How to Make the Most of Calculated Metrics

February 19, 2016

Analytics ,


Have you found yourself downloading reports from Google Analytics to Excel and adding new columns to calculate metrics that GA doesn’t provide by default?

This boring and time-wasting task belongs to the past thanks to Calculated Metrics.

Calculated Metrics are user-defined metrics built from calculations using existing metrics and basic operators like multiplication, division, addition and subtraction.

This feature is now available on the Google Analytics interface; we can add Calculated Metrics to custom reports and dashboards, and also through the Core Reporting API.

Calculated Metrics are retroactive, which means that they may be applied to historical data if we so wish.

Google Analytics Standard accounts are limited to 5 Calculated Metrics per view and Premium accounts can create up to 50 per view. We are allowed to edit or delete them at any time so we can recycle slots if our needs change in the future.

How to add Calculated Metrics 

The process to create Calculated Metrics is really simple, just follow the next steps.

As we mentioned, Calculated Metrics is a view-level feature so we should go to Admin > Views > Calculated Metrics




We will then click on ‘+ New Calculated Metric’ and fill in the below fields:


  1. Name – Enter a descriptive name.
  2. External Name – Google Analytics automatically generates this when we add the above.
  3. Formatting Type – Select how Google Analytics should display the new metric
    • Integer – 3
    • Currency (Decimal) – $3.63
    • Time – 00:03:63
    • Float – 3.63
    • Percent – 3.63%
  4. Formula – Start typing and Google Analytics will help us with a dropdown of all available metrics. Once we select the metric, it’s added between curly braces automatically.

We can use the basic operators mentioned previously [+, -, *, /], parenthesis to group conditions and positive cardinals numbers including decimals.

In order to check our first Calculated Metric, we will go to the Customisation tab and create a new Custom Report. In the Metrics dropdown menu, we will find it under ‘Other’:


Calculated Metrics Examples 

The possibilities that Calculated Metrics bring are (almost) unlimited, see some examples of insightful metrics:

Conversion Rate per User – Especially useful for lead generation sites, it might be more sensible to measure conversions against users, instead of sessions.


As soon as we create a new calculated metric, it becomes available on Custom Reports or Dashboards:



Net Revenue – Gross Revenue deducting shipping costs and taxes.

  • Formula = {{Revenue}} – {{Shipping}} – {{Tax}}
  • Formatting Type = Currency

Average Order Value

  • Formula = {{Revenue}} / {{Transactions}}
  • Formatting Type = Currency

Average Revenue per Session or User

  • Formula = {{Revenue}} / {{Sessions}} or {{Revenue}} / {{Users}}
  • Formatting Type = Currency

Sessions / Clicks – A ratio of sessions per clicks which makes really easy to spot high discrepancies between AdWords clicks and Google Analytics sessions.

  • Formula = {{Sessions}} / {{Clicks}}
  • Formatting Type = Float


Add to Basket / Purchase Rate – On an overall level, this metric may indicate if we need to optimize the basket as well as specific products that are added but for some reason are purchased poorly.


Google Analytics by default is a very insightful tool but it becomes amazingly powerful and flexible when it’s personalised with features that help to suit each business unique needs, such as Calculated Metrics.

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