Google Analytics 4 Comparisons - How to use them?

How to make comparisons in Google Analytics 4?


As we have already told you for a few weeks, Universal Analytics will disappear by July 2023 and will be replaced by Google Analytics 4.

In order to help you through this transition, our experts at Eminence give you their best tips and share with you subtleties that could help you better manage your business.

Today, we are going to talk about subset comparison in Google Analytics 4. In this article, we will explain how to create comparisons and the limitations of this feature.

Definition of comparisons in Google Analytics 4

Comparisons replace the segments and filters that existed in Universal Analytics. With comparisons in GA4, you can compare different subsets of data quickly and easily, without removing any information.

With this comparison feature, you can, for example, isolate, compare and analyze specific data (e.g., income, country, spending on an e-commerce site, etc.) from all users logging in on an Android device versus all data generated from users logging in on an iOS device.

What are comparisons for?

Comparisons in GA4 are particularly interesting and allow you to understand exactly where a problem originates and how to solve it. For example, you can compare the number of interactions of visitors on your website who log in from a cell phone to those who log in from a desktop during the same period.

You may notice that the volume of interactions from mobile visitors is decreasing, for example. This finding will indicate that you may need to redesign the website as it is displayed on cell phones to make it more user-friendly.

How to create comparisons in a report in GA4?

Go to the “Reports” section to create comparisons.

  1. Log into Google Analytics 4 and select the report tab where you want to create the comparison.
  2. Click on Add a new comparison.
  3. Select Include or Exclude data as needed.
  4. Click in the Dimension field to select a dimension (for example, Country).
  5. Click in the Dimension Values field to select one or more dimension values (for example, Android, iOS).
  6. Click Add New Condition to select another dimension and values for that dimension.
  7. Click Apply.
  8. To remove a comparison, click X to the right of the definition.

If you want to exclude data from the same condition, you will need to insert OR, so that GA4 does not consider both conditions. For example, Platform = Android OR iOS; Country = Switzerland OR Italy.

On the other hand, if you want to evaluate several sides of the same Dimension, you must add AND. For example, Platform = Android AND iOS; Country = Switzerland AND Italy. This way, GA4 will take into account all the inserted data.

Limitations of comparisons

Upon further research, we noticed that comparisons have a few negative points compared to segments:

  1. You will only be able to apply comparisons to standard reports whereas segments can be applied within the explorations.
  2. You will not be able to save comparisons and will have to recreate them each time.
  3. You are limited to creating a maximum of five conditions per comparison.
  4. You cannot set the “or” when processing multiple conditions in a comparison.
  5. Some dimensions cannot be excluded while others will not be available depending on your starting configuration.

To conclude

At Eminence, we are convinced that Google Analytics 4 will bring you innovative and intelligent solutions to improve the way you process data. Being able to subdivide the different types of users will allow you to understand your visitors’ behavior in great detail and get quality insights. You can then use this information to review your strategy, make adjustments, and improve your performance.

Our Google Analytics experts are available to answer all your questions and create comparisons in your Google Analytics 4 account.
→ Do you want to set up your website GA4 tracking strategy ?