Google Analytics Essentials. Step 2: Data Views

The next step

data viewsThis is the second post from the Google Analytics Essentials series. In the first post I talked about how to create a new account inside Google Analytics.

If you want to know how to create a new account inside Google analytics, click on the link below.

Google Analytics Essentials Step 1. A New Account

After you created your Google Analytics account and typed the address of your blog, you have an account and a property (your site/blog). What should you do now?

The next step is to create data views for your site/blog. In this post I will talk about views and what to do with them.

What is a data view?

A data view (or simply a view) is a way of organizing and presenting data extracted from your property (blog).

Why should we use data views?

1. Data management

The first purpose of a view is to manage your data. A view presents the data according to your specifications and helps you understand different aspects of your visitors’ behavior.

2. Data protection

The second purpose of a view is to protect your data. For example, each property has a special view (unfiltered view) that keeps absolutely all the data collected from the property. This is especially useful when you configured incorrectly your views and the data become inaccurate and unreliable.

It is also useful for big sites where you have two or more sales teams (for example). You can give each sales team only the data that is relevant to them.

Any property can have multiple views. However, not all views are created equal.

How many types of views?

There are three basic types of data views:

  • Unfiltered view
  • Master view
  • Test view.

Unfiltered view

This is the first view that is automatically generated when you create the account and the property. For each property an unfiltered view is created instantly.

Google recommends not to apply any settings or configurations to this view. It has only one role: to backup your data. In case something happens, this is the only place where you can find all your data related to your site.

Master view

This is the main view. It contains all the data you need after all the settings and configurations are done.

Test view

This type of view is the place where you test all the settings and configurations you want until you are satisfied.

How to create a view

The process of creating data views is very simple. Click on the video below to see how.

Best practices for creating views

The sequence is the following.

  • 1. You create your property and the unfiltered view is automatically generated. This view remains untouched.
  • 2. You create a Master view where all the important data will be available (configured according to your wish). This is the view you will use for you analysis efforts. This is the most important of all types of data views.
  • 3. You create a Test view. Each time you want to apply a new setting, you will use the Test view. If everything is OK, you will apply the setting to your Master view. If something goes wrong, you just delete the Test view and create another one.

Final remarks

Now you know what a view is and how many types of views you can use, what to do with each type of view and how to create a view. Views are very important because these are the tools you work with in Google Analytics.

Now it’s your turn. After you watch the video, go to your Google analytics account and create two data views: one master view and one test view. Then come back here, on this site, post a comment below and tell us you succeeded.

Post your comment below and share this article on your favorite social networks

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Angella McCall

22 Comments

  1. Hi Silviu,

    Thank you for this great tutorial and especially explaining what those Google analytic terms mean, which I don’t know too much about. I had no idea about how to create a new view either. Where did you learn all that?

    Have a great day!
    Sylviane Nuccio invites you to read… How To Find Writing Jobs That Pay Top Dollar?My Profile

    • Hi Sylviane,

      Thank you for the comment. Well, I attended a Google Analytics course called Digital Analytics Fundamentals. You can see the content of the course in the link in this reply.

      Then I decided to apply the knowledge because practice is very different than theory. So I apply the knowledge, explain the concepts, the methods and the techniques to other people and this means I will understand the whole domain better. Why?

      Simply because I still cannot afford a paid tracking and data collecting system. And there is no need to. Google analytics is so complex and can do so many things that you won’t feel the need for a paid system.

      Have a wonderful day
      Silviu Constantinescu invites you to read… Google Analytics Course Sliced into PiecesMy Profile

  2. Another great installment about G’s Analytics. :)

    On a side note, I tried contacting you, about your letter on John’s blog, but your contact link goes 404 and I couldn’t find an email address for you. Just wanted to offer my help, no strings.
    Ron Killian invites you to read… 7 Tips To High Profit Email MarketingMy Profile

    • Hi Ron,

      Thank you for the comment. Well, there is no contact form, yet. That’s because I am still trying to find a way to create a contact form without a plugin. Otherwise, it is easy to install Contact Form 7 or any other plugins but .. another plugin on my blog ?

      Well, if you want to talk to me (it is very nice of you), I will go to your blog and make a comment. I will make it as thoughtful and useful as possible. You will immediately see my email address there.

      Have a wonderful day

  3. Hi Silviu

    Thanks for explaining about setting up different views.

    I set things up in Google Analytics years ago and I’m not really sure what or how I did it!

    I’ve upgraded to Universal Analytics. I’m assuming it’s a similar process? I’ll go and check it out!
    Tim Bonner invites you to read… Money Back Guarantee: Is It Just A Sales Gimmick?My Profile

    • Hi Tim,

      Thank you for the comment. Funny…, I didn’t update it. Thank you for reminding me to do that.
      I think the process is similar but with Google … you never know. Nevertheless, the concept of views is a basic concept. I don’t think they will change it anytime soon.

      Have a wonderful day

  4. That is pretty interesting Silviu. I love stats, but I am still learning Google stats.

    I like the information that is given through this software. Great video, very clear.
    Michael Belk invites you to read… How to shine on a dull job hunt.My Profile

    • Hi Michael,

      Thank you for the comment and Welcome to my site. You started with a very targeted niche. However, you can expand it because you have expertise in the Safety domain. It is a very interesting domain and I don’t think you will face so much competition there. You CAN have an online business and be successful. Also, you can expand your activity and create another site or better, blog, in the Environmental health. Very interesting.

      Your path is clear, you know what you want, you have already chosen your niche and have solid knowledge and expertise there. Congratulations! Now you need to create content, increase people’s awareness of your blog and build strong relationships. If you are patient, time works in your favor. This time next year you will be known as an online expert in safety issues and your name will shine.

      When I checked your site, the first think I liked was the picture. My suggestion: take that picture and post it on your page called My experience. It is a wonderful picture and most people will like it instantly. The same thing happened to me and here I am, replying to your comment.

      What can I do for you? Well, the first thing I did was to approve this comment and send you this reply. In the next comment you make, you will be able to post a link to your site. The link will be dofollow and will be important for search engines and your Alexa rank.

      You are not from my niche (internet marketing, blogging, content creation, writing). Normally I wouldn’t approve such a comment. But it doesn’t matter. I like you and I don’t care so much about Google algorithms.

      You may come to my site whenever you want and leave a comment. Just avoid those empty, general comments that fit into every niche (example: “Great post. Thank you. I learned so much.”). I approve only comments that add value to the discussion.

      The second thing I can do is to come to your site and leave a comment. You have already got some nice comments there. This will help you build the social proof you need.
      It won’t be easy for me to comment on a topic I know nothing about but I will do my best to add value to the respective post.

      The third thing I can do is to tell you about the value of blog comments. If you want to build strong relationships, connections with powerful bloggers, you must comment on other people’s blogs. Do not make the mistake to jump to social media at this stage. Let me explain.

      Your site/blog is the headquarters of your business and the place where you create value (information, products, services) that you will sell later. Social media is your distribution network. You must have your distribution network but, if you don’t have anything to distribute … it won’t do you any good.
      So a business must have both elements in place: site / blog with content and products AND social media accounts.

      I think at this stage you must develop your blog with great content extracted from your knowledge and expertise and from your online research on the internet. Then you need to promote your blog with blog comments, guest posts and social media updates.

      Blog commenting is one of the first steps you must take and you have already started. Now, as far as I can see you use CommentLuv free version (there is no plus sign near the word ComentLuv). CommentLuv free version is good. I have tested it for months. You can see how important it is, if you check my link to this reply.

      However, CommentLuv free version is tiny compared to CommentLuv Premium. So whenever you can, I suggest you to invest in the Premium version. It will give you more power, increase the exposure of your site, build awareness and help you get rid of spam.

      I think that is all. Thank you very much for taking the time and effort to come to my site and make a commemnt.

      Have a wonderful day
      Silviu Constantinescu invites you to read… Blog Commenting Results. Case Study 1My Profile

      • Wow Silviu thanks for all the valuable advice. I have already added the picture and I will be trying to see what others changes I can make.

        You have gone well beyond what most bloggers will do. I appreciate you for taking the time to give me so much valuable information so I can improve my blog.

        You are right I have many experiences I can share with my readers.

        I can not express the appreciation I feel right now. I feel like I am owe your much gratitude.

        I am glad to have met you because not many people would take the time to share their opinions and advice in this manner for free.

        I will definitely make your blog one of my most visited blogs.

        I understand the need for valuable comments and I promise to never leave any short generic comments.

        Do not worry about not being familiar with topics outside of your niche because life teaches us Worldly things we can always find a situation that relates to the topic of choice.

        Anyone interested in learning more about becoming a correctional officer or wanting some expert advice on the subject please visit http://www.correctionalofficerinfo.com

        I am willing to network with anyone from any niche. thanks Michael
        Michael Belk invites you to read… How to shine on a dull job hunt.My Profile

        • HI Michael,

          Thanks for the comment. You are right about sharing for free. So many people ask for money from the first contact they make and from the first blog post they write. However, how can you show people who you are and what you have to offer unless you give something for free first. Even more, I think giving is the first thing a blogger must do. Give freely, openly, joyfully and without asking for anything in return. People will like and trust you and in time, they will follow you, recommend you, subscribe to your list and buy from you. This is not only the future but also the present.

          Have a wonderful day

  5. Jeevan Jacob John
    Twitter:
    Reply to Jeevan

    Appreciate the tutorial, Silviu :)

    I never got to finish the Analytics academy videos, so this posts will definitely help :)

    I am going to setup a testing view right away :D It is always good to test out before we make big changes to our data; helps to be prepared :D

    I never fully took advantage of the features available in Google Analytics. I am going to try and do it with my new blog. Hopefully everything will go as planned.

    Anyways, thank you for the post, Silviu :) Appreciate it! Hope you are having a good week.

    • Hi Jacob,

      Thank you for the comment. We should take advantage of Google Analytics now as long it remains free. With Google you never know. I heard they already have a Google Analytics Premium.

      Why should we take advantage of G.A. now? Because we can learn how to track and collect data for free with a very good program. We can learn the basic concepts, strategies and methods now. Later, when we will have enough money to buy our own tracking and data collecting program, these concepts (which are universal) will help us work with any software of this kind. The learning process will be much, much easier.

      One last benefit: if you know how to collect, track and interpret your blog’s data, yourself you will never feel the need to outsource it so you will save a lot of money.

      Have a wonderful day
      Silviu Constantinescu invites you to read… Blog Commenting Results. Case Study 1My Profile

  6. Hi Silviu,

    Thanks very much for showing us so clearly how to set up these views. I appreciate the way you’re sharing the information you’ve learned on your recent course. I’m not very good at using Google Analytics, as I’m generally not too hot on data analysis, but I know I need to start paying more attention to it.

    By the way, I couldn’t hear sound when I tried playing the video here, but it was fine on YouTube – not sure if it’s a problem with my browser.

    Thanks, again, for a great tutorial :)
    Susan Neal invites you to read… How To Write Tutorial Blog Posts That Go ViralMy Profile

    • Hi Sue,

      Thank you for the comment. Well, you probably don’t need to collect data now. However, when you will write your first ebook and make it available for selling, you will need to collect data in order to see how well your book is performing. At that moment, Google analytics, which is a very good tool and it is free, will become more important.

      Have a wonderful day
      Silviu Constantinescu invites you to read… Blog Commenting Results. Case Study2My Profile

  7. Silviu – ignore the end of my last commment – have just tried again and the sound’s now coming through fine on your video here on the site – not sure what the problem was! Sorry for any inconvenience.
    Susan Neal invites you to read… How To Write Tutorial Blog Posts That Go ViralMy Profile

    • Hi Sue,

      Yes, the internet is very dynamic and things like that happens all the time. There are times when something happens on the road to my site and for a few seconds the site is unavailable. It just happens. There are many servers on that path and sometimes one of them has a hiccup. You just need to be patient and try again. It will work.

      Have a wonderful day

  8. Hi Silviu !
    This is a great video and a complete tutorial that explains the data views in Google Analytics. For newbies , this is a gem of a post .Thanks for sharing the tutorial mate !

    -Pramod
    Pramod invites you to read… Best WordPress backup plugins that are freeMy Profile

  9. Silviu
    It’s great to see you passing on the knowledge you have gained about analytics.
    It is not always easy for people to get going with this tool, and I am sure that everyone appreciates your efforts.
    Keep up the awesome job
    ashley
    Ashley / Madlemmings invites you to read… Black Friday / Cyber Monday Deals (Hosting, Themes and more)My Profile

    • Hi Ashley,

      Thank you for the comment and for your kind words. Well, you are a web developer and you attended the course so you know damn well this program is not easy to use and to learn. I will try my best to study it, understand it, apply the knowledge and then teach other people the “how to”. I am aware it is a boring topic (data collecting) but it is boring only for amateurs. Professionals know well how important collecting data for your business is.

      One more thing. We should try to learn data collecting with G.A. now as long as Google keeps it free. Sooner or later you will have to pay. Why not learning the fundamentals now?

      Have a wonderful day

  10. Hi Silviu,

    I think this is a great tutorial for beginners. I can certainly say that I learnt some of these things while I was trying to latch onto GA after I decided to remove Jetpack from my blog because it was a heavy plugin with a lot of features that I didn’t need anyway.

    This is great stuff and thank you for sharing this. I think Google Analytics is a great way not to just track traffic but do much more than that. I am having a lot of fun with it :-)

    Happy Thanksgiving to you!

    Regards,
    Kumar
    Kumar Gauraw invites you to read… WordPress Is Not A Ping Spammer And You Don’t Need Any Ping OptimizerMy Profile

    • Hi Kumar,

      Thanks for the comment. I used Jetpack, too. I didn’t like it. I don’t remember why. Probably the same reason you didn’t like it, too. You are having fun with Google Analytics? WOW! You are great, man. The first one who says that.

      Have a wonderful day

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