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  • Inconsistencies in Google Analytics Data API (GA4) when using the date dimension alongside other dimensions

    Posted by Gurdeep on 18 January 2023 at 8:45 am

    Hey, I’ve been using GA4 for a while and noticed something odd. Do you know if this is meant to happen or if it’s just a bug? When I make a call with standard parameters, such as active users as the metric and session default channel as the dimension, the API gives me the correct figures. However, when I add the ‘date’ dimension for the same timeframe, the data from some channels shows fewer users, or sometimes no users at all. I would expect the number of users to remain consistent, regardless of how I choose to break down the data. Do you have any idea why this is happening? I should note that I’ve been testing these API calls using this Google tool – [https://ga-dev-tools.google/ga4/query-explorer/](https://ga-dev-tools.google/ga4/query-explorer/), so I’m positive the issue isn’t originating from my end.

    Samuel replied 11 months, 1 week ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Amelia

    Member
    3 July 2023 at 2:49 pm

    This is likely due to differences in how Google Analytics 4 calculates and segments data based on the presence of certain dimensions. When you add a new dimension like ‘date’ to your data, GA4 disaggregates the data into more detailed segments. Each data point now corresponds to a unique combination of ‘session default channel’ and ‘date’. Thus, if a user accessed your site through different channels on different days, they would be counted separately in each respective category upon adding the ‘date’ dimension. This disaggregation can sometimes result in fewer users for certain channels or dates, especially if some users access your site infrequently or through multiple channels. This is an expected behavior due to the way in which GA4 handles multi-dimensional data, rather than an error or bug.

  • Samuel

    Member
    4 July 2023 at 3:07 pm

    The behavior you are observing may be attributed to how Google Analytics 4 (GA4) processes and attributes user data. Active users, considered as a metric, are deduplicated across the selected dimension. If you select “session default channel” as the dimension, GA4 deduplicates the user counts across the different channels. Consequently, when “date” is added as an additional dimension, Google Analytics 4 starts deduplicating active users for each channel across each distinct date. This may result in smaller user counts for some channels on specific dates due to this deduplication, which might make the user count appear inconsistent with your earlier query that didn’t include “date”. However, this is not a bug but an expected behavior based on the design of the GA4 data model. Perfect consistency in user count across different dimensions is not guaranteed due to this method of data processing and deduplication.

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