How to Build a Custom Flat Report with Google Analytics


This is Rick Reinard, the manager of web analytics with Alight Analytics, and I’m going to show you how to build a custom flat report in Google Analytics.

Many of you probably know, you can build a custom report in Google Analytics by clicking on the Customization tab up top. As you’ll see, we don’t have any custom reports built out yet, but if we did, they’d all be listed here. I’m going to click on the New Custom Report button to start. You can first give yours a fancy title; I’m going to leave it with “New Custom Report” for now. And down below here is where you start to build out your query. The metric I’m going to look at is total events, so I type that in and select it from the list below. And I’m going to look at my event categories, event actions, and event labels for each of my total events.

By default–once you click save below–you will see that the report that Google gives you is very similar to the rest of the reports in Google Analytics. It’ll list out your categories, I can click in, it’ll go down to the action level. And I can click in again and see the label level. Many times, you may want to see this data all laid out together. You can see your action, event, category, and labels–for example–all in one place.

Let’s go back to our Customization tab up at the top. In this custom report I’ve built–you can see it here–I’ll go over to this Action tab and click edit. And this takes me back to the same screen you would get if you were building your table the first time. Instead of clicking on Type Explorer, change this to Flat Table. Now when I click save, you will see that it presents your data in a more familiar view to a lot of people. It’s similar to Excel in how it lays out your data in columns so you can see categories, actions, and labels all in one place.

So that is how you build a flat table query in Google Analytics.

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