What are metrics & dimensions in marketing analytics?

Published Jan 17 2022 Last updated May 24 2023 2 minute read
Quick guide to metrics and dimensions

Metrics and dimensions is the backbone of marketing analytics. They help marketers see data more detailedly to gain insights into their campaigns. Watch the video, or read here to start your learning journey.


Metrics vs. Dimensions

Perhaps you are most familiar with this dynamic duo from Google Analytics reports. In a nutshell, metrics are the quantitative measurements of data, while dimensions are the labels used to describe them. In other words, metrics are numbers (values, percentages, cost, time), whereas dimensions are non-numerical values.

What are dimensions?

Dimensions are attributes of your data; they describe or give context to metrics and ultimately allow you to segment your data. 

Examples of dimensions are: 

  • Date
  • Country 
  • Campaign 
  • Source
  • Funnel stage

What are metrics?

Metrics are the quantitative elements in a data set, otherwise known as numbers. 

Examples of metrics are:

  • Cost
  • Clicks 
  • Impressions 
  • Cost per click
  • Average session duration
  • Page sessions
  • Views

How metrics & dimensions work together

Metrics and dimensions are data labels helping you understand what that data is. An easy way to think of it is like column headers in a Google Sheet; if they weren’t there, you wouldn’t know what you were looking at. It’s the same with metrics and dimensions - they tell us what we’re analyzing. Without them, we would be lost in our data.

As an example, if we have 100 people who visit our website in a day, there may be many metrics we want to track for this group. How long they stayed on the site, or what pages they visited most often being just a few examples. 

However, these numbers will not mean anything unless they also come with some qualitative descriptions, such as which industry those visitors work in or whether they were from California or New York City. These descriptive details make up the dimension.

See the example below illustrating what dimensions and metrics are within Google Analytics. 

ALT text: Examples and explanations of metrics and dimensions in Google Analytics from Funnel.io

In the above image, you see examples of medium (organic, referral, etc.) and metrics (sessions, new sessions %, new users).

There is a lot to know about data, but metrics and dimensions are a part of the foundation of your marketing data journey. 

Why are metrics and dimensions essential in marketing analytics? 

As you advance through your marketing data journey, you will want to slice and dice your data in different ways. 

With Google Sheets, you can create new columns that pick and choose data segments by creating complicated formulas to handle new data. 

In Funnel, there are our out-of-the-box transformation tools to help you quickly build custom metrics or dimensions at scale - with whatever logic you want! 

Check out the video above to get the lowdown - or contact us if you need any additional guidance along the way!

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