Segmented data in context

Segmentation is great, but segmentation in context is even better. Just wanted to point out one subtle update in the new version of Google Analytics.

Let’s say I want to compare engagement metrics for two different segments. Specifically, I want to compare buyers vs non-buyers who have viewed more than 20 pageviews in their visit.

Here is what it looks like in the “old” version of GA:

And here it is in the new version:

With the exception of the All Visits row, the bars for the two segments look quite different (nb: I removed the pageviews bars for clarity). How do you get from 1.11% to 36.35%?

In the old version each dimension is evaluated in the context of overall visits. Nothing wrong per se, except when you work with segments that are very small as is the case with the “new and buying” segment; it gets “dominated” by the All Visits segment and the small 1.11% can easily be overlooked or dismissed.

Contrast that to the new version, where each dimension is evaluated within the context of the segment itself and not overall visits. I can now see that over a third of visitors within the “new and buying” segment viewed 20+ pages. All we needed to see this valuable information is a subtle change of context.