How does it work?
This GAP feature, launched on April 2014 and previously known as Custom Aggregates, can be created in the Admin section under Property > Product Linking > Custom Tables. There is no coding required to set up this feature, yay! Before you create your Custom Table, we advise you to click on ‘Hints and Limitations’ first and read the important bits that will affect your Custom Table. The Quota next to the ‘+New Custom Table’ button shows you how many Custom Tables have been created vs. how many slots are available to use. This limitation is set at web-property level.
When creating a Custom Table, you’ll have to give it an appropriate name and choose the view in which you want to see it. Then you specify the dimensions, metrics and choose the optional segments and filters. You have the possibility to use up to 6 dimensions and 25 metrics per Custom Table. It can include more metrics, segments and filters than specified in your target report, but it must include all of the target report's metrics, segments, and filters.
Note the following when building a Custom Table:
- It cannot include the User metric or User based segments
- A maximum of 4 (default or custom) segments can be applied*
- When you include 6 dimensions you can use a max. of 5 filters**
*If a Custom Segment is applied to a Custom Table and later amended or removed in the main interface, it will have no impact on the configuration used within the Custom Table. It ‘freezes’ the set-up of the Custom Segment when the Custom Table was created. Make sure to keep note of which segments cannot be changed when used in Custom Tables. For example, it’s useful to add this in the naming convention of your Custom Segments.
**A Custom Table can be created with a max. of 6 dimensions unfiltered or with 5 filtered dimensions (figure 3.1). You can add 5 filters even if you have fewer than 6 dimensions set up for your Custom Table (figure 3.2). The filters don’t have to match the dimensions (figure 3.3).
When you save the Custom Table, you can view it in the ‘Customization’ tab. The table below shows you in which reports you can view your data.
Custom Tables in practice
A Custom Table is useful when your data is always sampled. Looking at the example below, one of our clients gathers a lot of data and you can see that the dimension ‘Page’ and the Custom Dimension ‘Organisation’ have been built into the Custom Table with the rest of the default metrics from the ‘All Pages’ report, and all data is unsampled!
Note: after creation it can take up to 2 days for unsampled data to appear in the Custom Table reports.
Custom Tables contain 200k unique rows per day before aggregation into (other), which means it can show 125k more unique rows than the maximum of 75k for standard Premium reports! The remaining lower volume combinations (>200k) will be aggregated into the (other) entry.
But when will a report be unsampled?
Take a look at the graphic below. If we create a Custom Table that is an exact copy of the All Pages report with City as a secondary dimension added in the GA interface, both (Custom Table and Default Report) will be available as unsampled. If we then create the same report again but with fewer metrics as shown in Custom Report 1, again it would be an unsampled report. By adding a metric that isn’t already available in the default report interface such as ‘Exits’ it will affect the data that is being processed and so sampling can occur in Custom Report 2.
Sampled Data As mentioned, it can take up to 48 hours for unsampled data to appear in the Custom Table report. GA provides data for 30 days prior to the date you created the Custom Table, so you will have a total of 32 days of data when the Custom Table is ready to be used (30 days backfill data + 2 days to process the unsampled data). The data prior to these 32 days will be available in the Custom Table but will be sampled. The figure below shows how the Custom Table processes its data after it’s created in the GA interface.
Note: a Custom Table is also used whenever a default report request is made which matches a Custom Table. If you add a secondary dimension to a default/standard report and the report matches a Custom Table definition (or matches a subset of the definition), the Custom Table will be used. Always make sure to alter your date range so that the start date is after the creation date of your table (or 30 days prior of the creation) when you view a report that uses a Custom Table.
Bring your ideas to the custom table!
Get started with table customisation and tailor it with dimensions/metrics that are meaningful to your business. If you need any help with setup, reporting or analysis, we can support you no matter what you require!