There are many names under the sun that I could call sampled data, but to simplify it and keep it acceptable I will simply define it as a “nightmare”. Even if you have Google Analytics premium there is simply no escaping sampled data unfortunately and it screws absolutely everything up and can influence incorrect decisions or reports. It’s important to get the most out of your data that you can, and why should Google stop you from doing so?
There are a couple of general ways that you can get rid of unsampled data which you can find on any old SEO blog on the web, so I’ll keep this list short:
Source – Medium – When you go through trying to investigate further in the source medium it’s more likely to sample your data. If possible, keep it top line.
Filters – Adding advanced filters to your data means it has to make more queries, minimise these if possible or try advanced segments (although these are often sampled too).
Advanced Segments – For some reason Advanced Segments are regularly sampled, so if you find your data being sampled whilst you have one on then try find an alternative method to get the data, perhaps a custom report or filter.
Date Range – Keep your date range to a minimum and if possible don’t go back to far. After about 3 months I have found that the data becomes more sampled, even in Analytics premium packages. It’s a pain, but only get what you need and split it up to daily if you have to.
These all add more queries so to speak in which Google limits you, especially when you have a significant amount of traffic.
Don’t waste your time with all that though.
This of course can be a pain having to remove filters and change what you initially want to look at but you don’t have to there is a solution and a very simple and cheap one at that, you can get all your data by simply using the…
Google Analytics API.
Using SuperMetrics in which I have a guide on how to set up right here you can easily get unsampled data. In the settings section of the formula you can enter SAMPLING_NOTE, this will tell you if the data you are getting is being sampled, all you simply have to do is add AVOID_SAMPLING and this will run the queries individual in order to give you unsampled data.
Please be aware that this does take a while however and if you are trying to retrieve too much data may crash your excel, dependant on your processor. If you split up the data you are trying to access however it should easily be able to handle a few months and sources as long as there aren’t too many visits.
I highly recommend SuperMetrics to anyone for literally anything, it cost’s very little and the amount of data you can get out of the Google API on mass is fantastic.