Understanding the Google Analytics account structure


The Google Analytics’ set up is comprised of three main components:

1. Account:

  • An account is the highest level of organization, and your access point for Google Analytics. You need at least one account to have access to Google Analytics, and to identify the property you want to track.
  • An account can contain one or more properties.
  • You are able to create and manage up to 100 Google Analytics accounts, per individual Google account.

2. Property:

  • A property is a specific website, mobile application, or device (e.g. a kiosk or point-of-sale device).
  • When you add a property to an account, Google Analytics generates the tracking code that you use to collect data from that property. The tracking code contains a unique ID that identifies the data from that property, and makes it easily identifiable in your reports.
  • Google Analytics will only begin collecting data from the date and time at which the tracking code is successfully installed in the web pages.
  • It takes 24 hours for a full day’s data to be collected and confirmed, so when undertaking full monthly reports (e.g. 1-31 January) it is recommended to wait 1-2 days after the end date to ensure all data is populated.

3. View:

  • Properties contain views, which are defined views of reporting data for the property.
  • A property can contain one or more views.
  • Google Analytics automatically creates one unfiltered view for each property you add.
  • You should leave this original view unfiltered, so that you always have a view in which you can see all the data. You can create additional views and apply filters to them so that they each include the specific subset of data in which you’re interested.
  • For example, within a property you might have:
    • one view of all the data for www.example.com
    • one view of the data from www.example.com EXCLUDING all traffic from the organisation’s own main IP address (to block out their own internal visits)
  • Once you create a view, the reports for that view will show data from the creation date of the view forward. For example, if you create a view on 1 January, that view will show data from 1 January forward, but will not show any data collected prior to 1 January.
  • If you delete a view, that specific perspective of the data is gone forever. Don’t delete a view if you think you might ever want to report on that particular perspective of the data.

You can move a Google Analytics property from one account to another.

However, we strongly recommended that you create and use one Google Analytics account for each organization/business, with only related organization/business properties within it.

Next lesson: Understanding Google Analytics users and permissions