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Custom dimension reporting

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# 1
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I'm sending user-level scope custom dimensions values to Google Analytics via the measurement protocol, with the hit type set to a non-interaction event and tied to a common client ID.


I have a condition where in some cases values will not be sent in real-time and therefore not attributed during a user's active session. Instead, due to offline behaviour the values may be changed and sent days after the user's last session and in this instance have noticed an oddity in reporting.


I understand that with user level scope these values will be applied to the current and future sessions. Where no active session exists the user count will increase and the values will be applied for future sessions.


What has confused me is if the request is made within a couple of hours after session expiry I can add the custom dimension to reports and see the supplied values, albeit with zero sessions which is what I would expect. However, if the request is sent days after session expiry then no reporting data is available. I know in the second instance the values have been attributed as I can create a custom segment with the expected values and I have a user count returned.


In both cases these values will be applied to the users' future sessions, as the session was not active, but why the difference in reporting?

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Custom dimension reporting

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Interesting scenario...  Not sure I believe the non-interaction event hit is being joined to a session. A non-interaction hit without a session id would be a standalone, sessionless hit.


If you include it in a report with a session, the sessions would produce a session count plus a user count; the hit would add a user count but not a session count; and that would look like 1 session with 2 users.  


When reported by itself, it would be 1 user with no sessions, and depending on the report columns, you may automatically exclude anything without a session count or specific dimension value.  Try reporting hour and minute filtered (not segmented) for your service provider with the users and sessions metric to see if that is how it happens.


Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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