"Don't Fail with Scale": Line Charts in Google Analytics

We stumbled across this interesting post by Lunametrics.com, called Plot Rows in Google Analytics.

It discusses the time series charts in Google Analytics. There’s almost always one at the top of the page, showing you a metric graphed against your date selection.

In the current Google Analytics, there’s only one way to really get context on your charts. You can use Advanced Segments, which will display multiple lines for each segment on your timeline:



advanced segments

With the new version of Google Analytics, the Plot Rows feature lets you graph any two rows from the data table below.



plotrows-plotrows-button

This is pretty limited though. What if you wanted to compare 3 different sources? Or 4? Even 5? This is where you need to use a tool like Bime. No messing around with plot rows or segments. Just easy drag and drop in a simple elegant interface. Let's compare:

In Google Analytics:

Maximum 3 sources; 'all visits' mandatory



plotrows-referral-plotted

In Bime (visit numbers removed for privacy):

Multiple sources, add/remove sources as you wish



bime-traffic-sources

Don’t Fail with Scale

There are even more drawbacks to line charts in Google Analytics. If you’re not careful, the scale of the chart can hinder your analysis. Take a look at the following:



line graph

At the moment, you can't get rid of the blue line (total). With Bime, it's only a matter of unchecking a checkbox. If you absolutely need to keep certain elements in the chart, you can simply adjust the axis (min value, max value and interval value) to make your chart more understandable.

To show you, I quickly created in Bime, a chart displaying the types of segments often comparable in GA (all visits, direct traffic, new visitors, returning visitors...etc).

See the screencast and the screenshots below.





Display all desired traffic sources on one easy-to-read graph

comparison-traffic-sources

Filter out the sources you want to exclude

single-source

Choose the source you want to display

sources-filtered

Take a look at our Google Analytics Connector video on our videos page for a more detailed overview. :)