User Explorer Google Analytics 4 (GA4) – Tutorial

Table of Contents for User Explorer Google Analytics 4 (GA4) – Tutorial  

  1. User Explorer report overview
  2. Creating a User Explorer report
  3. Possible customizations
  4. Individual user-level data
  5. Sharing and downloading reports
  6. FAQ

In this article, I am going to talk about the User Explorer report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

User Explorer report overview

The User Explorer report allows you to explore and drill down into the behavior of a specific group of users or an individual user. 

Using this report you can dig down into any issues faced by users while doing purchases or conversions on your website. 

You can also use this report to gain more deep insights on how users behave on your website and accordingly take actions or customize the user experience. 

You can get a list of all events generated by the user one by one in the sequence they were recorded by GA4. 

User Explorer report in Google Analytics 4

If you look at the above image from the User Explorer report (individual user level report), you can easily get multiple insights like:

  1. User properties like country, first seen on, user ID, etc.
  2. The total list of events and their count like page_views, user_engagement, session_start, scroll events, click events, etc.
  3. Total revenue generated by the user to date.
  4. A total number of transactions.
  5. Total hours of user engagement on the website or mobile application.
  6. Session level events in sequential order. For example, on 11th July 2021, a user has visited two times on website session 1 and session 2 with its time and events details.

You can also get a User Explorer report for a specific group of people. For example, the below report shows the total list of users and their details who came from organic sources.

example of user explorer report 1

Now, let’s learn more about how to create User Explorer reports.

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Creating a User Explorer report

To create a User Explorer report there are two methods. The first method is to use the menu option available in GA4 and the second method is by turning your current visualization into a User Explorer report. We will look into both methods one by one.

1) Using the menu option

Follow the below steps to create your first User Explorer report using the menu option.

Step-1: Navigate to your Google Analytics 4 property.

Step-2: Now on the left-hand side navigation menu, click on ‘Explore’.

Step-3: Click on ‘Template Gallery’.

template gallery

Step-4: Cick on the ‘User Explorer’ template.

user explorer template

Step-5: Wait for a few seconds and your first User Explorer report will load, like below.

example of user explorer report 2

So that is how you can create a User Explorer report using the navigation menu. 

We will talk about possible customization later in this article but as of now, let’s focus on the second method of creating a User Explorer report within a current visualization.

2) Using a current visualization

Many a time it may be possible that you are using different types of visualization reports in GA4, like Cohort Exploration, Segment Overlap, Funnel Exploration, etc, and you would like to see the users for that particular segment of the report (depending upon the metrics and dimensions selected by you). 

In such scenarios, you can use this User Explorer report, which in turn creates a temporary segment of the users and shows you the details. 

Follow the below steps to create the User Explorer report using current visualization.

Note: This technique works with any other visualization type. As an example, I am taking the Segment Overlap report.

Step-1: Navigate to your GA4 account.

Step-2: On the left-hand side navigation menu, click on ‘Explore’.

Step-3: Click on ‘Explorations’.

Step-4: You will get a list of visualization reports that you have created. Now open any visualization report (I am opening the Segment Overlap report).

select visulization report

Step-5: Your report will open. Now since I am opening the Segment Overlap report, you can see that I have already selected my dimensions as ‘Paid traffic’ and ‘Mobile traffic’. 

Now let’s suppose if you want to see the users who came from paid traffic and have a device category of mobile.

segment overlap report

Now just right-click on the segment (OR any data point for other visualization techniques) ‘Mobile traffic + Paid traffic’.

Step-6: You will get a small pop-up, now click on ‘View Users’.

view users

Step-7: It will quickly open a new window in the exploration console. Note that based on your selection, GA4 will create a temporary segment for the number of users for the selected data point. You can see the list of users in the User Explorer report, as below.

temporary user explorer report

As you can see from the above image, GA4 has made a temporary segment of users who came from paid traffic and mobile traffic. 

Now you can see the list of users and add your customization or explore individual users and their activities on your website or mobile application.

That is how you can create reports from existing visualization techniques. Now let’s look at the possible customization for User Explorer reports.

Possible customizations

Fixed dimensions: The User Explorer report has fixed dimensions as ‘Device ID’ and ‘Stream Name’. You only get the option to add or remove metrics in the ‘Value’ section of the report.

add metrics

Adjusting rows: By default, User Explorer shows only ten rows of users. You can adjust the rows settings as per your requirements.

Show rows: If you wish to see more rows in your report, then you can click on the drop-down in front of the ‘show rows’ and select the number of rows.

dropdown

Start row: This setting determines which row to start within the report. If you set it to ‘5’ the report will show the list of users from the 5th user.

start row

Sort: If you wish to sort the user as per any metrics, you can do this just by clicking on the metric column and the user list will get sorted by that metric in decreasing order (highest first).

sort

Cell type: These settings allow you to change the visualization settings of individual cells in the User Explorer report. 

Available options are plain text, bar, and heat map. Just click on the drop-down available in the vales section in front of ‘Cell Type’.

cell type
Bar
Heat map
Plain

Apply segments: Segments allow you to define the subsets of users or events you want to include in, or exclude, from the User Explorer report.

To apply a segment:

On the left, drag an existing segment from the ‘Variables’ panel to ‘Segment Comparisons’ in the ‘Tab Settings’ panel.

apply segments

Note: Segments are applied to the event stream before the User Explorer report is calculated. This means that events or users you’ve excluded in the segment are not part of the analysis event stream, and therefore are not part of the user list.

Apply filters

You can apply filters to the User Explorer report based on any of the available dimensions and metrics. For example, you can show only users with a source or medium equals ‘Paid’ or users from a specific country.

Note: Filters are applied to the analysis before the user list has been calculated.

To apply a filter click on ‘Filters’ in ‘Tab Settings’.

Filters

A small pop-up will open. Let’s apply ‘Country’ as the dimension in our example. Select it from the pop-up.

country

Click on ‘Enter expression’ and select your country.

United states

Now click on ‘Apply’ and you are done. You will only see the data for the selected country now.

apply filter

Change date range: You can also change the date range of the report from the calendar options in the ‘Variables’ panel. You also get an option to apply a comparison with previous periods.

date

Individual user-level data

In User Explorer reports, you get a list of users of a specific group. You can also deep dive to see the individual user-level data. 

To see individual user-level data you just need to click on a specific record in the user exploration table.

any one record

Once you click on the record you get details like when the user first visited the website or mobile app, how the user was acquired, the timeline of the events in the sequence as generated by the user, and other details as well such as event count, total revenue generated by the user, total engagements time, etc.

example of user explorer report

You can customize the individual user activity list by using the following options.

Show selected events: You get the option to show selected events only for users. To do so, you can click on the drop-down beside the ‘Select event’ option in the ‘Timeline section’ of the ‘Tab settings’ column.

select events

Timeline display settings: This setting allows you to alter the display of the user activity timeline. If you want to see every detail of the events generated by the user then you can choose the option of ‘Expanded list’ and if you want to see the overall performance of the user across the different time ranges and sessions you can choose the ‘Collapsed list’ option.

The expanded list looks similar to the below image,

expaned list

The collapsed list will look similar to the below image.

collapsed image

Create a segment from an individual user: On some occasions, it may be possible that you stumble upon a specific user with some odd details, for example, the highest revenue generated in a single session or completing all the standard activities of the purchase funnel within 3 or 4 minutes, etc. In such scenarios, you can create a segment from individual users to see if any more users are similar to the current scenario. 

To do this you just have to select the list of events for the current user’s timeline and click on the ‘Create Segment’ option available on the top right-hand side.

create segment from individual user

Sharing and downloading reports

You can share the report template with other colleagues as well (who have at least read-only access to the GA 4 property.). Just click on the ‘Share’ icon available in the upper-right corner of the ‘Reporting’ tab.

share report

You also get an option to download the report. Click on the ‘Download’ button.

download

A small pop-up will come like below where you can specify the report format type.

type of report

Available options are:

  • Google Sheets
  • TSV (tab-separated values)
  • CSV (comma separated values)
  • PDF
  • PDF (all tabs) – this will download all the tabs in the reporting panel in PDF format if you have multiple tabs.

That is how you can use the User Explorer report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4).

Frequently asked questions about User Explorer Google Analytics 4 (GA4) – Tutorial. 

What is the User Explorer report in Google Analytics 4?

The User Explorer report allows you to explore and drill down into the behavior of a specific group of users or an individual user. 

Using this report you can dig down into any issues faced by users while doing purchases or conversions on your website. 

You can also use this report to gain more deep insights on how users behave on your website and accordingly take actions or customize the user experience. 

You can get a list of all events generated by the user one by one in the sequence they were recorded by GA4. 

Why is user explorer data not available for older date ranges?

As per Google, User Explorer data is available for users who have been active on your site or app after 12th May 2021. For these users, the scope of data in the User Explorer technique includes all of their data since they first visited your site or app after 12th May 2021.

The User Explorer report does not exist for the date range before 12th May 2021.

How to create a User Explorer report in GA4?

There are two ways to create a User Explorer report, as below:

Using the menu option 

1. Navigate to your Google Analytics 4 property.
2. On the left-hand side navigation menu, click on ‘Explore’.
3. Click on ‘Template Gallery’.
4. Click on the ‘User Explorer’ template.
5. Wait for a few seconds and your first User Explorer report will load.

Using the current visualization option
1. Navigate to your GA4 account.
2. On the left-hand side navigation menu, click on ‘Explore’.
3. Click on ‘Explorations’.
4. Click on any visualization report. 
5. Now just right-click on the segment (OR any data point-based let’s, visualization techniques).
6. You will get a small pop-up, now click on ‘View Users’. It will quickly open a new window in the exploration console. You can see the list of users in the user exploration report. 

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