Another week, another major announcement by Google that will make analysts everywhere happy. Google just announced support for Calculated Metrics in Google Analytics, which will allow you (if you are using Universal Analytics, which you should be at this point...) to create new reporting metrics that are derived from other metrics.
This is the type of feature that unlocks a whole area of possibility. Previously, if I had wanted to create an e-commerce report for a client, I would need to pull all the relevant data out of Google, import it to a spreadsheet full of formulas and graphs, and then clean everything up. This massive process was required so that we could cover all of the Key Performance Indicators the client is interested in - metrics like Revenue per User, internal metrics based off of known constants, and relative metrics that are a composition of other metrics, used to compare within a set of data. Up until today, these metrics had to be calculated outside of Google Analytics, and there wasn't a method to get the data back in. This means that, to rely on these types of metrics, you needed to have an offline reporting process, and needed to budget hours to create the report.
Now, with Calculated Metrics, I would be able to define all of these formulas and metrics within Google Analytics, and then utilize them across Custom Reports, Custom Dashboards, and anywhere I have access to an unsampled report. This means that I can now have my metrics, reports, and dashboard all within Google, and cut down on the spreadsheet and customization time required for these reports.
Calculated Metrics are rolling out to accounts using Universal Analytics - Look for it in your Admin tab, at the View level. How are you planning on using these calculated metrics? Are there any clever ones you are excited to use? Leave a comment below!