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Google Launches New ‘Saved Comparisons’ Feature For Analytics


Google announced a new tool for Analytics to streamline data comparisons.

The ‘saved comparisons’ feature allows you to save filtered user data segments for rapid side-by-side analysis.

Google states in an announcement:

“We’re launching saved comparisons to help you save time when comparing the user bases you care about.

Learn how you can do that without recreating the comparison every time!”

Google links to a help page that lists several benefits and use cases:

“Comparisons let you evaluate subsets of your data side by side. For example, you could compare data generated by Android devices to data generated by iOS devices.”

“In Google Analytics 4, comparisons take the place of segments in Universal Analytics.”

Saved Comparisons: How They Work

The new comparisons tool allows you to create customized filtered views of Google Analytics data based on dimensions like platform, country, traffic source, and custom audiences.

These dimensions can incorporate multiple conditions using logic operators.

For example, you could generate a comparison separating “Android OR iOS” traffic from web traffic. Or you could combine location data like “Country = Argentina OR Japan” with platform filters.

These customized comparison views can then be saved to the property level in Analytics.

Users with access can quickly apply saved comparisons to any report for efficient analysis without rebuilding filters.

Google’s documentation states:

“As an administrator or editor…you can save comparisons to your Google Analytics 4 property. Saved comparisons enable you and others with access to compare the user bases you care about without needing to recreate the comparisons each time.”

Rollout & Limitations

The saved comparisons feature is rolling out gradually. There’s a limit of 200 saved comparisons per property.

For more advanced filtering needs, such as sequences of user events, Google recommends creating a custom audience first and saving a comparison based on that audience definition.

Some reports may be incompatible if they don’t include the filtered dimensions used in a saved comparison. In that case, the documentation suggests choosing different dimensions or conditions for that report type.

Why SEJ Cares

The ability to create and apply saved comparisons addresses a time-consuming aspect of analytics work.

Analysts must view data through different lenses, segmenting by device, location, traffic source, etc. Manually recreating these filtered comparisons for each report can slow down production.

Any innovation streamlining common tasks is welcome in an arena where data teams are strapped for time.

How This Can Help You

Saved comparisons mean less time getting bogged down in filter recreation and more time for impactful analysis.

Here are a few key ways this could benefit your work:

  • Save time by avoiding constant recreation of filters for common comparisons (e.g. mobile vs desktop, traffic sources, geo locations).
  • Share saved comparisons with colleagues for consistent analysis views.
  • Switch between comprehensive views and isolated comparisons with a single click.
  • Break down conversions, engagement, audience origins, and more by your saved user segments.
  • Use thoughtfully combined conditions to surface targeted segments (e.g. paid traffic for a certain product/location).

The new saved comparisons in Google Analytics may seem like an incremental change. However, simplifying workflows and reducing time spent on mundane tasks can boost productivity in a big way.

Featured Image: wan wei/Shutterstock


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