Today I noticed a small change in the way Google Analytics show sampled data in one of my accounts. The well-known yellow rectangle is replaced by a permanent notice in the top right corner.
Update: This seems to be available only in accounts that contain a Google Analytics Premium property. Also, the issue is fixed an by default it takes 500,000 sessions.
Here’s how it looked before:
And the slider to control the number of sessions and the precision:
Now you can see for every report how many sessions were used for its calculation:
And when you’re working with bigger websites and select a secondary dimension or apply an advanced segment, the data is sampled as usual:
This new visualization could be easily missed without the alarming yellow color.
By default Google Analytics samples the data at 250,000 sessions, with a maximum of 500,000 sessions. I think this may be a temporary bug, but the drop-down that says Faster response, less precision and Slower response, greater precision is incorrectly marked as greater precision at 250,000 sessions:
A work-around is to select Faster response, less precision first and then switch to Slower response, greater precision to get to the limit of 500,000 sessions:
For specific ways to manage sampled data in Google Analytics you can check this great blog post at Luna Metrics.
Update: It seems GA fixed the issue and now you see the proper limitation for Slower response, greater precision option.
P.S. Got a Google Analytics question? Send it to me and I’ll try to answer it on the blog.