4.2 Understanding your account structure

  • Understand the hierarchy of a Google Analytics account and the meaning of the terms “Account," “Property” and “View”
  • Practice creating new properties and new views
  • Recognize how account structure affects which data can be viewed together in Google Analytics

Understanding your account structure

Analytics Academy lesson

Reading list


An Analytics account is simply a logical way for a business to group data from all of its digital assets together. There are also certain configuration settings that you apply to your entire account, like managing the users who have access.

Within each account, you can have one or more properties that independently collect data. Each property is assigned a unique tracking ID that tells Analytics exactly which data should be collected, stored and reported together. Typically you create separate accounts for unique businesses or distinct business units. Then you can create unique properties within that account for the different websites, mobile applications, or other digital assets that belong to the business.

For each property, you have the option to create different views of your data. A view lets you define a unique perspective of the data from a parent property. You use the configuration settings in your account to define each view. You should have at least three views for each property.

  • By default, you have one unfiltered view that is automatically generated when you create a property. Don’t apply any settings or configurations to this view since it is the backup for your data. Once you delete a view it’s gone forever. So having a backup view, like the unfiltered data view, is very useful.
  • You should have a master view. This view should have all of the settings needed to transform your data into useful information.
  • You should have a test view. If you need to make changes to your configuration test them using this view first. Once you know the impact to the data you can then apply the same change to your master view.

When you create a new view, Analytics does not automatically copy any of the historical data in the original view to the new view. You’ll only have data starting from the date you created the view.