Google Analytics Change: Visits are Sessions & Unique Visitors are Users

When I logged into the good old Google Analytics platform this morning, I was greeted with yet another Google change:

Visits in Google Analytics are now Sessions.
Unique Visitors in Google Analytics are now Users.

At first glance, it seemed like the only thing that had changed was the terminology, but Google released an announcement on their blog this morning reviewing the update.

The gist of the change is a plan Google is rolling out to enable users to view web and app data from the same reporting view within Google Analytics and create consistent dimensions and metrics across these two data sources. Historically, app hits and web hits used different names for some of the same metrics and dimensions even though they were collecting identical data types. The change allows for unification of this data and clean-up in regards to the way we refer to our data. What it means for you and your data is:

  • If you’re sending both web and app data to a single Google Analytics property, data from both sources will appear in all of your reports. If you want to isolate app and web data, you must set up filtered views within that property. 
  • If you’re not sending both web and app data to a single Google Analytics property, your data remains the same and the only change you’ll see is the terminology switch from Visits and Unique Visitors to Sessions and Users .

I think this is another awesome step by Google to get more accurate data as the number of users continues to navigate to online content using multiple devices. Google continues to take strides towards showing you data as an entire picture rather than pieces of a puzzle you have to export [to CSV all day er’ day] and stitch together.

If you don’t see this view just yet, don’t fret – Google would never forget about you. They will be rolling these changes out to all accounts over the course of the next week.

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