Other in GA4 Reports and GA4 Cardinality

Have you seen "Other" show up in the GA4 reports and Exploration?  If you have then this post is for you.

GA4 has limits and one of them is cardinality.

What is cardinality?

Cardinality is the number of unique values assigned to a dimension.

Some dimensions have a fixed number of unique values. For example, the Device dimension can only have one of the three values, desktop, tablet, and mobile. So in that case the cardinality of this dimension is 3

Many other dimensions, such as Page path, Page location, item ID,  Item Name, etc., can have a lot more possible unique values.  So if you have 50 items on your site then the cardinality of Item ID is 50.

A dimension with more than 500 unique values in one day is considered a High-cardinality dimension.

Why is Cardinality an Issue?

Cardinality increases the number of rows in a report. Each report in GA4 uses a different table and when that table hits the row limit then GA4 introduces an "other" in the dimension. This other contains all the data that is past the row limit.

Standard and exploration have different table limits so you can potentially get a different result for using the same dimensions and metrics. Google Analytics 4 does not have a cardinality limit on an individual dimension. Properties can have dimensions with any number of values, but when any high-cardinality dimensions are used in the report that's when the problem occurs.

Note: Sometimes, data that isn't shown in the report contributes to the row limit.

So how to get rid of "Other" in GA4 reports?

  • Use standard reports whenever possible. Standard reports have special tables that decrease the likelihood of data being grouped under an "(other)" row.
  • Consider using Explorations if you see "Other" in your reports.  Explorations use a different table limit.
  • Avoid creating custom dimensions and use predefined dimensions, if possible.
  • Only use high-cardinality dimensions when necessary. The row limit can apply to all the data in the property for the specified date range when you apply a secondary dimension or comparison to a standard report or when you use a custom report.
  • Avoid creating a custom dimension to identify each individual user. Instead, use the User-ID feature in GA4.
  • Export your data to BigQuery. This is our recommended path to take. We can help you make the most of GA4 + BigQuery integration.
  • Upgrade to Analytics 360 (paid). If you use Analytics 360. You can still see "Other" in Analytics 360 but is less likely. Analytics 360 automatically enables automatically expanded datasets when you see the "(other)".

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