Google Analytics session data showing improperly

I have a card to show how many sessions one of our company sites had the previous month. In Google Analytics I see it has approximately 2,000 sessions on Feb. 1st, but in Domo it has 6,000 sessions for the same day.


I've double checked my card and I've filtered it to show the same web domain, beyond that I'm not sure which other filters would be relevant or why the number would be so different from the source, Google Analytics.


I'd like to know what might cause the session data to inflate in Domo and how to fix it. Thanks in advance!

Best Answer

  • n8isjack
    n8isjack 🟠
    Answer ✓

    It is difficult to know for sure, but for Google Analytics there is one main gotcha that will cause exactly what you are seeing. I'd bet you have Dimensions that are inflating the number. This applies to Visits or Users as well.


    Short Answer:

    The same session is counting more than once and you need to simplify your connector in Domo to match the display in the card.


    Long Answer:

    Sessions can have many interactions and still count as a single session. For example, in one session I may visit 100 pages of your website, but this is still just one session.


    I can pull the data for my site, where I visited 100 pages, and it may look like this:

    Site           Sessions 1

    Now, for that same session if I want to see it by page it will look like this:

    Site           Page            Sessions /home 1 /contact 1 /pricing 1 /products 1

    That is really just ONE session. But each page literally had ONE session in which it was visited, this is true. I cannot however add up the `Sessions` column because it will become 4 when there really was only 1.


    That is why you have to pull the data from Google specific to the card analysis. Given the example above if you want the card to show by website and page, then you do the second example. If you want it rolled up by site you do the first example.


    A common occurance of this is daily sessions and users. Then using Domo's quick card settings to show 'By Month' and Domo will conveniently aggregate the whole month for you but it will not match the monthly total in Google Analytics. You have to pull by month to get the monthly number.

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  • Thanks for that example, it is very helpful! Could you also give an example of how to 'simplify' the connector? (In my experience, the connectors get temperamental if I edit them and I don't own this dataset, so I want to be sure before I adjust it).

  • Sure!


    When I say 'simplify' I mean pick as few "Dimensions" as possible. Here is a screenshot of the selected dimensions for a Google Analytics connector:


    Google Analytics ConnectorGoogle Analytics Connector

    There are 3 Dimensions selected. 

    • Date: like 1/1/2019
    • Medium: organic/social/referral/etc...
    • Source: website where they clicked the link to come to my website.

    This means that in order to use the user/session values I need to display a card that shows the Sum() By Day and separates the values for Medium AND Source without combining the numbers for them. 


    To Simplify By Day:

    If I just want to see the User/Session totals by day then I need to remove the Medium and Source dimensions from the setup. If my only dimension is Date then I will get ONE row of data per day and the Users/Sessions will match Google Analytics.


    Note: per Google's terms/conditions, sampling may apply. You can tell if sampling was applied by checking for a column in the dataset named: `Sampled Data`

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  • Hello,


    I'm having a similar issue. I'd like to track session-level metrics (Pages/Session, Avg. Session Duration, etc...) using the utm_campaign, utm_souce, and utm_content dimensions. For the purpose of this use case, I am required to use more than 1 dimension.

    Domo is returning different values for these than GA is actually reporting, because Domo is averaging each row with no regard to how each dimension's values should be weighted.


    Any ideas?