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Total users vs monthly users for the same period of time

ACG
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# 1
ACG
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Hi all,

 

 

I've been asked to provide number of users for a website. 

 

I have checked the last financial year and I get just above 9 million (audience > Overview > general users number under the chart). However, Google Analytics reports an average of 932,000 users on a monthly basis for that same period of time (Audience > Overview > timeline). If I add up the monthly users for the financial year I don't get 9 million but 11 million (same timeline on users but downloaded in Excel).

 

How is this possible? How does this work? Is it due to returning users? Are returning users not counted as users, only the new, for that financial year?

 

I am confused about this. Any help would be much appreciated.

 

thanks and Regards, A. 

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Accepted by topic author ACG
June

Total users vs monthly users for the same period of time

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# 6
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Hi Alex,

 

When you download the report (most of them as I'm not sure which report you used) the dataset will be by day and excel will sum it which, as you know, is a no no unless you were trying to get an average daily user count.

 

That's why the data is different: In excel, it sums the user counts by day, in the UI, GA applies an algorithm every time that you change the date range to determine how many unique users there were in the range selected.  It's doing the same thing to determine new vs returning users.

 

For a more (slightly) more technical explanation:

 

https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2992042

 

Best,

 

Theo

Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn

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Total users vs monthly users for the same period of time

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

I suggest you do the following: 

 

+ 1 Google Analytics is based on aggregated data and will often use data sampling if you exceed a certain amount of data in your reports. A good way around this is to create a custom report - custom reports typically do not rely on sampled data. 

 

+ You can create a custom report here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1151300?hl=en

 

Try this and let me know if you still get conflicting numbers. 

 

- Josh

Joshua, Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

Total users vs monthly users for the same period of time

ACG
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# 3
ACG
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Hi Josh,

 

Thanks for your message.

 

I have tested it and indeed it's due to sampling data, thanks very much. But what about mobile apps then?

 

If I check users on my mobile app for a whole year I get one number (250K) whereas my monthly users (on the timeline) average 60K (60K*12 months=720K users). The data is unsampled. Why the discrepancy in numbers?  

 

Any help on this, would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks and Kindest regards, A.

Total users vs monthly users for the same period of time

Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star

A,

 

Sampling wont affect per-aggregated reports. 

 

Either way, you get a differnce because you can't add users over a period and expect it to add to a larger date range.  

 

e.g.  10 users each day of the week as you look at them individually = 70 users, right? Nope. 

 

Each day, 9 users came back again and one was a new user each day so the real total is 16 users.

 

Does that make sense?

 

Best,

 

Theo Bennett

Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn

Total users vs monthly users for the same period of time

ACG
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# 5
ACG
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Hello,

 

 

Yes, I do understand your example but can it be so different when you look at monthly mobile app users and when you look at half a year or full year? I'm given around 65K on a monthly basis and 251K a year. 

 

If I look at the % of new and returning users on a monthly basis I get 22% and 78% respectively whereas if I look at 1/2 year I get 44% and 56% respectively and finally over a full year I get 49% of new users and 51% of returning users.

 

And why GA interface gives me 251K and when I download the timeline I get 375K users, please? 

 

Sorry for so many questions but it's really giving me a headache this. 

 

Thanks and Best Regards, A.

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author ACG
June

Total users vs monthly users for the same period of time

Rising Star
# 6
Rising Star

Hi Alex,

 

When you download the report (most of them as I'm not sure which report you used) the dataset will be by day and excel will sum it which, as you know, is a no no unless you were trying to get an average daily user count.

 

That's why the data is different: In excel, it sums the user counts by day, in the UI, GA applies an algorithm every time that you change the date range to determine how many unique users there were in the range selected.  It's doing the same thing to determine new vs returning users.

 

For a more (slightly) more technical explanation:

 

https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2992042

 

Best,

 

Theo

Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn

Total users vs monthly users for the same period of time

ACG
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# 7
ACG
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Hi Theo,

 

Sorry for not getting back to you before. I've been really busy! That's great, thank you very much.

 

Alex

Total users vs monthly users for the same period of time

Rising Star
# 8
Rising Star

Hey Alex,

 

No worries!  I know the feeling  Smiley Happy

 

-Theo

Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn

Total users vs monthly users for the same period of time

ACG
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# 9
ACG
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Hi Theo,

 

I hope you are well.

 

I have a question in relation with what we were discussing in this thread a while ago. It's related to the total number of users for a period and the total number of new and returning users for the same period.

 

I obtained the total number of users from Google Analytics' User Interface in Audience > Overview report (this number is just over 2 million). If I look at the new/returning visitors pie in the same report and I add up the total number of new and returning users, this number doesn't match my 2 million users; I obtain almost 2.5 million.

 

If I use the table from Audience > Behaviour > New and Returning report this shows as total users my figure from Audience Overview report (2 million) but the split between new and returning users is the same from the mentioned pie (which if you add up is almost 2.5 million).

 

Why is it that the total number of new users + total number of returning users does not equal my total 'users' number please?

 

I've gone through the resource you provided during our previous discussions but I can't see how this new calculation can be the cause? https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2992042

 

Any help on this would be much appreciated.

 

Thank you, A.