TABLEAU THURSDAYS: The Google Analytics Googly! – Part 3

TABLEAU THURSDAYS – The Google Analytics Sampling Googly!

In the Part 2 of Google Analytics Googly, we identified scenarios where the Users / Unique Visitors measure numbers don’t appear correctly in visualizations, while connecting to a Google Analytics data source from Tableau, and discussed workarounds.

In the final blog post in the series of blogs highlighting googlies thrown at unsuspecting viz-men, let’s examine the default Channel dimension that Google uses. According to Google, the “default system channel definitions reflect Analytics’ current view of what constitutes each channel in the Acquisition section’s Default Channel Grouping.”

However, what if you wanted to use this Default Channel Grouping in your reporting? If you were using the Google Analytics Core Reporting API, you could access the Default Channel Grouping dimension using ga:channelGrouping

Unfortunately, there is no Channel dimension readily available in the set of Dimensions provided by the Tableau connector and it has to be re-created in Tableau using a Calculated Field involving the other dimensions. The GA support page comes to our rescue at this dire time of need! has the current regex (regular expression) definitions of the individual members of the default Channel grouping and can be used to re-create the Channel dimension.

Google Analytics Google, Part 3 - diagram 1

I have included the definition of the Channel calculated field below for unhappy souls in need of a pick-me-up and managed to stumble upon this blog (hasn’t your luck turned!):

IF      [Medium] = “organic”
THEN    “Organic Search”

ELSEIF  ([Source] = “Direct” AND [Medium] = “(not set)”) OR [Medium] = “(none)”
THEN    “Direct”

ELSEIF  ([Medium] = “social” OR [Medium] = “social-network” OR [Medium] = “social-media” OR [Medium] = “sm” OR [Medium] = “social network” OR [Medium] = “social media”) OR ([Social Source Referral] = “Yes”) // NOT ISNULL([Social Source]) can also be used here
THEN    “Social”

ELSEIF  [Medium] = “referral”
THEN    “Referral”

ELSEIF  ([Medium] = “display” OR [Medium] = “cpm” OR [Medium] = “banner”) OR ([Ad Distribution Network] = “Content” AND [Ad Format] <> “Text”)
THEN    “Display”

ELSEIF  [Medium] = “email”
THEN    “Email”

ELSEIF  ([Medium] = “cpc” OR [Medium] = “ppc” OR [Medium] = “paidsearch”) AND ([Ad Distribution Network] <> “Content” OR ISNULL([Ad Distribution Network]))
THEN    “Paid Search”

ELSE    “(Other)” // Not using Google’s regex definition of Other Advertising, rather assigning all remaining records to (Other)

Google Analytics Channel Report:

Google Analytics Googly Part3 - diagram 2

… and voila! The Channel Report re-created in Tableau using the calculated field defined above:

Google Analytics Googly, Part 3 - diagram 3

Do keep in mind that the definition itself might change based on Google’s current definition at any given point. This definition is correct as of 13 Jan 2015.

Well, that’s it from our end! Missed Part 1 and Part 2 of the Google Analytics Series? You can access them here:

Part 1:

Part 2: 

This blog is written by Farid Jalal, Analytics Project Manager at BRIDGEi2i

About BRIDGEi2i: BRIDGEi2i provides Business Analytics Solutions to enterprises globally, enabling them to achieve accelerated business impact harnessing the power of data. Our analytics services and technology solutions enable business managers to consume more meaningful information from big data, generate actionable insights from complex business problems and make data driven decisions across pan-enterprise processes to create sustainable business impact. To know more visit

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position or viewpoint of BRIDGEi2i.