A new undocumented Advanced Segmentation limitation in Google Analytics

I was already feeling the pinch from the short work week (due to the Labor Day holiday) when I came across a Google Analytics reporting limitation.

I attempted to show a colleague how to use the Advanced Segmentation reporting feature, a powerful tool that easily isolates traffic for further analysis. I regularly use this feature to look at the behavior of a user segment, such as visitor traffic from a specific geography (ex: in Georgia) or a specific device (ex: iPhone vs. Android). When my colleague logged into Google Analytics, the Advanced Segments link was missing from the interface.

Advanced Segments link in Google Analytics reporting interface

Thinking that it was an account permission issue, I immediately started to elevate her account access level, switching her from the basic Read & Analyze level to the Collaborate level and then to the full-featured Edit level (aka Admin level). None of these account access levels worked. Knowing that I use my Gmail account, I deleted her account and added her Gmail account (ex: name@gmail.com). I also assigned her account only Read & Analyze level access. When she logged into Google Analytics, the Advanced Segments link was present. Ugh!

It turns out that Advanced Segments is only available to user with a Gmail address. Users that access Google Analytics with their work/private email account (ex: name@mycompany.com) cannot view/use the Advanced Segments.

There are users who’ve reported other undocumented limitations with Advanced Segmentation, such as the inability to create more than 100 custom segments, but never this one. I hope that this post saves you from unnecessary aggravation!

What other limitations have you run into in Google Analytics?

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  1. I’m not sure if it’s related to the account being a Google (Gmail) account or not. My account is based on my work address, and I still see advanced segments. However my colleague’s account is also based on our work email, and his access to advanced segments disappeared this week. I’m still trying to determine the cause and fix it.

  2. Eóin — have you tried switching your colleague’s account to a gmail address? Does Advanced Segments re-appear?

  3. Hi, I don’t think it’s a Gmail vs non-Gmail issue either. I thought Advanced Segments had disappeared on a few of our accounts too, but actually the menu option has just been hidden in the interface. To reveal the new Advanced Segments menu you now have to click the grey down arrow underneath the Email link (to the left of ‘All Visits’).

  4. You must be referring to the UI update that Google Analytics recently made. This is different than the issue that I’ve run into — I don’t even have the ability to access advanced segments unless we are logged in with a Google (gmail) account.

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