This article is an addition to my other article about the Free Form report in Google Analytics 4. In this article, I will go through every visualization available in the Free Form report and which one you should select when you use them.
GA4 Free Form has 6 visualization types.
The first visualisation type is Table. This visualisation type reminds Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, where you can select columns, rows and variables to show. I won’t talk about it so much because this one is appropriately explained in my article “How to use GA4 Free Form report”.
You can use it whenever you want to have a tabular view. You can also use it to see the metric change over time by using time dimensions.
The second option is Donut Chart. Here are a few cases when you can consider using Donut Chart vs other options.
- Active Users vs Device Category
- Transactions vs Gende
- Event counts vs Default Channel Grouping
There is a clear rule in analytics that donut chart can be used if the variable doesn’t have more than 6 options. For instance, “Country” dimension can have more than 100 options (US, UK, CA, PL, IT, etc). Therefore, it’s better to use Bar Chart or Geo map.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that you can’t build a report to present active users number with Country breakdown. It does mean that it’s not appropriate.
For instance, I created a donut chart report to show # of transactions from the USA with a breakdown by the device category where I filtered out “smart tv”. You can see this at the top of this chapter.
The third option is Line Chart. It’s one of the most exciting options because it allows you to use machine-learning models used by Google Analytics 4 – anomaly prediction.
Anomaly Detection allows you to understand better if the metric change is something unusual or extraordinary that you need to worry about or, if it’s positive, to replicate.
Anomaly Detection in GA4 also enables you to select the training period used for the model and the sensitivity. There is no one option here. Sometimes you can find that a low-sensitivity model works better for your data than high sensitivity and vice versa. The same happens with the training period, you shouldn’t take it to the maximum. You should adjust it periodically and see which one shows real anomalies.
If GA4 shows anomaly, you can click on it and click on “View Users” to see the individual users’ profiles or you can create the segment and analyse them deeply.
Another helpful option of this visualisation is that you can select granularity whether you want to see hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. Unfortunately, the week starts on Sundays only, and you can’t change it to Monday.
There are other things to adjust in this report:
- You can apply up to 4 segments and you can compare them easily since GA4 breakdown your screen into a few charts
- You can apply filters, for instance, to exclude smart tv traffic.
- You can use one dimension to break down the data.
The fourth visualization type is Scatterplot. Scatterplot is a graph in which the values of two variables are plotted along two axes, the pattern of the resulting points revealing any correlation present.
This is an excellent report to see, for instance, new users vs transactions with country breakdown.
There are a few features you can play with in this report.
- You can create and apply a segment.
- You can add a breakdown dimension.
- You can add a metric to X axis
- You can add a metric to Y axis
- You can regulate the bubble size.
- You can apply the filter.
In order to show you how it works, I made the following changes:
- All Traffic Besides Paid Search Traffic Segment
- Country as a breakdown dimension
- New users – X axis
- Transactions – Y axis
- Promotions views – bubble size
- Country doesn’t contain United Kingdom as a filter
And we received a highly interesting report. It shows that US traffic converted much better than the traffic from Canada, but we also see that it was because US traffic visited the promotion pages more often than Canadian traffic.
The fifth option is a bar chart. A bar chart can be a great option to present the following things:
- Active users vs Country
- New Users vs Device Category
- Transactions or Active users vs Default Channel Grouping
- New Users and Conversion rate vs Device model or Language
There are many cases when a Bar chart can be one of the best options. Remember just a thing that I mentioned about Donut charts. You can use a donut chart or a bar chart whenever the dimension has no more than 6 values, and whenever it has more than 6 values, you should stick to a bar chart.
And last but not least is the Geo map. Of course, you can use it whenever you want to break down a metric by geographical dimensions such as country, city, region, subcontinent or continent.
There are a few things you can play with in this visualisation:
- You can create and apply a segment.
- You can select a geo breakdown dimension.
- You can add one metric
- You can select how many variables of the metric you want to see on the report by adjusting “Points per dimension”.
- You can apply the filter. You can use a dimension or a metric. For instance, the country doesn’t equal the United Kingdom or active users > 200.
Also, you can’t use a metric that is not used as a Value for a filter and you also can’t use any other dimensions apart from geo dimensions for filters. In this case, you should build and apply segments.
Google Analytics 4 Free Form report has 6 visualisations to help you analyse data more efficiently and present it to the end consumers so they can comprehend your information faster. It’s a new and exciting feature of GA4 that we didn’t have in Universal Analytics.
If you have any questions about visualisations, please don’t hesitate to comment below.
Frequently Asked Questions
GA4 Free Form report allows selecting one of the following visualisations:
1 Table View
2 Donut Chart
3 Line Chart
5 Bar Chart
6 Geo map
You can use a donut or bar chart whenever the dimension has no more than 6 value. When it has more than 6 values you should stick to a bar chart.