Collections and Topics in Google Analytics, Explained

Learn the difference between collections, topics, and reports in Google Analytics.

Published Categorized as Analytics

When it comes to web analytics, there is no other tool like Google Analytics.

It’s free, easy to set up, and gives you a wealth of reports and insights right out of the box. Whether you want to measure the ROI of your ads or understand your traffic sources, Google Analytics has a feature and report to help you do it all.

But Google Analytics can also be intimidating for first-time users. It has its own terminology, and for many of the standard features, you will need to do some reading if you want to get the most out of them.

To help you out, we will look at two of these terms that Google Analytics uses to organize reports: collections and topics. If you want to know what collections and topics are, and how reports are organized in them, read on below.

What Is a Collection?

Collections in Google Analytics

In Google Analytics, a “collection” is a grouping of reports. Every Google Analytics property has two collections by default: Life Cycle and User.

As a Google Analytics user, you can also create your own collections. When you do, they will appear in the report navigation next to the default collections.

To create a collection in Google Analytics, you need the Editor role. An important constant to keep in mind is that a Google Analytics property can have no more than 7 collections.

What Is a Topic?

Topics in Google Analytics

In Google Analytics, a “topic” is a subset of reports within a collection. For example, the User collection has two topics—Demographics and Tech—which contain reports.

Just as you can create your own collections, you can also create your own topics in Google Analytics. When you do, they will appear in the report navigation next to the default topics.

A Google Analytics collection can have up to 5 topics.

What Is a Report?

Reports in Google Analytics

In Google Analytics, a report is a set of metrics that are visualized in a specific way. Reports are usually grouped into collections and themes.

A large set of reports is available by default for each Google Analytics property. However, users can also create their own.

Putting It All Together

To help you put it all together, here’s a list of all collections, topics, and reports available by default in Google Analytics:

Life CycleAcquisitionAcquisition overview,
User acquisition,
Traffic acquisition
Life CycleEngagementEngagement overview,
Pages and screens
Life CycleMonetizationMonetization overview,
Ecommerce purchases,
In-app purchases,
Publisher ads
Life CycleRetentionRetention
UserDemographicsDemographics overview,
Demographic details
UserTechTech overview,
Tech details

By Dim Nikov

Editor of Maker's Aid. Part programmer, part marketer. Making things on the web and helping others do the same since the 2000s. Yes, I had Friendster and Myspace.

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