Custom Reporting In GA4

Custom reports in GA4 – what are they? Custom reports in GA4 are reports that you can create manually to display your data in a way that suits you.

If you’re looking to take full advantage of GA4’s custom reporting feature but you’re not sure how or what they do, you’ve come to the right place!

Our guide provides you with all the insights you need to be able to build and understand custom reports in GA4.

If you’re reading this, I can assume you already have GA4 up and tracking? If so, read on, if not, you can find our full GA4 implementation guide or get the basics on GA4.

What’s covered in this GA4 reporting guide

  • What are custom reports for?
  • Creating custom reports in GA4
  • GA4 reporting templates and their purpose
  • Exploration reports explained

What are custom reports in GA4 for?

Custom reports in Google Analytics are a great way to get creative with how your data is displayed. If you’re working on an SEO project or even within content marketing, it’s vital to have the right data to hand. With GA4, you’re given the freedom to choose what dimensions you would like to display, (Browser, Location etc) and the metrics you would like alongside them (Clicks, Sessions, Page Views etc).

There are many reasons why you would want to do this. The obvious being some data just isn’t relevant. Only interested in a handful of dimensions and metrics? Feeling overwhelmed by all the irrelevant data in standard reports? Customise an existing report or build one to only show the data you’re interested in. Likewise, if your issue is the opposite and you wish for more data all in one place, you can build or customise a report for that too!

Additionally, if you prefer to view your data visually, rather than metrics with figures, custom reports allow you to do this too.

It’s worth noting that if you have previously created custom reports in UA, unfortunately, these reports cannot be directly migrated over to GA4 due to the varying data model in which GA4 collects and processes data.

Creating custom reports in GA4

As previously mentioned, custom reports can be as simple or as complex as you would like, displaying as much, or as little data needed. The term ‘Custom report’ can be applied to two versions of reporting.

  • Customising an existing standard report (only show metrics and dimensions that are most relevant to your business)
  • Building a custom report from scratch or from templates

For this guide, we will show you the various custom reporting template options within GA4, their purpose and why you would use them.

GA4 reporting templates and their purpose

GA4 has stepped it up when it comes to custom reports and has created many useful custom templates to build reports. These are broken up into two report formats.

Standard report templates

First up we have standard report templates, which as the name suggests are already standard when you set up GA4. This list of templates gives you a second way of building the standard reports but to only show data you’re interested in, this way you always have the original should you need to cross-reference the data.

Exploration report templates overview

This is where GA4 gets really exciting, with their brand-new form of visualisation reporting. Explorations, known in UA as ‘Analysis Hub’ has 8 templated options for visual reporting. When building reports here you need to be aware of 3 main components:

  • Variables – The data you choose to display (date range, metrics, dimensions etc)
  • Tab Settings – The style of the report (bar chart, line chart, table etc)
  • The Output – How the data is displayed

Exploration reports explained

To get started with Exploration templates – head to Explore, Template gallery to view them all.

GA4 Reporting Explore

  • Free-form

The Free-form report template allows you to build custom charts and tables to create a unique visualisation of the data. This report is most useful to find which pages drive the most view on your app or website, which pages drive the most conversions and how your landing pages perform over time.

  • Funnel exploration

This report allows you to visualise the process your visitors take to complete a task on your site or app and shows the stages people succeed and the stages people fail. This report is useful in spotting how customers journey through your site following them on a step-by-step basis. It’s a great way to optimise your site to keep traffic heading where you want them to go.

  • Path exploration

Path exploration allows you to monitor user journeys in a tree graph format. This report is great for a visual representation of how users behave on your website. For example, what are the top pages visitors go to after landing? Identifying patterns of pages where users exit the site. All this useful information can be used to better optimise your site to ensure you don’t miss out on valuable conversions.

  • Segment overlap

Segment overlap allows you to identify key overlaps in segments, which in turn, will allow you to build audience segments for you to utilise in other reports. The report allows you to add up to 3 segments to visualise how they interrelate with one another. This is useful to spot patterns like how many new users convert who are on mobile devices.

  • User explorer

This report allows you to hone in on specific user behaviour. It is a way of understanding how different users behave on your website and comparing them. For example, how does a user with a high order value behave compared to a user with a low order value? Note: This report is anonymised and doesn’t take IP addresses into consideration. 

  • Cohort exploration

Similar to User explorer, Cohort exploration is a way of honing in on how groups of users behave, to identify key characteristics of users who perform the same or similar actions on your website or app.  

  • User lifetime

Finding out the lifetime value of specific users can be very useful for websites and determining which traffic source generated the most relevant traffic. The User lifetime report allows you to find out all of this and more! 

  • Blank 

Exactly as it sounds, the Blank report lets you create any report imaginable completely from scratch if you wish to create something completely out of the box!

After giving you a flavour of these reporting styles, we highly recommend you dig into each of them further to find out how these reports can benefit your analytics reporting. Alternatively, you can contact Edge45® for advice and help with the implantation of these reports.


As we move into the new GA4 way of reporting we are spoilt for choice with the plethora of reporting options at our fingertips. For some, this is a fun new challenge who will enjoy implementing these various reporting styles. Others will find this daunting and require assistance with the transition. That’s where we’re here to help!

If you’re needing help with GA4 in any capacity, whether it’s the setup and implantation or the building of custom reports, Edge45® is here to help. For Google Analytics help and advice contact Edge45® today! Alternatively, you can view our GA4 guides to see what else there is to learn in the ever-growing world of Google Analytics.