Google Analytics Key terms

What is a secondary dimension in Google Analytics?

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Published on Jan 20, 2023 and edited on May 13, 2024 by Iron Brands

A secondary dimension in Google Analytics is an additional data layer that you can apply to reports for more granular analysis. It allows you to cross-reference two different dimensions (like "Source" and "Age Group") within the same report.

Here is all you need to know about secondary dimensions... or you could just use Simple Analytics. Simple and privacy-friendly. No complexity. No cookies. Just the data you need in a simple dashboard.

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Alright, back to Google Analytics.

Key Characteristics:

  • Enhanced Data View: Secondary dimensions provide a more detailed view of your data by combining two dimensions.
  • Customization: You can choose from a wide range of secondary dimensions to suit your analysis needs.
  • Versatility: Applicable across various reports, secondary dimensions can reveal insights that might not be immediately apparent from the primary dimension alone.

Importance of Secondary Dimensions:

  • Deeper Insights: They allow you to drill down into your data and understand the interplay between different dimensions.
  • Enhanced User Behavior Understanding: Dimensions provide a clearer picture of how different user segments interact with your website.

How to Use Secondary Dimensions Effectively:

  • Selecting Relevant Dimensions: Choose dimensions that align with your analysis goals. For instance, if you're analyzing traffic sources, a secondary dimension like "Device Category" can provide insights into the devices used by visitors from different sources.
  • Identify Patterns and Anomalies: Look for trends or outliers in the data that could indicate opportunities or issues.
  • Combine with Other Analytics Features: Use secondary dimensions in conjunction with other Google Analytics features, like segments or filters, for even more targeted analysis.

Implementing Secondary Dimensions:

  • Navigate to any standard report in Google Analytics.
  • Above the table of data, find and click on the “Secondary Dimension” dropdown.
  • Choose a dimension from the list provided.

Final Thoughts

Secondary dimensions are a powerful feature in Google Analytics, adding depth to your data analysis. But features like this can be overly complex for many organizations.

If you just want a straightforward dashboard with the insights you need, GA is not a great place to start. Additionally, Google Analytics is a privacy-invasive tool and requires an annoying cookie banner.

That's why we built Simple Analytics, a privacy-friendly and simple analytics tool - no personal data, no cookies, just the insights you need in a straightforward dashboard.

If this resonates with you, feel free to give Simple Analytics a spin (it's free). You just need to add the script and off you go. This takes about one minute.


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