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I need to generate a report for only the Americas in Google Analytics.

When I create an advanced segment that includes Continent >Exactly Matching> Americas I get one number,

If I create the segment that includes sub-Continent region> Includes >America I get a slightly different number,

And if I look at all visits but choose Demographics>location>and segment by sub-continent region I get yet a 3rd number! (Note: this is because it also includes Caribbean)

All are only different by around 1% of traffic. What is the most accurate way to do this, or should I just pick a way and be consistent?

EDIT: What other regions/countries should I add the the advanced segment to more accurately match the demographics report?

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"What is the most accurate way to do this..?" - This question hinges upon how you are using the data and what level of variance is acceptable for your usage. Can you clarify how you are using the data? –  danlefree Jun 5 '12 at 0:10
    
Thanks, I am just trying to report accurately on all traffic from the Americas on the whole. I am using this data to gauge traffic, but I want to have clearly written instructions for others in my company to generate consistent reports. –  Drai Jun 5 '12 at 14:17
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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Technically speaking the 'Americas' includes Canada, South America, various island chains and so on.

What's more than likely happening is that you're getting parts of Southern, Central and Northern America included or excluded based on the reports you're running.

In general Analytics is a fairly imprecise science so, as you suggest, pick a single mechanism and stick to it - that way your trends will make sense and the trends are sometimes more important than the numbers depending on who the report is for.

It's also worth noting that the new GA interface has a habit of resetting the data range when you drill down into deep level reports, so this might also explain the variation.

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if the date range can easily get reset when drilling down, then I will probably stick with the advanced segment and just add the islands that are being missed by adding just "americas". –  Drai Jun 5 '12 at 14:20
    
@Drai it doesn't always happen, but I've been putting together some advanced custom dashboards for a client recently and noticed that as you drill into some reports like custom events, the date range resets to the default. I assume it's a bug because it doesn't happen all the time. Just keep an eye on it. –  toomanyairmiles Jun 5 '12 at 14:39
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