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Where's my data gone?

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# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I run a small and simple website with users across the world.  My understanding of Google Analytics capabilities is limited, though my main view works fine and gives good global insights.  Now I'm trying to zero in to get a deeper analysis of one region.  Step 1, if I understand things correctly, is to make a copy of the existing view and then apply filters to that.  However I'm failing at the first hurdle because on testing the copy with for instance Audience>Geo>Location I get a blank return with the message "There is no data for this view".  I thought that a copy of the main view would bring the underlying info with it, but obviously not!  What haven't I done right?  


All advice welcome, and thanks in advance!

1 Expert replyverified_user

Where's my data gone?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi @simonwater01 :-)

Unfortunately, copied views do not populate with historical data.

A new view will create a completely new View without any filters, goals etc applied. A copied View will create a View with the same filters, goals and so on as per the View that was copied.
Filters are not retroactive on historical data and only work going forward, so creating and applying a filter to an existing view will not 'clean' the data already existing within it.

Best practice is to leave the initial default View without any filters applied.. and then create a Main/Master View which should at the very least have a hostname filter applied to it... and then other Views can also be created as necessary for special reporting purposes


If you are new to ga and/or working with filters, create a test view and test a filter first to see what the result is in the reports before applying it to a main reporting view.. this helps prevent data loss (lost data due to incorrect filters is not recoverable)


If you are wanting to zero in on a single region, you could create a new View and apply a filter to it, so as to only report data for the desired region.

Alternatively, you could create a custom report using the existing View, 

navigate to the Audience > Geo > Location and select one of the Primary Dimensions

or click on a particular country in the table to then see Regions for the country etc.
At the top of the page below where it says Location, there is a Customize button.

This will take you to where you can create a custom report from it.
Where you should be able to apply an in table filter for whatever region you want to

single out (which is non destructive to the standard report data)
More information on custom reports here


Bronwyn Vourtis, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Where's my data gone?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
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Hi Bronwyn,


Many thanks for this.  I'm trying to slice and dice past data across the last four years or so, so I guess that if new views and filters act only on newly arriving data going forward then Customize is going to have to be my best bet.  I'll give it a go!  Thanks!