EVERY PROPERTY NEEDS THREE VIEWS
- Raw Data
This naming convention isn’t what’s important. What’s important is that these 3 Views exist for each of your Properties in Google Analytics.
The Main View is the one where you do almost all of your analysis and reporting. It is the “go to” View. Best practices Filters – like filtering out internal traffic, forcing lowercase for URLs, campaign parameters, etc. – and any other Filters your site needs are applied there, including turning on Google’s Bots & Spider Filter.
In our naming convention, the Main View would appear first in the Home section of Google Analytics (because Views are listed in alphabetical order) which is nice since it’s the one where we do most of our analysis and reporting.
Raw View Data
A Raw Data View is a Google Analytics View with no configuration. For example, no Filters are applied and no Goals are set. The Raw Data View acts as a back-up. First, in case, we need to validate configuration in other Views. Second, in case a View becomes too complex to reverse engineer. In those cases, it might be easier to compare to a Raw Data View or copy the Raw Data View and then apply configuration, like Filters and Goals, fresh.
The Test View should be the same as the Main View, except this is where you do your testing for changes that you want to implement in the Main View but that would permanently affect the data. Test those changes in the Test View and then when you’re sure you have implemented them correctly, recreate them in the Main View.
A Test View can be easily created by copying the View you are testing against in the View Settings section of Google Analytics Admin panel.
The Test View can also be used for other tests. For example, E-Nor used a Test View to measure the less than 0.5% change in Sessions from implementing Google’s Bot & Spider Filter.
If you ever question if your view makes a difference, check out the different “views” of the Haleakala Volcano! 🙂