One Simple Change To Google Analytics Anyone Can Do (and everyone should)


By: Drew McManus

Google Analytics (GA) is a remarkable resource but too many arts marketers aren’t able to leverage everything it has to offer. It’s not from a lack of trying or desire; in many cases, GA can simply seem overwhelming; fortunately, Google rolls out a seemingly endless stream of improvements and over the past year, many of those have been geared to one-click-simple changes; case in point, activating demographics and interest reports.

Previously, this little gem required a slight modification to your tracking code which you then had to upload to your site (and there’s still an option for that via the “Admin>Properties>Property Settings” admin panel which will provide a boost to the data) but you can now activate with a single button click.

It’s so straightforward, it won’t take more than 30 seconds to complete. Start off by logging into your GA account…

  1. From the “Reports” panel, open the “Audience” menu item.
  2. Go to the “Demographics>Overview” admin panel.
  3. Select the blue “Enable” button.

That’s it.

If all went according to plan, you should see something along the lines of a message saying “Congratulations! You have successfully enabled the Demographic Reports. While you can access them now, it may take up to 24 hours before there is data available in these reports.”

Moving forward, you can return to the Demographics reports over the next few days and begin to see data trickle in. After a few weeks, you’ll be amazed at how much useful data was slipping by under your radar.

Demographics Metrics

If you’re curious about where the data comes from, the difference in standard and custom reports, and how Google defines the ready-made demographic dimensions head over to the related Analytics’ help page, which is genuinely helpful and provides a wealth of info that users with a wide range of understanding can grasp.

Drew McManus
Drew McManus
In addition to my consulting business, I'm also the Principal of Venture Industries Online but don’t let that title fool you into thinking I'm just a tech geek. I bring 20+ years of global broad-based arts consulting experience to the table to help clients break the cycle of choosing one-size-fits-none solutions and instead, deliver options allowing them to get ahead of the tech curve instead of trying to catch up by going slower. With the vision of legacy support strategy and the delights of creative insights, my mission is to deliver a sophisticated next generation technology designed especially for the field of performing arts. The first step in that journey began in 2010 when The Venture Platform was released, a purpose-designed managed website development solution designed especially for arts organizations and artists. For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, lead a team of intrepid arts pros to hack the arts, lead an arts business incubator, and love a good coffee drink.
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5 thoughts on “One Simple Change To Google Analytics Anyone Can Do (and everyone should)”

  1. I tried to enable demographic reporting, but never saw the green “enable” box. Instead I got a yellow alert bar that says, “Some data in this report may have been removed when a threshold was applied.” Do you have any idea what this is about, or how to work around it? Thanks for your help!


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