Let’s Learn Google Analytics – Lesson 5

Set up Account Views with Filters

(This is a slightly modified copy of text available at

To see what views are currently available for a property, click the “Admin” tab at the top.

Then, under View, click “View Settings.”

You can see that when you first create a property, Analytics automatically sets up an unfiltered view called “All Web Site Data.” This contains all of the raw, unchanged data you collected for the property. We recommend changing the name to “Raw data,” so you’ll know that the data hasn’t been filtered. To change the name, we’ll simply type in the new name and then click “Save.”

Setting up a Test View

Next, we’ll set up a “test view” to test our settings. If we configure something incorrectly, we may inadvertently lose data we want to collect. So it’s best to test all of our configurations in this test view first.

  • To set up a test view, at the top left, click the view selector pull-down menu.
  • Then select “Create new view.” We’ll name this view “Test View.”
  • Now click “Create view.”

Notice that we are now in the “Test View” for this property. We recommend adding a setting to the test view that filters your data for automated bot and spider traffic.

  • For this Test View, select “View Settings.”
  • Then we’ll scroll down.
  • Under “Bot Filtering,” select “Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders”. This will help filter out bot traffic.
  • Now click “Save.”

Creating a Master View

Next, let’s create the Master view. This will be the view that we use to do all of our reporting and analysis. We can simply copy the test view and rename it.

  • To copy the view, in the top right corner click “Copy view.”
  • We’ll rename the view “Master View.”
  • And click “Copy view.”

If you go into the View menu, you can see that we’ve successfully copied and created this new view. By copying the view, all of our settings and filters we created like excluding bot traffic will also be included in the new view.

Adding Additional Filters

Now we have three views that can be used to back-up our data, test new analytics configurations, and do our daily reporting and analysis.

But we still need to add filters to determine what data we want Analytics to display in each view. We’ll first set up a common filter on the “Test” view to exclude internal IP traffic. That way, we can measure online Google Store behaviour strictly for external customers, without any employee influence.

  • In the right-hand column under “View,” change the view selector from “Master View” to “Test View.” This will ensure we are creating our filters in the right view.
  • Then click “Filters.”
  • Then click “Add Filter.” We’ll name this filter “Exclude internal traffic.”

Analytics offers two kinds of filters, “Predefined” and “Custom” Filters. Predefined filters are templates for the most common filters you’ll use. Custom filters let you design a filter to include, exclude, or modify data. Since excluding data by IP address is common, Analytics offers a predefined filter for that, so we’ll leave the filter type as “Predefined.”

  • Next, click “Select Filter Type.”
  • Then select “Exclude.”
  • Then click “Select source or destination”
  • And select “traffic from the IP addresses.”
  • Finally, click “Select expression.” And select “that are equal to.”
  • Now we’ll type in the IP address we want to exclude. You can find your public IP address by opening a new tab and searching for “what is my ip?” in Google.
  • Now we’ll copy the IP address into the IP address field.
  • At the bottom, click “Save.”

Note that the filter we just created now shows up in the list of filters.

Once we’ve saved this filter and applied it to a view, Google Analytics will check the IP addresses of traffic to the web property and exclude those that match the filter. It will take a little time for the filter to catch all of the traffic. To test that the filter is excluding internal traffic, click Reporting. Then, click “Real-Time” in the left-hand navigation. Now click “Overview.”

This shows you a report of real-time traffic to your website. If you’re on your internal network, you should notice that your internal user traffic should decline over the next 30 minutes. Once the filters have taken effect, Analytics won’t collect any internal activity for the IP address you filtered.

This filter may not be really required if you are a solopreneur or a very small company.

Once you’ve verified this filter is working in your test view, you can add it to your master view. Click on the Admin tab again. Then select the View pull-down menu.

Select the “Master View.” Now click “Filters.” Then click “Add Filter.” Now, instead of “Create new Filter,” select the radio button for “Apply existing Filter.”

This will allow you to select from a list of filters you’ve previously created. Click Save.

Now you can see that the filter is applied to the “Master View.”

Note that if you apply multiple filters to a view, each filter will be applied in the order they appear in your filter settings. So if you have two filters, the data will pass through the first filter before passing through the second. So be mindful of the order in which you apply your filters.

It’s that easy to create or add predefined filters to views to make sure you’re collecting and protecting the data you need.

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