Comparisons in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

The comparison feature in Google Analytics (GA4) allows you to compare one subset of your data with other subsets.

Comparison in GA4 v/s Advanced Segments in Universal Analytics

Those who are familiar with the Segments or Advanced Segments feature of Google Analytics will find this feature similar to them. However, this feature can't be compared to Advanced Segments as this is very limited in nature.  GA4 also has another feature called Segment which is only available in Exploration. (I hope in future GA4 can remove this confusion and have just one feature called Segments/Advanced Segments).

In this post, I will show you how to use this feature.


Where can you Build Comparisons in GA4?

Comparison feature is available in most of the reports in GA4.

You can build comparisons using various dimensions and dimension values in GA4.  Google Analytics 4 is an event-based model and hence the inability to create "Comparison" using Events and Event Parameters means that it is limited in nature and hence can't be compared with the Advanced Segments feature available in old Google Analytics (GA3 or Univeral Analytics).  Below I will show you step by step process to build a comparison.


How to Build Comparison in GA4

Step1: Login to GA4 and go to the "Reports" section.

Step 2: Click on any reports where you want to use comparison.

Step3: On top of the report (see image), you will see an "All Users" link, and next to it is "Add Comparison +", click on it.

GA4 Comparion

Step 4: You will see a "Build Comparison" panel

Build GA4 Comparison

Step 5: Choose the Include or Exclude operator from the drop-down to include or exclude the dimension that you want to use in this comparison.

Step 6: Pick the dimension that you want to use. The list of dimensions that is currently available is very limited as you will see. This list will change in the future and chance I don't want to list them all here.

Step 7: Pick the dimension value(s) and click ok.

Step 7: Add any other conditions that you want to join.


Here is an example of a Comparison. In this comparison, I want to see the performance of 35-54 age range Users from the USA.


Step 8: Click Apply Button


Step 9: Now your comparisons will be available in the report.


A few things about GA4 Comparisons

  1. Once a comparison is applied to one report, it will be available for other reports as well. So as you go from report to report, you will see the same comparison is available for every report
  2. You can add up to 5 Comparisons in a report
  3.  You can up to 5 conditions in one Comparison.
  4. You can not save Comparison so next time you log in you will have to scratch. This is another reason you can't compare it to Advanced Segments in Universal Analytics
  5. Only a limited number of dimensions are available to be used in Comparisons.
  6. Some reports won't support a dimension that you might have chosen and in that case you won't see the data.

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Where to get more help with Google Analytics 4?

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