What Would Prevent Data From Appearing In A Custom Report Thresholding in Google Analytics 4: Understanding and How to Avoid It When using Google Analytics 4 (GA4), you may encounter a somewhat perplexing issue: the appearance of an orange exclamation mark at the top of your report, accompanied by a warning stating “Thresholding applied,” even though the report claims to be unsampled. In this article, we’ll delve into what thresholding means in GA4, why it occurs, and how to circumvent it.
What Is Thresholding in GA4?
Thresholds in Google Analytics 4 are linked to a feature called Google Signals, which is disabled by default. Enabling Google Signals can lead to the application of thresholds in your reports. Google Signals, when activated, allows for the tracking of users across different devices and platforms. It collects data from users who have signed in to a Google account and have enabled the feature in their account settings. This data is then used to provide insights into your audience’s demographics and interests.
Why Enable Google Signals?
There are a couple of reasons why users might want to enable Google Signals:
- Populating demographic data in GA4: Enabling Google Signals can provide demographic insights into your audience.
- Reusing Google Analytics audiences for Google Ads retargeting: This feature allows you to use GA4 audiences for more targeted advertising in Google Ads.
However, enabling Google Signals also introduces the concept of thresholding.
Thresholding’s Impact on GA4 Reports
When thresholding is applied, GA4 hides rows in reports that have a small number of users or events. While the exact threshold number is not disclosed, it appears to be around 50 users or events per row. This means that in reports like Traffic Acquisition, traffic sources that generated fewer than 50 users in a given timeframe will be hidden from view. The data is still stored in the database but isn’t displayed.
Why Does Google Implement Thresholding?
Google’s official explanation for thresholding is to prevent users of GA4 from identifying individual users based on the data added to reports by Google Signals, such as age and gender. However, it can be challenging to understand how this data could be used to identify specific users, especially since Google Signals data is not exported to Bigquery.