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So, I successfully got my new GA4 tag hooked up and am reporting events with customized categories, labels, and values.

Yet in the new Google Analytics 4 reporting and data exploration views, I cannot find any way to actually view this data other than the most basic "Event Count by Event Name".

Very disappointing for an "upgrade" :\

Beyond doing something drastic like exporting my data to BigQuery, is there really no way to view e.g. "Event Label" data in GA4?

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  • I wouldn't call GA4 an upgrade at this point. Google is still recommending dual tagging where you send your data to both GA4 and the old universal analytics at the same time. Jan 25, 2022 at 9:44
  • Oof. They really should label it "Beta" (or more like "Alpha") if it's not ready for prime time. Thanks :\
    – vaebnkehn
    Jan 26, 2022 at 12:11
  • I don't think they are ever planning to migrate your historical UA data to GA4, so I suspect that people will want to run UA indefinitely, or at least until it is discontinued. Jan 26, 2022 at 12:24

1 Answer 1

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Wait, before throwing out GA4, just to answer the question:

You have to register your custom dimensions. Yes, Category, Action, Label and Value used to be default dimensions in GA. Not anymore. Now the set of default dimensions is different, so if you want to maintain your old structure, you have to go to GA4 interface and create these custom dimensions.

Also, you'll notice that GA4 no longer offers session/product scope for custom dimensions. They're on the roadmap, but action, label and category are hit-level dimensions, so you're all set here.

In the network request, you can see the event parameters as ep.<name>. Easy to debug them that way. If you're sending events with ep.xyz set to a meaningful value, you won't see them popping up in analytics unless you register the xyz as an Custom Dimension in GA4 interface.

Pay attention to limits though. Unique event names are limited to 500. Custom dimensions are limited to 50, custom metrics - 50. Max eps sent per event - 25.

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  • This page seems to confirm that registering custom dims is needed for proper reporting, and my own tests show this. It's so confusing because the help pages are scattered and you have to put the pieces together and use trial & error to get things right. On top of that, tracking to a UA property with a connected GA4 one seems broken; custom events aren't flowing to GA4! But tracking to GA4 directly works fine. Not a smooth transition at all.
    – Kelvin
    Jul 25, 2023 at 21:30

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