We’ve all been there. Everything on surface looks like it’s running smoothly. Data is coming in. The 30,000-foot view of your account looks like business as usual. You start upping your analytics game. Maybe you took some training and you’re getting your hands dirty asking the tough questions of your data. But how do you know if you can trust your data in the first place?
Before I dive into the various reasons your data can be messed up, let me define a specific element of “messed up”. As an example, within each of the various reports that Google provides to you there is what’s called the “Explorer” view. This view is the most commonly used. At the bottom of this report you have the data table which is broken down into columns and rows. Each one of these rows is unique. Therein lies the problem. Conceptually, what you understand as a single campaign, page of your site, source, medium, or whatever may be broken up into multiple different rows. Generally the most active row will rise to the top. That active row may only be a portion of the true data.