Event Scoped Custom Dimensions in GA4 – Tutorial

Table of Contents for Event Scoped Custom Dimensions in GA4 – Tutorial

  1. Creating an event-scoped custom dimension by registering a parameter with event scope in the GA4 user interface
  2. Creating an event-scoped custom dimension via an automatically tracked parameter
  3. Creating an event-scoped custom dimension via a custom parameter
  4. Applying an event-scoped custom dimension via ‘Add Comparison’
  5. Applying an event-scoped custom dimension as a secondary dimension
  6. Applying event-scoped custom dimensions to Analysis Hub reports

A custom dimension which has event scope is called an event-scoped custom dimension.

Event-scope means the value of the custom dimension is calculated and sent for each event. 

Creating an event-scoped custom dimension by registering a parameter with event scope in the GA4 user interface

In GA4 the values of custom dimensions and custom metrics are supplied by logged event parameters. So, before you create an event-scoped custom dimension, you need a logged event parameter in your GA4 reporting view. 

A logged event parameter is one that is already being tracked and reported by your GA4 reporting view. 

For example, the ‘page_title’ parameter is a logged parameter:

You can also create a custom dimension or custom metric before logging the event parameter but that is not the best practice for creating custom dimensions/metrics.

 
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Creating an event-scoped custom dimension via an automatically tracked parameter

Let us suppose you want to register the automatically collected parameter ‘page_title’ as an event-scoped custom dimension. 

To do that follow the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to your GA4 property view and then click on the ‘Custom Definitions’ link:

Step-2: Click on the ‘Create Custom Dimensions‘ button:

Step-3: Enter a name for your custom dimension. This name will appear in your GA4 reports, so use a descriptive name:

Note: You can always change the dimension name later if you want. 

Step-4: Make sure the scope is set to ‘Event’:

Note: Once you have set the scope, you cannot change it later.

Step-5: Enter a description for your dimension in the ‘Description’ field so that later on it becomes easier to understand what the dimension is all about:

Note: Entering a description for your custom dimension is optional.

Step-6: Select the event parameter ‘page_title‘ from the drop-down menu:

The event parameter ‘page_title‘ supplies the value to your custom dimension. 

Note: Once you have selected an event parameter, you cannot change it later.

Step-7: Click on the ‘Save’ button at the top right-hand side:

You should now see your new custom dimension listed under the ‘Custom dimensions’ section:

Step-8: Wait for a full 24 hrs and then navigate to the ‘Engagement Events‘ report in your GA4 reporting view:

NOTE: You may see a value of (not set) for a custom dimension during the first 24 hours after its creation.

Step-9: Click on the ‘page_view’ event:

You should now see the report on the ‘page_view’ event:

Step-10: Scroll down the  ‘page_view’ event report until you see the data card named ‘TITLE OF THE PAGE’:

You only see this data card in the  ‘page_view’ event report because you registered the ‘page_title’ parameter as a custom dimension. Otherwise, you won’t see this data card.

This data card will appear in every event report where you (or GA4) are passing the ‘page_title’ parameter along with the event. This is one advantage of registering a parameter as a custom dimension.

Step-11: Click on the events drop-down menu at the top:

Step-12: Select the ‘click’ event:

You should now see the report on the ‘click’ event. 

Step-13: Scroll down the  ‘click’ event report until you see the data card named ‘TITLE OF THE PAGE’:

You only see this data card in the ‘click’ event report because you registered the ‘page_title’ parameter as a custom dimension. Otherwise, you won’t see this data card.

Creating an event-scoped custom dimension via a custom parameter

Now let us suppose you are passing the ‘payment_type’ custom parameter with the ‘purchase’ event and this parameter is being logged (i.e. recorded).

Let us also suppose you registered the ‘payment_type’ parameter as an event-scoped custom dimension:

Now follow the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to the ‘Engagement Events’ report in your demo GA4 reporting view:

Step-2: Type ‘purchase’ in the search box and then press the enter key in order to find the ‘purchase’ event:

Step-3: Click on the ‘purchase’ event:

You should now see the ‘purchase’ event report:

Step-4: Scroll down the ‘purchase’ event report until you see the data card named ‘PAYMENT_TYPE’:

You see this data card in the ‘purchase’ event report only because you (or technically speaking, Google in the case of this demo property) registered the ‘payment_type’ custom parameter as a custom dimension. Otherwise, you won’t see this data card.

Applying an event-scoped custom dimension via ‘Add Comparison’

Once you have registered a logged event parameter as an event-scoped custom dimension, you can then apply the custom dimension to any GA4 report via the ‘Add Comparison’ feature.

In GA4, we use the ‘Add comparison’ feature (instead of segments or filters) to evaluate and compare subsets of data. 

Let’s apply the ‘PAYMENT_TYPE’ custom dimension we created earlier to the Traffic Acquisition report in GA4 to see which payment type is being used by users from a particular marketing channel.

Follow the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to the Traffic Acquisition report in the GA4 demo reporting view:

Step-2: Click on the ‘Add Comparison’ button:

You should now see an overlay at the right-hand side of your screen like the one below:

Step-3: Select the ‘payment_type’ dimension from the dimension drop-down menu:

Step-4: Click on the ‘Dimension Values’ drop-down menu:

Step-5: Select the ‘Pay with Credit Card’ and ‘Pay with Purchase Order’ checkboxes and then click on the ‘OK’ button:

Step-6: Click on the ‘Apply’ button:

You should now see the new comparison added to the Traffic Acquisition report:

Step-7: Scroll down the Traffic Acquisition report until you see the data table with the comparisons applied to it:

Step-8: Navigate to any other GA4 report and you should see the same new comparison applied to the report:

That’s how you can apply an event-scoped custom dimension to GA4 reports via the ‘Add Comparison’ feature.

Another advantage of registering an event parameter as an event-scoped custom dimension is that you can report on the same event parameter for as many events as you like without passing the same parameter over and over again for each individual event.

Applying an event-scoped custom dimension as a secondary dimension

Once you have registered a logged event parameter as an event-scoped custom dimension, you can then apply the custom dimension as a secondary dimension to any GA4 report which contains a data table.

For example, the User Acquisition report contains a data table:

Click on the ‘+’ button next to the primary dimension ‘User medium’ to apply a secondary dimension to the data table:

Click on ‘Custom (Event-scoped)’ from the drop-down menu:

Click on ‘payment_type’:

You should now see the ‘payment_type’ event-scoped custom dimension applied to the User Acquisition report as the secondary dimension:

That’s how you can apply event-scoped custom dimensions to GA4 reports as secondary dimensions.

Applying event-scoped custom dimensions to Analysis Hub reports

Once you have registered a logged event parameter as an event-scoped custom dimension, you can then apply the custom dimension to the Analysis Hub reports.

About the Analysis Hub in GA4

The Analysis Hub is an important feature of the GA4 user interface which allows advanced analysis. It is made up of multiple report templates like: 

  • Blank
  • Exploration
  • Funnel Analysis
  • Path Analysis
  • Segment Overlap, etc.

Let’s create a new advanced analysis via the blank report template and then apply the ‘payment_type’ event-scoped custom dimension to it.

Follow the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to ‘Analysis Hub’ in your GA4 demo reporting view:

Step-2: Click on the ‘Blank’ template:

Step-3: Click on the ‘+’ button next to ‘Dimensions’:

Step-4: Click on the magnifying glass in order to open the search box

You should now see a search box (which is used to search for a particular dimension):

Step-5: Type ‘payment’ in the search box:

Step-6: Click on the ‘payment_type’ checkbox and then click on the ‘Apply’ button:

You should now see the ‘payment_type’ dimension listed under the ‘Dimensions’ section:

Step-7: Click on the ‘Drop or select dimension‘ button:

Step-8: Click on ‘payment_type’ from the drop-down menu:

You should now see the ‘payment_type’ dimension is applied to the canvas on the right:

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