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Given a custom variable taking two values demarcating two potential alternative designs for a page, is it possible to extract standard deviation or other measures of distribution for metrics (pages/visit and duration/visit specifically) for those pages?

Yes, I know content experiments is far better suit to this type of problem, but for undiscloseable reasons, CE is not an option.

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I've haven't seen a solution specifically for the metrics you describe, however I have seen one for goal completions. You might just have to export the data to Excel or SPSS to get what you need.

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