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  • Discrepancy in Google Analytics 4 Data between Looker Studio and BigQuery Connectors

    Posted by Jacob on 8 November 2022 at 6:47 pm

    “Hey there! So, I’ve paired up my Google Analytics 4 property with BigQuery and linked it to Looker Data Studio via the BigQuery connector (Let’s call it A). But I’ve also connected that same Google Analytics 4 property with Looker Data Studio using the Google Analytics connector (Let’s call it B). Now, both ‘A’ and ‘B’ show the same number of events (so far so good).

    But when I crank out this query in Google BigQuery, I get a session count of 117,379 for ‘A’, while ‘B’ shows a session count of 183,363.

    I’m scratching my head here because both counts refer to the same period (last month) and I didn’t apply any filters. If it’s of any interest, I picked up the query from this Google Docs link: https://developers.google.com/analytics/blog/2022/hll#sessions

    Just wondering – why am I seeing this difference? Anyone encountered something like this before? Thanks!”

    George replied 11 months, 2 weeks ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Oliver

    23 January 2023 at 4:20 pm

    The difference in session counts between ‘A’ and ‘B’ could be due to a couple of reasons. One possible reason could be the way the session count is calculated in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and BigQuery. Google Analytics may be counting sessions differently, such as including instances where multiple sessions are counted as one due to a user leaving a website and returning within a short timeframe. Alternatively, how BigQuery processes data might be different. Depending on how the data is collected and processed, it could potentially result in discrepancies. Another potential reason could be the way Looker connects and fetches data from GA4 and BigQuery. Even though you didn’t apply any filters while conducting your analysis, it’s worth checking the data extraction and transformation process. You may want to recheck the configuration settings of both ‘A’ and ‘B’ connectors and make sure there’s no unintended data transformation on the Looker side. It’s advised to thoroughly investigate to know the exact reason. Differences in data can sometimes arise due to very nuanced reasons that require a detailed walk-through of your data processing pipeline.

  • George

    25 June 2023 at 1:00 pm

    The discrepancy you’re noticing can occur because Google Analytics and BigQuery can process and aggregate data differently. ‘A’ is using raw event data in BigQuery, whereas ‘B’ gets pre-aggregated data from the Google Analytics connector. It’s always important to remember any processing or aggregating nuances when comparing data from two different sources.

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