Overview: Metric Builder for Google Universal Analytics (Report)

Google is officially sunsetting Universal Analytics on July 1, 2023

    . Google Analytics 4 is the recommended replacement. Due to the differences in tracking logic used in Universal Analytics vs Google Analytics 4, historical data will not transfer from one to the other.
      Because of this, it's important to get Google Analytics 4 set up as soon as possible in order to start accumulating data in this new system. 

Read our full Transition Guide for more information. 

With the Metric Builder for Google Universal Analytics, you can create Custom Google Universal Analytics Metrics using a combination of Metrics, Dimensions, Segments, and Filters. 

Some popular use cases for the Metric Builder for Google Universal Analytics include creating content-specific Metrics, reporting on custom Goal Conversions, etc.


How to access Custom Metrics and Metric Builder for Google Universal Analytics

Navigate to Metrics > Custom Metrics to access the Metric Builder. Click the green + New Custom Metric button and select your connected Google Universal Analytics Account from the Data Source drop-down list. 

Metric Builder is available on the Professional and higher plans. Request a trial of Metric Builder by following these steps.

How to use the Metric Builder for Google Universal Analytics 

A) Data Source: This is the Google Universal Analytics Data Source that the Custom Metric is syncing data from. 
B) Metric: Select a Metric from your connected Google Universal Analytics Data Source, such as Sessions, Pageviews or Pages / Session. Certain Metrics, like Goal 2 Completions, allow you to report on custom Goals set within the Google Universal Analytics Account. 
C) Dimension (Optional): The Dimensions parameter re-categorizes the returned Metric value based on common criteria. Examples of Dimensions are Default Channel Grouping, Pages, and Device Category. If no Dimension is selected, the Custom Metric will store 1 aggregated Metric value for each Date Range. 

Pro Tip: Add the word "by" in between the Metric and Dimension in order to determine an appropriate Custom Metric Name. From the Metric and Dimension examples outlined above, we could create the Custom Metrics "Sessions by Default Channel Grouping," "Pageviews by Page," or "Pages / Session by Device Category."


Most tables in Google Universal Analytics organize Dimensions into rows and Metrics into columns. In order to replicate the Google Universal Analytics table below in Databox, you would need to create 6 Custom Metrics: "Users by User Type," "New Users by User Type," "Sessions by User Type," "Bounce Rate by User Type," "Pages / Session by User Type," and "Avg Session Duration by User Type."


D) Invert Metric (Optional): By default, the percentage change value displayed on Datablocks is green when the Metric value has increased, and red when the Metric value has decreased. If the Custom Metric you created has opposite trends, select this option. Learn more here.
E) Segment (Optional) : A segment is a subset of your Analytics data. For example, out of your entire set of Users tracked, one Segment might be Users from a particular Country. Another Segment might be Users who purchase a particular line of products, or Users who came to your website from an Organic Source.

Learn more about creating Segments in Google Universal Analytics here.
F) Metric Sort Order: Choose either an "Ascending" or "Descending" sort order for the returned Custom Metric values. "Descending" should be selected for any Metrics where higher Metric values are desired (like "Sessions" and "Pageviews"). "Ascending" sort order should be selected for Metrics where lower Metric values are desired (like "Bounce Rate" and "Cost per Click").

Learn more about the significance of the Metric Sort Order here.
G) Filter by (Optional) : Filters restrict the data that gets included in the Custom Metric. All data that is returned is tested against the Filter(s). Multiple Filters can be combined using AND /OR boolean logic. 
If the data synced from the Metric and Dimension fields meet the Filter specifications, the data is retained and included in the Custom Metric value. If the data synced from the Metric and Dimension fields don't meet the Filter specifications, the data is excluded from the Custom Metric value.
Pro Tip: If you don't know which Filters to put in place for your use case, use the Dimension + Data Preview to troubleshoot and get more insight into the data that is returned from your Google Universal  Analytics Account for each field. Learn more  here .
H) Preview data: After clicking Preview data, a Data Preview of the Custom Metric will be displayed. Daily Metric values are displayed in this section, along with the total Metric values for the Date Range in bold at the bottom. You can view the Data Preview for different Date Ranges by clicking on the drop-down list at the top of the Data Preview. 
I) Custom Metric Name: Enter a name for your Custom Metric. This Custom Metric name will be available in the Designer after saving. 
J) Save: Save your Custom Metric. 


How to create a Custom Google Universal Analytics Metric [Example]

In this example, we'll create a Custom Metric to report on New Users tracked in the Google Universal Analytics Account split up based on the Country where the User accessed the website. We only want to view this data for New Users that found the website through Organic Search. 


  1. Navigate to Metrics  > Custom Metrics
  2. Click the green + New Custom Metric button
  3. Select the appropriate Google Universal Analytics Data Source
  4. Select New Users from the Metric drop-down list  
  5. Next, we'll select Country from the Dimensions drop-down list so that the New Users values returned are split up based on the Country where the site was accessed. 
  6. Organic Traffic is a standard Segment in every Google Universal Analytics Account, so we will select this from the Segment drop-down list to focus on the Organic subset of New Users. 
  7. Since New Users is a Metric where higher values indicate success, we don't need to select a Metric Sort Order and can rely on the default setting, which is Descending.
  8. We don't need to further filter the data, so we will leave the Filter section blank as well.
  9. In order to accurately explain what this Custom Metric is reporting on, we'll name the Custom Metric "New Organic Users by Country"
  10. Click Preview Data to generate a Data Preview of the Custom Metric. 
  11. Once we confirm that these are the results we're looking for, we'll click Save to save the Custom Metric. 


How to add a Custom Google Universal Analytics Metric to a Databoard


  1. Open the selected Databoard in the Databox Designer, or create a new Databoard.
  2. Drag and drop a blank Datablock onto the Databoard from the Visualization Library.
  3. Select the appropriate Google Universal Analytics Data Source in the right-hand Property Manager. This must be the same Google Universal Analytics Account that was selected when creating the Custom Metric.
  4. Select the  Custom tab at the top of the  Metric drop-down list. 
  5. Select the Custom Metric name to populate the Datablock.


Additional Information

    • The Data Preview is limited to display a maximum of 20 Dimensions per Date Range for Dimensional Metrics. Dimensions will be sorted by descending value, therefore the 20 Dimensions with the highest total values will be displayed in the Data Preview for each Date Range.
    • (not set) is a placeholder name that Google Universal Analytics uses when it hasn't received any information for the Dimension you have selected.

      For Campaigns that are syncing with Google Universal Analytics through an external integration with Google Ads, Google Search Console, etc., Google's API displays (not-set). For Google Universal Analytics Campaigns, the actual name of the Campaign is displayed.

      Learn more about the (not set) behavior in Google here.

      To clean up your reports in Databox, you can exclude or rename the (not set) Dimension for Custom Metrics by following these steps.
  • When a Metric contains "Age", "Gender", or "Interest Category" as a Dimension or Segment, a threshold may be applied in Google Universal Analytics and some data may be withheld from the report. 

    This happens when your website has low traffic and, as a result, thresholds are applied to your report by Google Universal Analytics to prevent anyone viewing a report from inferring the demographics or interests of individual users.

    This is a limitation on the Google Universal Analytics side and there is no solution to overcome this in Databox.

    In Google Universal Analytics, when a threshold is applied to a report a yellow icon is displayed at the top of the report, along with a notice below the report title. If no threshold is applied, a green icon is displayed.