Google recently added a new tool to its analytics suite which allows users to create custom metrics based upon the existing information in the software.
The new custom metrics could provide insights into things such as revenue per user, offering a clearer picture of the health of your business.
The calculated metrics feature extends the power of the Google analytics suite and allows users to combine metrics such as your user data, revenue and traffic information to create information that is more laser-targeted to what the company wants to know.
Released to Little Fanfare
This new feature should be quite exciting, but it was released to very little fanfare. Google did not make a blog post announcing the new feature; it was simply mentioned in the monthly product email. The email explained that Calculated Metrics are a user-defined form of metric which is computed from the product’s existing metrics and can help to drive better, more relevant analysis of your data, providing you with actionable insights without you having to pull your data out of Google Analytics.
Build Your Own Formulae
With calculated metrics, you can set the name of the metric (the formatting - for example, as a currency or a measurement), and then the formula. There are some limitations on what you can do, and the calculated metrics feature is available only for properties that use Universal Analytics. The feature is in beta at the moment, but it is already quite flexible and is likely to become a core part of the analytics tool set for any serious webmaster and business owner.
With the custom metrics tool you can create new metrics and then even use those calculated metrics in future calculations, giving you even more power and flexibility. Users can combine standard metrics with their custom metrics, as well as constants (such as conversion rates between common currency pairs) to get access to exactly the data they need.
Using this feature is, of course, optional. For many, the default Google Analytics features are more than enough. However, for those who want something that is a little bit more powerful, or who are at the stage where they have specific questions that they want analytics to answer, being able to frame those questions within one single control panel is a great thing, and something that will save them a lot of time and money on third-party tools.