Google Analytics | Looker Studio

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a powerful web analytics platform that provides insights into website and app usage, user behavior, and conversion tracking.

Due to the complex nature of data collection and data interpretation in the new GA4 system, access to the raw GA4 data will not be accessible to general users. Ohio University’s University Communications and Marketing department will develop custom preconfigured dashboards in Looker Studio that contain pre-filtered data that is easily consumable and interpreted at a glance.

Looker Studio is a data visualization and exploration tool that integrates with GA4 to create interactive reports, dashboards, and perform in-depth analysis.

Read Google Analytics User Policy

Exploring your Looker Studio Dashboard

This documentation and the accompanying videos provide comprehensive guidance on the following aspects of your Looker Studio Dashboard:

  • Accessing the analytics dashboard
  • Utilizing each page in the report
  • Seamlessly navigating through the dashboard
  • Acquiring data for future exploration
  • Leveraging page filters
  • Gaining insights from an overview of resources and vocabulary
  • Additionally, we emphasize the significance of data collection and accuracy in ensuring the effectiveness of your dashboard.

Accessing & Sharing the Dashboard

To access your College or Unit’s analytics dashboard, follow these steps:

  • Paste the Looker Studio link into your browser (provided to you by UCM) or visit, and on the left-hand menu under "shared with me" click to view your dashboard.
  • Log in using your OHIO email address and password.
    • If you encounter any issues accessing your unit or college's dashboard, reach out and request assistance by submitting a request through the UCM Request Form. You can find this form under the "Web" section > "Google Analytics".
  • If you're unsure if your unit has an analytics dashboard please submit the UCM Request Form.

Organization of the Dashboard

These dashboards are continually evolving, offering opportunities for future enhancements. The following videos are based off a template but have customizable opportunities.

Page 1: Traffic Acquisition Report

  • Details: provides insights into how users are finding and arriving at your subsite. You can identify traffic sources, measure marketing campaign effectiveness, assess referral traffic, analyze social media impact,

Page 2: Google Organic Search Report

  • Details: showcases how organic search traffic from Google is impacting your subsite. You can assess organic search performance, keyword analysis, measure SEO effectiveness, identify top landing pages, and inform content strategy.

Page 3: Internal Search Term Report

  • Details: analyze keywords users are searching for on, understand user intent and update content strategy based on direct users search intent.

Page 4: Device – User Data Report

  • Details: can help you better understand how visitors are accessing your website and enable you to optimize the user experience for different devices.

Page 5: User Engagement and Interaction Report

  • Details: enhance user experiences, identify engagement patterns, evaluate content and web element performance and interaction, compare user behavior across segments, determine engagement levels by audience or other segmentation.

Page 6: Resources

  • Details: includes a links to UCM's Google Analytics user policy/ agreement, this training document, and additional Google Analytics training documentation.

Page 7: Vocabulary

  • Details: includes popular buzz words and important metric and dimension definitions found across the analytics dashboard.

Navigation Tips

  • To navigate through the report, you'll notice the report page titles located at the top left-hand side. You can toggle through the pages using the navigation arrows or "carrots."
  • Alternatively, you can click on a report page title, and a menu will appear on the left-hand side, allowing you to navigate between pages.
  • At the top of each report, you will see the page title under the unit or college name. For example, you might see "Traffic Acquisition Report." This indicates that the report will highlight data on how users arrived at, whether through email, paid campaigns, organic sessions, social media, referrals, or direct clicks (without utm tracking).

As you explore and interact with the data, keep these navigation tips in mind to make the most of your analysis.

  • Download Capability:
    On every report page, you'll find a download option to save the report as a PDF for your reference or sharing in the top right of the report.
  • Page Filters:
    The report includes page filters that allow you to adjust the date range and apply various combinations of charts, tables, and graphs to view the data from different angles. More details on Page filters>>
  • Exporting Data:
    Occasionally, you may want to a export chart, graph, or table data into a CSV file. To do this, select the three dots located on the far right-hand side of the chart or table, then choose the "Export" option.
  • Metrics and Dimensions:
    In the report, anything labeled with a corresponding number is considered a metric, representing quantitative data.
    • Words are considered dimensions, offering a qualitative view of the data.
    • You can reorganize the metrics in any table from ascending to descending or vice versa by clicking on the metric's title.
  • Customizing Charts and Graphs:
    On occasion, you may want to customize the charts or graphs. Hover over the top of the chart to locate a small icon. Click on it to add or remove additional metrics to tailor the visualization to your needs.
  • Drilling Down:
    Some tables offer the option to drill down into specific data points. Look for the up and down arrows located above the table.
    • For example, on the CHSP table on page 1 (in the video example), you can select a page path to make it bold, then click the down arrow to drill down further. This allows you to explore session source/medium data for the selected page path.
  • Scheduled Email Reports:
    • You have the option to receive reports or the entire dashboard directly in your inbox on a scheduled basis (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.).
    • If your team is interested in this feature, please reach out to UCM via the UCM Request Form. Provide the email addresses of staff/faculty who wish to receive the report, specify the frequency of emails, and indicate the date duration for the data (e.g., last week's or last month's data).
    • If there are any additional filters or parameters you require for these email reports, include those details in your request.

Using Page Filters for Data Customization

In this section, we'll walk you through how to effectively utilize the page filters available on each report page. These filters empower you to tailor the data to your specific needs. Let's dive in:

  • Dimension Filters on Report Pages:
    At the top of each report page, you'll find various dimension filters. These filters allow you to select specific criteria, and once applied, the entire report page will update to display the data based on your selections.
  • Filter Considerations:
    Note that filters, including date ranges and other dimensions, do not carry over from one page to another. If you wish to maintain the same filter settings on multiple pages, you'll need to apply them individually.
  • Resetting Filters:
    If at any point you find yourself lost or wish to start over with your filter selections and metric categorization, there is a reset button located at the top of the page. This button will return the entire dashboard to its default settings.
  • Example: Page 1 of CHSP Report Filters:
    • On Page 1 of the CHSP report, you'll encounter the channel grouping filter. This filter categorizes and refines data based on the source through which users were acquired.
    • For instance, if you want to view pages that users accessed after performing a Google search and clicking on an URL, you can select "Organic" under this filter.
    • Other available filters may include Page Path Groupings, Page Path, and Landing Page.
  • Understanding Page Path and Landing Page:
    • Page Path: This dimension encompasses instances when a user views a webpage. For instance, selecting the page path "/chsp/nursing" includes all pageview data related to that path during a single session.
    • Landing Page: This filter focuses on data from the perspective of the user's initial landing on the domain during their session.
  • Page Path Grouping Filter:
    This custom-configured filter allows you to view data associated with specific page paths or subfolders. For instance, if you're interested in data from pages nested under "/chsp/nursing," select the "Nursing" filter. Scroll to the bottom of page 1 to view associated page paths.
  • Combining Filters:
    If you want to narrow down data to a specific subset of pages, you can combine filters. For instance, select "Nursing" under Page Path Grouping and then choose specific Page Paths to focus on.
  • Date Range Selection:
    One of the most crucial aspects of the page filter section is the date range. By default, it displays data for the current month. However, you can select from a variety of date range options to suit your analysis needs.
  • Need Assistance or More Information:
    If you have further questions or require assistance with page filters, please reach out to UCM. Keep in mind that additional training videos and documentation will be available to provide further guidance.

With a solid grasp of these page filters, you'll be better equipped to customize your data views and gain deeper insights from the reports. Thank you for your attention, and stay tuned for more training resources!

Enhance Your Dashboard: Tailoring Data to Your Needs

Our dashboards are adaptable to your unit's unique requirements. We can integrate new KPIs, adjust data presentation to align with your objectives, add pages, update filters, and capture previously untracked engagement behaviors. To update your current dashboard, please contact us by submitting a UCM Request Form.

Unlocking Strategic Insights: Leveraging User Web Behavior

A frequently asked question is, "How does this data translate into practical applications? And, importantly, how can it shape our strategic decisions?"

In the upcoming installment of our analytics training video series, we will dive into: "How to derive meaningful insights and take purposeful actions based on your users' web behavior."

  • Request an Account

    • To ensure each user has the necessary access and permissions to use Looker Studio, submit a UCM Request for “Access to Looker Studio Analytics Dashboard (GA4 data)” under Request Type > Web > Web Project Type.
    • All users will be given “Viewer” access in Looker Studio reporting dashboards.
  • Schedule a Meeting

    If you have additional questions not covered in the training, please send an email to or request a Teams Meeting with Zoe Graham (