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Making Google Analytics even speedier

Monday, 27 February 2012

We are excited to announce three new features that we hope will improve your experience and make crunching even massive quantities of data easier. These updated reports will be available to everyone by later this week.

Watch your reports load
Nothing is more frustrating than waiting, especially when you don't know how long the wait will be. To ease that pain on Google Analytics we are adding a visual indicator that will report the progress of loading your report.

Load reports only once
When navigating through Google Analytics, each report takes some time to calculate. Today, we're turning that loading time on its head. Now, the data behind most of your reports will cache on your computer as long as you have the Google Analytics interface open. If your most recent data does update, we'll keep you in sync. Look for this at the bottom of your reports to know if they've been cached:

Control your report calculation
One way we speed up the serving of data is through what we call “fast-access mode”, which applies to reports generated from large data sets. In the coming weeks, we will be peeling back the curtain on how “fast-access mode” works and letting you control the number of visits used to calculate reports.

Out with the old: fast-access mode
If a report requires calculation on more than 250,000 visits, we select a statistically random sample of 250,000 visits and estimate the report results based on that data. This makes reports faster to load, and our testing indicates that the data returned is highly accurate.

In with the new: control your report calculation
Now you will have the ability to control the number of visits used to calculate your reports, and we inform you of exactly how many visits are used in report calculation.

To use the new report calculation control, click the new icon (square cube graphic) in the upper right of your report when you see a message that your report was generated with a percentage of your visits. Then you can drag the slider to your desired number of visits: we will automatically recalculate your report and remember this number for all reports until you log out.

Try experimenting with the control to find the number of visits that is right for your data - you might be surprised with how few you need.


Additionally, we are reducing the number of visits at which we begin to statistically sample reports from 500,000 to 250,000. This change will increase overall speed, particularly if your account has large amounts of data. Anyone who hits this limit will experience faster load times, even if they were not previously entering fast-access mode. If you wish to use the old visit limit, simply drag the slider to the appropriate level.

We hope these changes allows you greater insight into your data and a faster experience inside Google Analytics. Please reach out to us with questions and comments as these features roll out to everyone.

- Chris Anderson, Google Analytics team

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