Marketing data is exploding on the scene for 2018. Suddenly, analytics is all everyone is talking about in the marketing community. If you’re interested in getting started with your data or gaining a better understanding of what it all means, the first step is setting up your filters.
Setting up the right filters in the right ways is a critical part of making sure that you’re looking at accurate data in Google Analytics. You can use filters to limit and structure the data that comes in from each view. Like most things in this world, your options to slice and dice your data are endless. You can exclude or include traffic from an ISP domain, IP addresses, subdirectories, log files, or other custom setups. Using these filters will enhance the accuracy of your single source of data truth.
To manage or edit your filters, navigate to All Filters menu. Through the All Filters menu you can manage or edit all the filters in the account. You can refer to Google Analytics documentation to learn more about creating and managing filters at different levels.
Before You Get Started
Take a look at what filters are already in place. You might have several or none at all. Neither is right or wrong; you just need to know where you stand today. If you still work with the person who originated the filters, it’s a good idea to ask them why did the current configuration.
Before you start making changes, make sure that you have an unfiltered view, a test view, and a master view.
- Unfiltered View – You want to keep your raw data intact in case you want to review it at another date.
- Main View – this will be the view you use on a daily basis.
- Test View – No one is perfect so creating a test view will prevent you from making errors. You can try out different filters without worrying about the consequences.
Naming Conventions for Views
Every GA account can benefit from having a good naming convention. The most important step of any naming convention is ensuring consistency across your implementation. No schema or taxonomy will save you if your data is inconsistent. Take the time to talk with your team and identify how you will be naming everything within Google Analytics.
With so many options, where do you start?
Now that you have your views and naming conventions determined, it’s time to set up your filters.
Google’s predefined filters are a great place to start. I usually recommend filtering out internal traffic using IP addresses. I have also seen this done by excluding the ISP domain.
There are several other predefined filters but you probably won’t need them to start.
One word of caution about filters
Filters are applied after your data has been processed. Creating a filter to change the scope of dimensions is not possible.
The need to understand your marketing data is only going to increase over the next several years. Taking the time now to properly set up filters will allow you to have a better data set in the future.