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  • Inconsistencies between Google Analytics 4 Data API and Web Interface Results

    Posted by Jayden on 21 May 2022 at 4:52 am

    Hey, could use some help with a problem that’s been nagging me.

    I’m currently using the GA4 data API to get daily sales data every day for our custom analytics dashboard. But I’ve noticed something weird – the data in our reports seem to differ from what we see in the GA4 interface (like the custom exploration reports) and the GA4 query explorer. Got me scratching my head, I tell ya.

    Let me give you an example of a data request we typically use:

    {
      "dimensions": [
        {
          "name": "date"
        },
        {
          "name": "platformDeviceCategory"
        }
      ],
      "metrics": [
        {
          "name": "addToCarts"
        }
      ],
      "dateRanges":[
        {
          "startDate": "2daysAgo",
          "endDate": "yesterday"
        }
      ],
      "keepEmptyRows": true
    }
    

    Now, when I check the GA4 interface or the GA4 query explorer, the “platform/device category” dimension comes back with all 3 values for a specific date. But the odd thing is, when using the GA4 data API, the same “platform/device category” dimension comes back with only 2 values for that date. It’s like the “web/tablet” row (the orange block) just up and vanished.

    I’ve read the official guide on data sampling and pretty sure our data size is far from the sampling threshold, even with the date range being 2 days. The data should NOT be sampled in our case. I also discovered that removing the “platform/device category” dimension from the request body gives me matching results from the data API and the web interface. Doesn’t really make sense, does it?

    I’m stumped. Any chance there’s a way to get the API response to look exactly like what I can see in the GA4 query explorer? And if there isn’t, I could really use some pointers as to why there’s a discrepancy – gotta convince the folks here that the data on our dashboard is trustworthy.

    Any help you can offer would be much appreciated!

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

    Member
    28 March 2023 at 5:38 am

    Hey! Good suggestion, let’s consider other timeframes – differences in data may be due to GA4 being refreshed more frequently than the API. Also, ensure that the timezone settings match in the UI and API. These discrepancy issues can be really baffling, can’t they?

  • Harper

    Member
    20 April 2023 at 4:50 am

    The discrepancy you’re seeing between the GA4 data API and the GA4 interface or query explorer might not be due to data sampling. It could be related to how Google Analytics 4 applies filters, dimension limitations, or how it handles different event types. The GA4 data API might be returning a subset of the total events captured for the period. These “missing” events could potentially be from the “web/tablet” platform/device category. Also, the exclusion of the platform/device category dimension from your data request generating matching results might suggest that there’s a special filtering or limitation for this dimension specifically when queried via the GA4 data API. If the data discrepancy remains, it might be worth testing with another reporting dimension as well as reaching out to Google support. Comparing the results across different dimensions can help you identify if it’s a specific issue with the platform/device category dimension. It’ll also allow you to provide specific examples if you decide to engage Google support on this issue.

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