Posted on March 28, 2013 by
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Update: This is not a bug. A helpful member of the GA team looked into this issue and identified that the profiles in question were cross linked to Adwords, a mistake on our part.

I think I have discovered a relatively major bug in Google Analytics. I have tested this across several machines and it seems like it is definitely a bug, of some sort. To cut to the chase, if you create a custom dashboard that includes widgets for your PPC data and then share that dashboard with someone, you are not just sharing the “dashboard configuration” as Google highlights in their pop-up, see below.

share-dashboard
Here is what I did:

Step 1

I created a custom dashboard for profile X with the following widgets.

  • CTR By Campaign
  • Clicks By Campaign
  • Cost By Campaign
  • Impressions By Campaign

The dashboard displayed all the relevant PPC data for profile X.

Step 2

I shared the custom PPC dashboard created in step 1 with profile Y which is a completely different site.

What Happened:

In the freshly imported dashboard I can see data for profile X and profile Y, which is pretty shocking.  I can see exactly how much money has been spent on some campaigns for profile X and then the same for profile Y.

Here are some screenshots:

The following graph shows how within the dashboard created in profile Y, I can see data from profile X.

google-analytics-bug
Further data mix up in other widgets, I have blurred some of the campaigns and they identify the relevant sites…

google-analytics-bug
But here is the big daddy of them all, I can actually see cost data from completely two irrelevant profiles/sites in one single widget just by sharing the dashboard.

google-analytics-bug
I will looking into this a bit further later on but I have contacted a member of GA’s team and have shared this information with them.

Until we hear from Google, I will advise against sharing any dashboards in the public sphere. I should also clarify that this doesn’t happen for just any dashboard, it seems to happen for profiles that are connected with Adwords and only happens with PPC data. I have other widgets within the same dashboards but they don’t share the data across.

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