Ambitious Guide on How You Can Export Google Analytics Data
Purposes for exporting Google Analytics data can be different: someone wants to report the results, someone else needs to have a backup of historical data, and so on. This is the reason for creating this ambitious guide.
Why “ambitious”? Our goal is to explain all possible options of Google Analytics data export, from manual clicks and downloads to the use of Google Analytics API. You’ll be able to choose the option that suits your purpose the most.
Export data from Google Analytics – the available options
From July 1, 2023, Universal analytics or Google Analytics 3 property will no longer be available. In this guide, we’re explaining the ways to export data from GA3 property. However, if you need to export data from GA4, check out the relevant articles that we’ve prepared beforehand.
Manual export of Google Analytics dashboard
This is the option that most Google Analytics users frequently use. It looks like this:
- You select the GA report you want to export.
- Then you click the “Export” button and choose the desired format.
- A few moments later, your GA data will be downloaded to your device.
The exporting formats differ depending on the type of report you choose and can include CSV, Excel, Google Sheets, and PDF. In the case of Google Sheets format, the file won’t be downloaded to your device. Instead, your Google Analytics data will be opened in a separate Google Sheets document.
However, if you need this destination, there is a much better solution.
Add-on to export data from Google Analytics to Google Sheets
In this case, the export data from Google Analytics is carried out using the Google Analytics add-on, which you need to install from the Google Workspace Marketplace.
This is one of the most actionable options for a few reasons:
- Data goes from Google Analytics directly to Google Sheets.
- You can customize the dimensions and metrics to include in your exported report.
- You can specify the maximum number of rows to return for your GA report.
- You can automate exports of reports from Google Analytics to Google Sheets on a schedule, for example every day between 4 and 5 p.m.
We won’t focus on this option in this guide since we’ve already blogged about it in Google Analytics to Google Sheets. Feel free to check it out!
Google Analytics API for fetching datasets
Google Analytics API provides a few APIs to enhance your analytical experience, opposed to using the regular Google Analytics UI:
- Core Reporting API to access most of the report data in Google Analytics.
- Reporting API to access report data in Google Analytics universal properties.
- Realtime API to access the real-time data.
- Multi-Channel Funnels API to access conversion path data, which shows user interactions with various traffic sources over multiple sessions prior to converting.
- Data API to access report data in Google Analytics 4 properties.
Lack of coding skills can be a blocker for many users to enjoy this advanced analytics option. However, tech-savvy users who leverage API connectors, such as JSON Client by Coupler.io, can also benefit from Google Analytics APIs. JSON Client lets you fetch data via the REST API and import it to Google Sheets or BigQuery. For more on it, read how to import JSON to Google Sheets.
Google Analytics API is a very actionable way to export data from Google Analytics including real-time and historical data.
Can Google Analytics export all data?
Users who need to export their historical data from Google Analytics may wish there was a magic “Export All” button, but there is no such option. So, you have three ways:
- Manually export reports – this may take a few hours or more depending on the volume of your historical data in Google Analytics.
- Export aggregated reports to Google Sheets using the add-on.
- Export aggregated reports via the Google Analytics API – coding skills are required here.
How to automate data export from Google Analytics
If you don’t know how to automate Google Analytics data export programmatically (or don’t want to do this), the only option you have is the Google Analytics add-on for Google Sheets. It lets you schedule export of the custom GA reports to Google Sheets.
The available frequency is every hour, every day, every week or every month in a desired time range.
How to export Google Analytics data manually from UI
Google Analytics provides multiple reports. For most of them, the exporting flow is the same, but there may be some intricacies. So, let’s answer the following questions frequently asked by GA users.
Note: All the data covered in the following sections can be easily exported to Google Sheets using the add-on.
How to export Google Analytics behavior report
It’s very simple. Go to Behavior => Overview, click the “Export” button, and select the format for exporting your report (PDF, Google Sheets, Excel, CSV).
Besides Overview, you can also export the following reports within the Behavior tab:
- Behavior Flow (only PDF)
- Site Content
- All Pages
- Content Drilldown
- Landing Pages
- Exit Pages
- Site Speed
- Page Timings
- Speed Suggestions (only via Google Sheets add-on and API)
- User Timings
- Site Search
- Search Terms
- Search Pages
- Top Events
- Events Flow (only PDF)
- Publisher Pages
- Publisher Referrers
How to export report site speed suggestions from Google Analytics
You can’t do this using the Google Analytics UI. The only options are either Google Analytics add-on for Google Sheets or the API.
How to export report on site traffic from Google Analytics
You can find Google Analytics data about site traffic in the Acquisition tab.
The steps are the same: select the report => click “Export” => select format.
The following reports are available for export (PDF, Google Sheets, Excel, CSV):
- All Traffic
Note: You cannot export the Treemaps report.
How to export Google Analytics visitor flow
You will find the necessary flow chart in Audience => Users Flow. Then click “Export” => PDF, and the PDF file with the users flow will be downloaded to your device.
Since we touched upon exporting visual data, let’s check out whether you can export graphs from Google Analytics.
How to export graphs from Google Analytics
All flow reports (Users Flow, Behavior Flow, Events Flow, and Goal Flow) can only be exported as PDF. If you need to export other Google Analytics charts and graphs, you should also select PDF as the export format, otherwise only the raw dataset will be exported. For example, here is the exported PDF of Demographics Overview.
How to export Google Analytics goals by hour
To export the report on Google Analytics hourly goals, go to Conversions => Goals => Overview. Select the Hourly period on the dashboard, then click “Export” and choose the format.
How to export user data from Google Analytics
In the Audience tab, you can find a number of reports dedicated to users and their behavior on your website.
Choose the report you want and complete the usual exporting flow (click on the “Export” button and select format).
How to export pivot tables from Google Analytics
In some Google Analytics reports, you can summarize data in the desired format using pivot tables. After that, you can export the resulting pivot table. This is how it works. For example, here is the report on mobile devices in Google Analytics.
Click the “Pivot” button to create a pivot table of this report.
Feel free to customize the pivot table by setting up the pivot components: Primary dimension, Secondary dimension, Sort Type, Pivot by, Pivot metrics, as well as the buttons to view columns and rows.
Once you’ve made the pivot table you want, you can follow the usual exporting flow (click the “Export” button and select the format).
How to export keyword map from Google Analytics
If you need to export all keywords, both paid and unpaid, used by users to reach your site, you can find them in Acquisition => Google Ads => Keywords. Configure the report (for example, specify the period) and follow the usual exporting flow – click the “Export” button and select the format.
Read our blog post about how you can export Google Ads data to Google Sheets.
How to export unique organic terms from Google Analytics
You can find the report on organic keywords in Acquisition => Campaigns => Organic Keywords. You already know what to do next, don’t you? 🙂
How to export custom reports from Google Analytics
To export a custom report from GA, you need to go to Customization => Custom Reports and select the report you want. After that, click the “Export” button and select the format.
How to export page view data from Google Analytics
You will find information about page views in Behavior => Site content => All pages. Filter out the data you want to export and go ahead.
How to export users and sessions data from Google Analytics
Go to Audience => User Explorer to find the information about users, sessions, bounce rate, etc. You can export this data in the usual way.
How to export Google Analytics account list
In the Google Analytics UI, you can see the information about your accounts, properties, apps, and views.
However, the only way to export this data is via the add-on to Google Sheets or API.
How to export a list of most active users from Google Analytics
In Google Analytics, you can export a list of all users filtered as you wish, but you can’t export the most active ones. None of the Google Analytics APIs will let you do this either.
How to export more than 10,000 rows in Google Analytics
The maximum number of rows you can filter out in the Google Analytics UI is 5,000.
So, if you need to export, let’s say, 11,000 rows, you’ll have to export three files: two with 5,000 rows each and one with 1,000 rows.
Whereas, using the Google Analytics add-on for Google Sheets, you can easily export more than 10,000 rows. For this, you need to leave the “Limit” field empty in the Report Configuration.
The Google Analytics APIs will also let you export large amounts of data.
That’s it for manual export Google Analytics data. Now let’s talk about the advanced option with the use of Google Analytics API.
How to enable Google Analytics API for exporting data
There are many Google API client libraries depending on the programming language you leverage – Java, .NET, Python, etc. These client libraries allow you to access different Google APIs, including Google Analytics APIs, programmatically. But the key requirement for using them is to enable the target API and get the application credentials. This is what we’re going to explain below.
1. Create a project on Google API Console
Go to the Google API Console (log in to your Google account if requested), name a new project, and click “Create“.
2. Enable the Google Analytics API
Select your project, go to the Dashboard of the APIs & Services menu, and click “Enable APIs and Services“.
Enter “Google Analytics” into the search bar and select the Google Analytics API you want to use – for example, Google Analytics Reporting API.
3. OAuth consent screen and credentials
Click “Create Credentials” and then go to the OAuth consent screen.
Select the “External” user type and click “Create“. On the next page, configure the following parameters:
- App name – insert the name of the app asking for consent
- User support email – select your email address
Developer contact information
- Email address – insert your email address
Click “Save and Continue“.
On the Scopes page, just click “Save and Continue“.
On the Test users page, click “Add users” and insert your email address. Insert the emails for other users if necessary. After that, click “Save and Continue“.
On the Summary page, click “Back to Dashboard“.
Now you need to get back to the Credentials menu. Click “Create Credentials” and select the type of credentials to use. If you’re not sure which option you need for your app, click “Help me choose“.
Then follow the instructions to obtain the required credentials.
Which option for exporting Google Analytics is best?
In most cases, the answer depends on multiple factors. If you need to export Google Analytics data recurrently, the API is the best option. But this requires coding skills. If you don’t have those, choose the add-on, which will export your GA data to Google Sheets. The manual export of data is fine if you do this quite rarely: once a month or a quarter.
In our opinion, the Google Analytics add-on for Google Sheets is the most convenient way to export data. Once your data is in spreadsheets, you can then easily transfer it to other tools, apps and databases, such as BigQuery. If interested, read our Google Analytics to BigQuery guide.
If you are exporting your data to visualize it later, check out our article explaining how to connect Google Analytics 4 with Looker Studio.
Good luck with your data!