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Understanding Hit vs. Session-based Data in a Custom Report

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# 1
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Hello!

 

As I understand it from Avinash Kaushik's blog post, a session-level dimension should not be combined with hit-level metrics. It appears that GA allows such combinations when creating a custom report (in other words, it doesn't stop you from shooting yourself in the foot).

 

For example, I created a custom report with the following dimension and metrics:

Dimension: Page (hit, I think)

Metric 1: Pageviews (hit?)

Metric 2: Sessions (session)

Metric 3: Pages/session (session)

Metric 4: Unique pageviews (hit?)

 

The resulting report contained data for each metric. If the Page is a hit-level dimension, is the session metric counting all sessions that included the page? How can I tell which combinations result in garbage data? Is there a reference that labels every dimension and metric as hit, session, or user?

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Accepted by topic author Jeff L
January 2016

Re: Understanding Hit vs. Session-based Data in a Custom Report

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# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Jeff,

No, there is no reference...sadly.

Sessions is a unique metric -- it is counted on the first hit of the sessions, which if it is a pageview, is the landing page. If you counts sessions for pages, you are really counting entrances for landing pages.

I have explored this and other commonly misunderstood metrics in a series of articles, but if you have other specific questions, I can answer them here.
http://help.analyticsedge.com/googleanalytics/misunderstood-metrics-sessions-for-pages/
Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Re: Understanding Hit vs. Session-based Data in a Custom Report

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor
...oh, and if you want a count of the 'sessions' that a page was viewed in, use the 'unique pageviews' metric. It is a hit level metric and counts once per session, so it is an effective sessions count.

Also, note that pages/session will be affected by the fact that sessions are only counted for entrances...These numbers could be very large...and meaningless.
Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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