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We run a radio station site with 5 markets. The value of the market is saved as a cookie and last week I started tracking the value of that cookie in a page-level custom variable.

The problem is that when reporting on the page views of this custom variable, GA alerts that only 80% of the data is being reported on.

So, I'm wondering whether I can increase that figure if I swap to session-level custom variable so there is less data accrued to report on?

  • Do you have any visitors with javascript turned off in their web browser? For google analytics to work in full glory, it depends on the user to have javascript so that google can record the visitor count. That might be why some data isn't reported. – Mike May 18 '15 at 2:14
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I don't think a session level variable makes sense because a user could view pages from multiple markets in the same session. Sessions level variables are meant for things like where the user was referred from.

The reason that Google doesn't report on all the data is because it uses "sampling" once a website gets enough traffic. Here is Google Analytics help page about sampling.

Generally, session sampling reduces query latency while maintaining a high level of accuracy. Google Analytics sampling works well for fast, top N queries and other queries that have a relatively broad, uniform distribution across sessions. Session sampling can be less accurate for 'needle in a haystack' problems, such as single keyword analysis and long tail analysis. It is also less accurate in situations that involve narrow dimension filtering, such as heavily filtered views or conversion analysis where conversions constitute a small fraction of sessions. For those types of analysis, refer to unsampled reports, available to Google Analytics Premium accounts.

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