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Words of Wisdom

Google Analytics Tips to Quickly Pull Data

Posted by on January 27, 2011 within Google Analytics. | No Comments

Shortcuts are part of our everyday lives, helping us work quicker and more efficiently. Desktop or file shortcuts help us launch programs and open files in a fraction of the time it would take to navigate to their source. Keyboard shortcuts help us trigger actions and open menus faster than manually navigating with our cursor. These shortcuts have become an everyday part of our lives and we hardly stop to pay attention to their value.

Recently, I noticed a couple of shortcuts I constantly use within Google Analytics to help rapidly pull reports and gather data. The two shortcuts involve quickly selecting date ranges and exporting more than 500 rows of data at a time.

Quickly Selecting a Week or Month Date Range

Google Analytics has built a few shortcuts that allow you to quickly select a week or month date range. You can promptly select one week at a time by clicking on the small tab sitting just to the left of the specific week in question.

Selecting One Week

You can promptly select one month at a time by clicking on the name of the month above all of the dates contained within that month.

Selecting One Month

These quick selections work for weekly or monthly reporting like a charm. Unfortunately, these shortcuts do not allow you to select multiple weeks or months at a time. In order to do this, you will need to use the date range selection tool as normal.

Exporting More than 500 Rows of Data at a Time

By default, Google Analytics is set to display data tables with 10 rows of data. They give you the option to change this to 25, 50, 100, 250, or 500 rows at a time. However, as you may quickly find out, 500 rows of data will not always cut it. With the maximum number of rows set at 500, it could take numerous exports to move all your data. Fortunately, Google has provided a URL parameter that will allow us to export up to 50,000 rows of data at a time.

To utilize this parameter, add "&limit=50000" at the end of the URL, or right before the # symbol if it exists, within the URL of the specific page of date you are looking to export. This parameter is telling Google you would like to export 50,000 rows of data once. To export less than this, change 50,000 to your number of choice. Once you have the URL updated, refresh the page for the new limit to take effect.

GA URL

Once the page is updated nothing visually will happen and the page itself will not reflect the new limit. The only time you will see all of the requested rows of data is upon exporting the data to a CSV file. To export the new data to a CSV file click the "Export" button from the top left hand side of the report and then select "CSV."

GA CSV Export

Although it would be nice to see more than 500 rows of data within the Google Analytics interface, it is not always practical. If you need to view over 500 rows of data at once, chances are you will need to export it anyway.

All Together

These shortcuts are by no means silver bullets. They will, however, dramatically reduce the time it takes you to gather data and pull reports. At first, these shortcuts might not seem like much, but over time they will pay dividends.

Written by Shay Howe

As a web and user interface designer at Lever Interactive, Shay believes good design can change the way users interact and utilize the web. Shay is a designer because he has a passion for solving puzzles while creating pleasing visual solutions at the same time. Please feel free to say hello to Shay on Twitter.

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