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Difference in numbers reported by GA Dev Tools and Analytics Dashboard

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I am finding a difference in the results returned by GA Dev Tools and the GA Custom report for the same query.

I need to filter results by event actions.

My query is as follows:

Dev Tool-

Metric : ga:users

Dimension: ga:date

Filter : ga:eventAction=~ABC_*|EFGH

 

Custom Report

Metric : ga:users

Dimension: ga:date

Filter:

Include - Event Action - Regex - ABC_*|EFGH

 

There is a difference in the numbers returned by these two tools. Margin is a few hundreds. 

I would like to know why the same data and same query are returning two different results in two different tools.

 

EDIT: Yes, I am comparing data in the same date range. In fact I am looking at data only for Nov 3.

 

2 Expert replyverified_user
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Accepted by topic author MyGalaxy A
November 2015

Re: Difference in numbers reported by GA Dev Tools and Analytics Dashb

[ Edited ]
A T
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
A T
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

Date range might be different.

Also is it sampled data?

Re: Difference in numbers reported by GA Dev Tools and Analytics Dashb

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor
Hi MyGalaxy,

I actually don't see any difference in comparable data in my account between a Google Analytics Query Explorer (https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/query-explorer/) request and an equivalent standard custom report output.

Did you compare actually the same date range?
Do you get a difference without the filters applied?

Christoph

Re: Difference in numbers reported by GA Dev Tools and Analytics Dashb

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Hi,

first a disclaimer: I don't know for sure how the filter in Query Explorer works, could not spot the definite answer for it.

Custom Report filter filters like the account filter: It only counts those sessions that started with the interaction that matches your criteria
I suspect that filter in Query Explorer works like Advanced Segments and it counts all sessions that contain that interaction in some point of that session.

Without seeing the data... Would it be possible that those few hundred had some other event registered before the event that you're filtering?

--
To make bad day worse, spend it wishing for the impossible

Re: Difference in numbers reported by GA Dev Tools and Analytics Dashb

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I just realized that both tools are returning sampled data. Even if I select highest precision option in the custom report, its based only on 87.35% of sessions. That is most likely causing the discrepency.
Is there any way I can use unsampled data?

Re: Difference in numbers reported by GA Dev Tools and Analytics Dashb

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
Sampling should step in if there are large number of sessions, but if you are viewing 1 day data there might be some conditions I do not know about sampling.. even after refreshing my knowledge in the Google documents... however if you have premium account you have an option to get unsampled reports.

I have a feeling that something else might be in play here:
Can you share screenshots about what you get in the Query Explorer tool (+ the setting you use) and the custom report?
It would be also helpful to see your events report.

Just in case any readers are missing those articles about data sampling they can be found from here:
How sampling works: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2637192
About sampled data: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1042498

--
To make bad day worse, spend it wishing for the impossible

Re: Difference in numbers reported by GA Dev Tools and Analytics Dashb

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# 7
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Re: Difference in numbers reported by GA Dev Tools and Analytics Dashb

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

@Antii That's an interesting point. But in case of our app, the first event to be sent is always something that doesn't match the pattern I am filtering. Nevertheless, could you please point me to documentation that explains your point?

Re: Difference in numbers reported by GA Dev Tools and Analytics Dashb

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor
Those documents that I linked do not have that information.
This one about filters describes how they work
https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1034832

but where I learned this was through testing because I have not seen anywhere in the documentation the description about how filtering works in Custom Reports. And it might not apply to this since my discovery was made in pageviews and sessions with web tracking. I was wondering why I have different numbers between Advanced Segments and filtered Custom Reports.

Another disclaimer (now that you mentioned you have an app): There might be something regarding the fact that this is App tracking (don't have much experience on that side)

To rule out any delays in data gathering please use data for example from the 1st of Nov. And those screenshots would be really helpful Smiley Happy

--
To make bad day worse, spend it wishing for the impossible

Re: Difference in numbers reported by GA Dev Tools and Analytics Dashb

Top Contributor
# 10
Top Contributor
@MyGalaxy Sampling issues should apply in the same way with both methods. Get rid of sampling by taking a smaller date range to get 100% unsampled data. Then compare again if the difference persists. Did you check date range itself as possible cause for the difference?