conditions are. Would it not be awesome if goals and goal funnels always worked like this! (Feature Request to Google) To create your metric populate these fields as follows:
25 Calculated Metrics for Google Analytics
With the customization and and flexibility that Google Analytics provides there are infinite possibilities for calculated metrics. The vast majority of calculated metrics that will be created will be for ratios, which simply divide two given metrics. This will especially be applicable for ratios using custom metrics. Using both custom metrics that you should be utilizing as well as predefined standard metrics I have come up with examples of calculated metrics you can create. Below are some of the most relevant examples:
Some of the metrics above rely on Custom Metrics. If you have never created a Custom Metrics before, Google Analytics also has detailed documentation. The Google Analytics user base is just getting started with Calculated Metrics. I would love to hear some of your best metrics that you have created in the comments below.