Google Analytics Pivot Tables

The benefit of Pivot Tables are they allow you to summarise hundreds of thousands rows of data in seconds.

google analytics logoGoogle Analytics continues to add and test new features to its free web analytics package but these are often not rolled out immediately as they need to be tested and evaluated.

This new data view feature does not appear to be available on all accounts but will likely be rolled out as there is some real benefit for better understanding your web analytics data. The benefit of Pivot Tables are they allow you to summarise hundreds of thousands rows of data in seconds.

Typically Pivot tables are used in applications such as Excel but many people don’t know how to make best use of them.  They can also be complex to construct but Google Analytics generates them in seconds using your account data with a single click.

What is an Pivot Table?

  • A pivot table is an interactive table that provides a powerful tool for summarising large amounts of tabular data easily.
  • Similar to a cross-tab table, the pivot table classifies numeric data in a list based on field selected.

What can you do with Pivot Tables?

  • You can quickly summarise existing data from your web analytics account
  • You can visualise visits, pages/visited, counts, avg time on site, % of new visits, bounce rate.
  • You can then export this data to generate charts

The image below shows how quickly and easily using pivot tables you can view how many visitors are driven to particular cities by the top 3 search engines.  While this is not of as much value in Australia where Google has around 87-92% of the total market.  For international clients/campaigns it can show how in Chinese locations search engines such as Baidu perform against Google based on factors such as page views or time on site.

The Google Analytics Pivot data by options include all the standard visitor and traffic metrics such as

  • Source/Campaign/Keyword
  • Visitor type
  • Landing page
  • Language
  • Geographic
  • Browser capabilities
  • Network properties

The advantages of using Google Analytics Pivot Tables for your data analysis is

  1. Pivot tables are interactive
  2. Pivot tables are dynamic
  3. Pivot tables update automatically with new data


You can see from the screen shot that we can quickly analyse our visitors based on city locations and how search engines differ between locations. Using various metrics such as keywords you can quickly understand how your brand or generic keywords perform in particular cities.  Within the one screen you can also further refine this by using the advanced search filter to only include those with bounce rates over 50% to be shown in the table. The only point is that this advanced filter at this stage only works on the “totals” not the sub groups generated by the pivot table, this would be a great future feature to be able to filter this pivot table data.

While these pivot tables are an amazing addition to the report view options, it would be useful if Google Analytics allowed for automatic or manual resizing of the columns.  The current tables seem to waste too much screen space and cannot display more than a few sets of data.  So if you cant see these new features in your account yet, stay tuned and keep an eye on the official Google Analytics Blogspot, and we look forward to more cool features such as advanced filters.