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: [email protected]). 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: [email protected]) 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?