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Google Analytics: Change in Interface for Report Sampling

Google Analytics has recently changed how they notify users of data sampling in the Google Analytics reporting interface.

Here is an example of the interface indicating that the report does not use sampled data (note that this image shows the informational box that appears when you click on the icon):

Here is an example of the interface indicating that the report uses sampled data (note that this image shows the informational box that appears when you click on the icon):

Sampling is generally not a problem, as the overall trend is still reliable, but you do have to remember that in these cases that the metrics you are seeing are not completely accurate but are estimates. This may be a factor if you are looking for data for dimensions with a low number of hits.

You can try to avoid data sampling in a number of ways:

  • using a smaller date range in your report
  • setting-up a custom report for just the dimensions and metrics you are interested in
  • setting-up a new profile with filters to restrict the amount of incoming data
  • use the Google Analytics API to pull your data in smaller, unsampled chunks, and then assemble the full dataset from the chunks

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