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What does Not Set Mean in Google Analytics?

Google Analytics, a widely used tool for monitoring and analyzing website traffic. It can sometimes display the term “not set” in various reports. The not set in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) can be puzzling for users trying to decipher their website analytics data.

This article aims to explain what does not set mean in Google Analytics and how it can affect your data analysis.

What is “not set” in Google Analytics?

The “not set” value in GA4 represents an instance where no information is available for a specific dimension in a report. It’s essentially a placeholder indicating that there’s missing or undefined data for a specific metric or dimension.

item name not set

What Are The Reasons Behind “not set” Values?

Following are some of the important reasons behind the not set values in GA4.

  1. Missing or Incorrect Tracking Code: If the tracking code is not correctly implemented, this might cause “not set” values to appear for some pages.
  2. Data Processing Issues: Sometimes, internal issues might hinder the proper processing of data in Google Analytics, leading to “not set” values.
  3. Disabled Cookies: When users disable cookies, Google Analytics might not be able to collect necessary data for certain dimensions and metrics.
  4. Anonymized IP Address: Data protection regulations may restrict the information that can be collected, resulting in “not set” values.
  5. Countries(Geographical dimensions not set): This holds true for all geographies-related dimensions, such as City. Anonymized IP address, privacy restrictions or even proxies are the most common causes of “not set” in your demographic data.
location data not set in GA4
  1. Event Parameters: In GA4, if event parameters are not properly configured or data is not sent correctly, it may result in “not set” values.
  2. GA4 Custom Dimensions: In GA4: If custom dimensions are not set, you can still face “not set” issue in GA4 . For example, while tracking ecommerec reports, you  see a placeholder (not set) instead of item name. It means you haven’t set cutsom dimension. So, it’s very necessary you set all the dimensions very carefully and accurately. Read more: How to set custom dimensions.
  3.  Undifined Page Title in GA4: 

If the website is inadequately maintained, you may be affected by this issue. However, to determine which pages are lacking the title, you need navigate to  Reports >> Engagement  >> Pages and Screens. If you see “not set” under page titles, you should contact the developer to add proper page titles.

page title not set GA4

How to Handle “not set” Values?

1. Check the Tracking Code: Make sure the tracking code is used properly on your whole website. Or, you can use Analytify to smoothly integrate your website with Google Analytics. Read more,  How to Integrate Google Analytics 4 with Analytify.

2. Regularly Check Data: Check your data regularly for “not set” numbers to find problems as soon as possible.

3. User Consent and Cookies: Be aware of how user consent and cookie settings might affect data collection.

4.  Setup Event Parameters and User Properties: Ensure that they are set up appropriately and that data is sent accurately.

5. Custom Dimension: Verify, custom dimensions are set appropriately.

Understanding the meanin of “not set” in Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics is critical for effective data analysis. Understand the reasons for “not set” values and taking actions to correct them will help you gain a more precise and analytical knowledge of your website traffic and user behaviour.

Final Thoughts

The “not set” value in GA4 signifies gaps in data collection. Regularly monitoring the tracking setup, being aware of user privacy settings, and using Analytify  to integrate your website with Google Analytics can help reduce the instances of “not set” in reports.