I'm using Google Analytics event tracking to count the number of unique users that did some action on my site. A flag on localStorage is used to determine who is new and who is returning. I am aware that incognito or clear cookies makes the user looks like a new one, that's ok.

The problem is that on the GA reports screen there are 10 different numbers for the same single event! Which one is correct? What do the other numbers mean?

Normal Precision setting:

Total Events 12958 % of Total: 25.16% (51494)
Unique Events 12599 % of Total 26.36% (47790)
Event Category Total Events 58805 (100%) Unique Events 57241 (100%)

Screen shot of GA events - normal precision

Higher Precision:

Total Events 26045 % of Total: 31.64% (82313)
Unique Events 57241 % of Total 33.28% (76158)
Event Category Total Events 58805 (100%) Unique Events 57241 (100%) <-- same as before

Screen shot of GA events - higher precision

  • I just looked through event tracking tables on 5 different web sites and couldn't find a one that had individual event totals higher than the top row "total events" total. Are you, by chance, passing negative numbers as a value for a particular event? I wonder if that could cause this (and the other strange numbers).
    – Will
    Aug 29, 2015 at 0:38
  • No, I'm not using values at all.
    – oriadam
    Aug 30, 2015 at 8:32
  • The real approximate is always Unique visits/users/events/ etc.. For example on a simple page visit statistics you have Impressions Visits and Unique Visitors, Visits count both returning and new users, unique users counts only the new users also I am aware that incognito or clear cookies makes the user looks like a new one, that's ok. occurs, impressions show you how many times the page has been requested and unique visitors is the count of new visitors. If GA eventracking isn't good for you, you can always go for more simple counter.
    – knif3r
    Feb 24, 2016 at 18:42

1 Answer 1


"Total" is the number of events including duplicates, "Unique" is the number without duplicates.

The first row gives the total for all dimensions, all further rows give the number per dimension (i.e. this is broken down by the alphanumeric "label" in the first column). So basically they are all correct, they just show different things.

The weird thing in your screenshot is that the totals in the first row are smaller than the totals per dimension. I cannot explain that, this should be not possible.

  • Note that the first "Total Events" gives different numbers depending on the precision setting.
    – oriadam
    Aug 3, 2015 at 8:27
  • I'm not passing any numbers as values...
    – oriadam
    Aug 30, 2015 at 8:33

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