Google Analytics vs. Adobe Analytics - Data Analysis & Visualization

Part 3 of 6 - Comparing Google and Adobe Analytics data analysis and visualization capabilities.

by Nikolay Gradinarov


 Adobe Analytics

Google Analytics

Reporting Interface

  • Analysis Workspace is the current Adobe Analytics standard for reporting/analysis/visualization.


  • Analysis Workspace combines some of the best of class capabilities from legacy Adobe Analytics products (Reports & Analytics, Ad Hoc Analysis) and makes them available inside an intuitive drag & drop interface. 


  • In addition to presenting data in tabular format, Analysis Workspace has built-in capabilities for data visualization, including different types of charts/graphs.


  • Analysis Workspace is actively developed with constant product innovation and new feature additions; it is a cornerstone in Adobe's plans for Adobe's Customer Journey Analytics offering.


  • Google Analytics offers multiple reporting interfaces, starting with the classic Google Analytics interface, going through Google Data Studio (which seems to be the closest feature-wise to Adobe Analysis Workspace), the Analysis Hub interface (which is in Beta and available only to GA360 customers and also somewhat reminiscent of Analysis Worspaces), as well as the App + Web interface. 


  • The Custom Reports capabilities inside the classic GA interface deserve a special callout, as this is the primary (and sometimes only) way to expose all the different dimensions/metrics within the classic interface.


  • All interfaces offer their own version of visualization capabilities. 


  • In addition to offering a more streamlined UI, Google Data Studio stands out in its ability to include multiple different data sources, as well as the curation of views for disparate stakeholders.


Data Segmentation

  • Advanced capabilities allow all data to be segmented ad-hoc using Visitor, Visit, and Hit-level scopes.


  • Segments offer additional flexibilities by allowing the nesting/mixing of multiple conditions and the creation of sequential logic.


  • Built-in UI controls allow the creation of segments by selecting report elements (including advanced visualizations) and right clicking to expose segment menus.


  • Segments can be flexibly applied on entire workspaces or just for a selection of user-specified metrics/dimensions. 


  • Segments are easily shareable among users and can be made available for other products in the Experience Cloud suite. 


  • Segments can be "dimensionalized", allowing multiple metrics or trends to be easily examined against a particular segment.


  • Up to four segments can be applied to a report in GA classic. 


  • To use segments in Google Data Studio, they need to be first created inside GA Classic.


  • Segments created in Google Analytics can be used as audiences and shared between Google products.


  • Only one segment can be applied to a Google Data Studio component. 


  • Segments can be shared among collaborators using a link or through a solutions gallery.


  • Limitations exist on the overall number of segments as well as the date range for user-based segments. 

Calculated Metrics

  • Advanced capabilities for ad-hoc creation of calculated metrics.


  • In addition to standard calculations (division, multiplication, addition, etc) calculated metrics can utilize built-in functions which coupled with segmentation capabilities can be used to produce complex calculated metrics (example: Predictive Regression Analysis).


  • Metrics can be curated and shared between users.
  • Calculated metrics in the classic GA interface are limited to basic mathematical operations. 


  • Basic and advanced filters can be applied to dimensions to show a subset of the table rows. 


  • A handy feature allows users to select a subset of rows directly inside a table and only show the selected rows.
  • Basic and advanced filters can be applied to dimensions to show a subset of the table rows. 


Data Functions

  • Basic and advanced data functions can be leveraged out of the box for data queries, ranging from calculating standard deviation and absolute values to performing logical tests and approximate count of distinct rows.  


Real Time Reporting  
  • The legacy Reports & Analytics UI offers a component that allows for data to be monitored in real time. 


  • The real-time interface allows users to customize the combination of metrics and dimensions, making it a very powerful tool for data validation.
  • Google Analytics offers a set of pre-built real time reports. 


  • The reports can be filtered (even down to a specific user) making them very useful for debugging and data quality verification. 
Attribution Modeling  
  • Since its Omniture days, the administrative interface has offered the capability to configure basic allocation settings (First, Last, Linear, etc) for a subset of dimensions known as conversion variables. 


  • In the context of Marketing Channels historically Adobe had also introduced two attribution models configured through the administrative interface - First and Last Touch.


  • With the introduction of Attribution IQ and attribution panels in Analysis Workspace it is now possible to use a range of attribution models (U Shape, J Curve, Inverse J, Time Decay, customizable Starter - Player - Closer, etc) along with custom lookback windows on the fly directly in the user interface (no administrative setup required).
  • Allocation settings for custom dimensions of different scopes is hardcoded to "last nondirect". 



  • In the GA classic interface a set of reports under Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels offers capabilities to evaluate conversions against different attribution models on the fly, including options to specify particular goals, the lookback window, and a selection of different non-custom dimensions.
Report Bookmarking & Sharing  
  • Analysis Workspace projects and combinations of metrics/dimensions/segments/filters in the legacy Reports & Analytics workspace are easily share-able through links generated through the UI. 


  • Google Analytics offers similar functionality with sharing links for different reports/views of the data. 


  • The solution gallery provides a convenient way to share dashboards, goals, segments, etc


Anomaly Detection & Alerting  
  • Analysis Workspace automatically highlights anomalies that are detected inside tables. 


  • A contribution analysis option is available for further examining which dimensions contribute to the detected anomaly. Contribution analyses require tokens. Tokens are distributed based on a monthly token quota set by the subscription tier.


  • Alerts can be configured to trigger off of movements in metrics specified by the user. The interface allows users to also specify the dimensions/segments for the evaluation of the metric, the threshold for when the alert should fire and the time granularity.
  • The classic Google Analytics interface does not have any built-in anomaly detection. 


Dimension Nesting  
  • Analysis Workspace allows nesting of multiple dimensions of different scopes in the same table making it very convenient for different forms of exploratory analysis.


  • Advanced features allow the configuration of the number of rows presented on each dimension level, the customization of totals across different levels, as well as nesting based on positional order.
  • The classic GA interface allows two-dimensional reports through the use of one primary and one secondary dimension.


  • Through custom reports users can nest up to five dimensions in the same report. 


  • Through use of segments additional nesting/filtering of data is also an option.
Web Analytics Reporting Features  











See Also:

Google Analytics vs. Adobe Analytics - Data Collection (part 1 of 6)

Google Analytics vs. Adobe Analytics - Data Processing & Configuration (part 2 of 6)

Google Analytics vs. Adobe Analytics - Data Analysis & Visualization (part 3 of 6)

Google Analytics vs. Adobe Analytics - Data Sharing & Integrations (part 4 of 6)

Google Analytics vs. Adobe Analytics - User Maintenance & Administration (part 5 of 6)

Google Analytics vs. Adobe Analytics - Other Considerations (part 6 of 6)

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