How to get access to Google Analytics

To request access to Google Analytics, submit the Analytics Access - Google Analytics/Domo - Request Template. For privacy reasons, please send a Slack message to #vfs-platform-support with the email addresses of the VFS team member(s) needing access.

We do not provide access to personal accounts like Gmail. GA access is given to business and government emails. VFS team members with VA.gov emails will need to attach it to a Google account. Instructions on how to do so can be found here.

How to get support from the Platform Analytics & Insights team

To receive support from the Platform Analytics & Insights teams, please use the /support request feature on the  #vfs-platform-support Slack channel.

Opting Out from Google Analytics tracking

To best separate our product team's activity from veterans, their families, and other users of VA.gov, we ask all product teams and other internal VA staff to opt-out of tracking on their devices.

Please take a minute to visit this link on all of the devices that you might use to test on the production site: 

Read more information about the Google Analytics Opt Out.

Properties and views

The GA account is split into properties. The VA.gov properties that VFS teams should use are:

We also have a production GA4 property, but teams should continue to use the above properties for the foreseeable future.

There are a few other properties on our account, including internal Platform sites, the CMS, the mobile app, and several archived legacy properties.

Within each VA.gov property, the data is organized into views.

  • The All VA.gov Website Data [Production] view includes all VA.gov content, including Modernized tools and content, eBenefits, and MHV.

  • The WBC - VA.gov Modernized Content view is only the “modernized” VA.gov website. Note that the WBC view includes a manually set index.html default document and does not include the hostname with the page path.

There are also several product-based views - like Education Modernized View and myhealth.va.gov - that are filtered to specific pages or domains. Be careful when using these views. Some metrics - like bounce rate - may be inaccurate due to this filtering.

Dimensions and metrics

Dimensions are attributes of your data. For example, the dimension City indicates the city, for example, "Paris" or "New York", from which a session originates. The dimension Page indicates the URL of a page that is viewed.

Metrics are quantitative measurements. The metric Sessions is the total number of sessions. The metric Pages/Session is the average number of pages viewed per session.

-https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033861

Dimensions are the actual data we record. They describe - or are “scoped” - to a hit, session, or a user. For instance, a page URL is scoped to a hit. Landing page - on the other hand - is scoped to a session since you can only have one per session. A common user-scoped custom dimension we track is LOA Level.

Metrics are a count of dimensions. They are also “scoped” to a hit (like a pageview or event), a session, or a user. When GA refers to a metric as being “unique”, it means it is only counted once per session.

There are exceptions, but in general you cannot combine dimensions and metrics of different scopes.

Read more details about common VA tracked Google Analytics Metrics and Dimensions. For a complete and searchable list, visit Google’s Dimensions & Metrics Explorer.

BigQuery and Domo

Data from All VA.gov Website Data [Production] is also exported to a data warehouse system called BigQuery. This data is the primary source of data for Domo - our BI and visualization tool. This export has several benefits including:

  1. It is un-sampled. We have a lot of data and it’s common for our GA reports to be sampled (view our FAQ page for more info on sampling).

  2. This access to the raw data lets us calculate insights - like time between events - that are not possible in the GA interface and create complicated user and session segments.

We use Domo to create KPI Dashboards. Please see our KPI Dashboard documentation for more information on what products are supported.