User Explorer report is one of the core elements of Google Analytics, and it became better in GA4 than Universal Analytics. You can apply filters; you can sort events by date; you can also hide certain users’ actions, and can use it to meet GDPR and CCPA regulations to remove users’ data from Google Analytics 4.
Moreover, you can use User Deletion API to remove a user from GA4, which allows you to integrate this functionality into users’ profile settings on your website or product.
You can learn more about this feature in this article. I guarantee to keep it short and comprehensive. Let’s get started.
What’s a User Explorer report, and Why should you use it?
According to Google’s documentation, user explorer lets you select specific groups of users, such as users who engaged with your property on both your app and website and drill down on each user’s activities.
This report is viable to understand your users better and troubleshoot your implementation. If you see that your website or product traffic or sessions are duplicated, you can use this report to figure out the cause of it and fix it.
Besides that, you can have a group of users who are highly loyal to your product, or they have an onboarding score close to 100% and way higher than others have. You want to know why precisely these users, what they did with the product and how you can share this experience with other users. User Explorer report can help you to answer these questions.
So, to start, you should access it.
How to find the User Explorer report in Google Analytics 4?
To access the GA4 User Explorer report, you should take the following steps:
- Open Google Analytics, go to Explore and click on “Templates gallery”
- Select “User explorer”
- Click on “App-instance ID” to View Individual User Activity
- You can apply segments and filters to select the group of users you want to work with.
Apart from that, you can always dive deeper into User Explorer report by clicking the right button on your mouse and selecting “View users”. It’s a unique feature that Universal Analytics didn’t have.
Overall you can already spend some time playing with segments, filters and reports but let me explain the core components of this report.
How to use the GA4 User Explorer report
As you can notice above, there are many elements that you can select, add, edit or remove in this report. Let’s move through them to understand better when you should use which.
The first position is responsible for the time period you apply. Remember to adjust it to see the appropriate users.
The second section allows you to add, create and edit segments of users, you can apply them using section #5.
The third and fourth sections allow you to add dimensions and metrics from gallery to this report and use them for reporting adding them to sections #6 and #8.
“Start row” is responsible for showing the report from the first user or the second or third ones. You can change 1 to 2 and 3 and see that the first or the first two users are hidden.
“Show rows” feature allow you to select the number of users you want to see. The default value is 10 but you can adjust it up to 500 users.
“Cell type” allows you to apply bar, plain or heat map for your report. I usually use plain, but you can experiment with it on different reports and see which suits you best.
Section #10 allows you to create and apply filters. For instance, you can use segments or filters to include only users from the US.
And last but not least, section #11 allows you to redo the change, export the report or share your visualisation with your colleagues in read-only mode. The green icon shows that your report uses 100% of the data, and the red icon shows that the threshold was applied. If this is the case, I recommend you look at cardinality. Most likely, there is a bug in GA4 implementation.
Besides all of the above, you can sort users by clicking on the column headers. As I mentioned above, to move from the overall level to the individual user view, you should click on the app-instance id or user id. It will automatically open the data about a particular user in the new tab.
How to use the GA4 Individual User Activity View
So, let’s discuss what features we can use in Individual User Activity View.
The first section allows us to select the type of event we want to see:
- Screen View
If we are not interested in the certain events, for instance “scroll” event, we can remove it using filter “event name doesn’t contain scroll”. This way we can select only events we are interested to see. It can speed up your analysis.
Besides that, you can display all events or collapse them to date and then select the exact date you are interested to delver deeper.
And the last one of this section is that you can sort events by date, ascending and descending.
The second position gives you information about the user, such as user_id or app-instance id, first acquisition channel, location and other custom dimensions.
The third section shows you the overview metrics of your user’s activity.
The fourth section allows you to see the exact events users generated, and by clicking on them, you can access section 6 which shows you the event parameters, audiences and device information. Remember, if you want to see more event parameters and dimensions in this report, you should add them as custom dimensions in GA4; otherwise, you can read the last chapter of this article to find another solution.
The fifth section presents the number of events per event category generated on a specific date.
You can also see the overall number of events by event category in section #6.
How to delete a user in GA4 using the User Explorer report
The last section of Individual User Activity View is section #8. You can use it to delete the user. Please be careful because there is no redo function for that.
Once you click on this button, this user will stop displaying in the exploration reports within 24 hours and will be permanently deleted within the next 63 days.
However, if you receive a request to delete users’ data from your SaaS customer, you can use this option. Otherwise, you can check all available options to delete a user in GA4 here or use User Deletion API.
Way to advance GA4 User Explorer report
Of course, the main disadvantage of using GA4 User Explorer report is that Individual View shows only custom dimensions (event and user-scope). It doesn’t allow full access to your data via a few clicks.
However, you can still integrate GA4 with BigQuery and access the entire users’ data. Then you can write SQL statements and prepare the data for Data Studio. Using Google Looker Studio (Data Studio), you can build a report allowing you to see all event and user parameters without creating custom dimensions in Google Analytics 4.
If you would like to receive a sample of such a report, comment below, and if this article gets 15 comments, I will create it and update the post with it. Just one thing, remember to use your actual email address for the comment; otherwise, I won’t be able to keep you posted.
So, this article covered what’s User Explorer report is, why you need it, how to use it and how to use Individual View Report available in Google Analytics 4. As a part of that, you learned how to delete users’ data in GA4 and what to do to have more event and user parameters in the User Explorer report.
Frequently Asked Questions
GA4 User Explorer lets you see the specific segment of users and drill down on each user’s activities.
You can find User Explorer report in GA4 Explore -> Template gallery -> User Explorer
To create a User Explorer report, use GA Explorations. Navigate to GA4 Explore, selectTemplate gallery and click on “User Explorer” template.
Suppose you want to see more event and user dimensions. In that case, consider adding them as custom dimensions or using Google BigQuery & Data Studio to build the report using row GA4 data.
Google created User Explorer report on the 12th of May, 2021. Therefore, you can’t access data before that date.