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How To Make Free Form Reports In GA4

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blog on How To Make Free Form Reports In GA4 by Global Reach

Posted on 12/20/2022 at 10:00 AM

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a powerful tool that provides you with a wealth of information about the visitors to your website. The downside of having so much information is that you can easily become overwhelmed and drown in massive amounts of unorganized data. Fortunately, the GA4 platform offers robust reporting features to help organize and analyze your website data. 

Free Form reports in Google Analytics 4 allow you to focus the data from your GA4 account and can help you grade the success of your digital marketing strategy. In this mini GA4 tutorial, we will cover everything that you need to know about the Free Form reporting feature in your Google Analytics 4 account. 

What Are Free Form Reports In GA4?

Free Form reports (formerly known as Exploration reports) are a great way to organize and present your website data in easy-to-read tables and graphs. You may already be familiar with a similar feature if you are transitioning to GA4 from Google’s earlier Universal Analytics. In that legacy analytics tool, users could generate similar Google Analytics reports under the Customizations menu.

Why Should You Use Free Form Reports?

There are many reasons you should use the Free Form reporting in your Google Analytics 4 property. 

  • The tool is incredibly flexible and customizable, allowing you to organize your data in rows or columns as you like.
  • Users can apply a variety of filters to remove irrelevant data and information, giving your report more focus.
  • It allows you to create easy-to-read visualizations of your data. These Google Analytics graphs and charts are a simple and effective way to make your data presentable to others. 
  • Free Form reports are better than standard reports for analyzing Google Analytics data. You can compare the metrics you choose side by side and uncover deeper insights about the people that visit your website. You can see if your marketing efforts are attracting the target audiences and adjust your strategy if needed. 
  • You can share or export your Google Analytics data in the form of Google Sheets, or as a TSV, CSV, or PDF file. 

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Check out the GA4 video tutorial below to watch the step-by-step in action!

How To Create Free Form Reports In GA4

What You Need

To set up Free Form reports in Google Analytics 4, you will need certain permissions in your GA4 account.

  • Editor permissions in the Google Analytics 4 account

Step By Step: How To Generate Free Form Reports

Step One:

Open your Google Analytics 4 property and navigate to the third icon on the left panel. This is for the “Explore” section of the platform, which has replaced custom reports on Universal Analytics. 

blog on How To Make Free Form Reports In GA4 by Global Reach

Step Two:

You will have some report formats to choose from, and you have many great choices, but for today let’s to “Free Form”.

blog on How To Make Free Form Reports In GA4 by Global Reach

Step Three:

This will open what is essentially a blank canvas for you to manipulate. The first thing you will need to do is import the dimensions and metrics that you want.

blog on How To Make Free Form Reports In GA4 by Global Reach

Step Four:

Import all dimensions and metrics that you want, this will generate the data to be displayed in your report. Keep in mind that you will need at least one dimension and one metric, otherwise, your report will not compute. There are many dimensions available right out of the box - but you can also import custom dimensions.

blog on How To Make Free Form Reports In GA4 by Global Reach

Step Five:

Once you’ve selected and imported your dimensions and metrics, you can start to construct the report to your liking. In this example, I moved my Dimension into ROWS and my Metric into VALUES.

blog on How To Make Free Form Reports In GA4 by Global Reach

Step Six:

Now you’ve put together a Free Form report! Some key functionalities to note: 
a) Manipulate date ranges 
b) Edit the name of the report 
c) Edit the name of the tab 
d) Edit the number of rows that show on the report

blog on How To Make Free Form Reports In GA4 by Global Reach

More GA4 Tutorials

With Universal Analytics' sunset approaching in 2023, Global Reach is here to help you make an easy transition to GA4. Each month we will be doing a blog on “How To in GA4” to help you and your business take full advantage of all the features your GA4 account has to offer. Be sure to check out last month’s Google Analytics 4 tutorial, How To Set Up GA4 Custom Events Using Google Tag Manager!

With a variety of Google Analytics 4 training tutorials, Global Reach is here to help you learn how to get the most out of your GA4 account. Be sure to check out our YouTube channel for more information on GA4 and other marketing tools.

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Global Reach’s digital marketing team includes Google Analytics specialists who can help you with any of your Google tools needs. With our comprehensive digital marketing services, Global Reach can set up your GA4 accounts, create custom reports, and train you and your team on how to use Google Analytics 4. Get your business set up for success in GA4!

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