Why Is “All Web Site Data” Still Your Only View?

Admin Screen - Create New Viewview at full size

In the Admin screen, it’s easy to create a new view.

If you or your team have already created additional views for your Google Analytics property (or properties), congratulations. You’re already doing at least one thing the way you’re supposed to.

Why is it considered best-practice to have multiple views per property? For one thing, you should be filtering out your internal traffic and your development server activity, and there are also a range of other view settings and filter that can help you to clean, consolidate, and segment your view data.

However, you should not apply any settings or filters to your single All Web Site Data view. At a minimum, you should create a test view and a backup view.

As a note, the previous name for view was profile. In Google Analytics, the terms are synonymous. View is a more descriptive name, since the purpose of a view is to provide a particular view on your raw Website or app data.

You can create up to 50 views per standard Google Analytics account, but you do need Edit access at the property or account level.

Still have only that one view? Create test and backup views today, and try out a filter or setting in your test view. In any case, don’t be afraid to create additional views: backup and test to begin with, and whenever you need a more specialized representation of your data.

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Create Additional Profiles: Raw, Test, and Any Others You Need

Although Google Analytics generates only a single profile for each property (that is, website or app) that you add to your account, you can create up to 49 additional profiles yourself.

You should, at a minimum, create the following additional profiles:

  • raw/unfiltered – Maintain one profile with the default settings and no filters. Remember: data filtered from profiles is irretrievable, and you’ll want to be able to refer to a completely unfiltered data set if the need ever arises.
  • test – Are you unsure about the configuration of a new Custom Filter? Are you using a complex regular expression as the Destination URL in one of your Goals? Use a test profile for a quick dry-run before transferring over to the default profile.

Other specialized profiles that might be useful:

  • referring partners or affiliates – Apply a Referral or Campaign Source filter to the profile. You could then provide your partners with read-only access to this profile while withholding data for traffic that originates from other sources.
  • geography – Apply a Country, City, or Language filter.
  • development vs. production environments – If you have the same Google Analytics Tracking Code running in your development environment as your production environment, apply a filter for your development hostname (such as dev.mysite.com) so you can track and test exclusively on the development server.

There are many other profiles that you might want to create. With 50 available per account, there’s no need to hold back.

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