How accurate are Google Analytics Age & Gender Demographics?

How accurate are Google Analytics Age & Gender Demographics?

Google Says…

“Some data in this report may have been removed when a threshold was applied. Learn more.”

Here is more info from google about this…

Data that are subject to thresholds might be any of the dimensions Age, Gender, or Interest Category.

When a report contains any of these dimensions (for example, as a default dimension, a secondary dimension, or as part of an applied segment), then there is the possibility that thresholds have been enforced and not all of the original data appear in the report.

Thresholds are applied when the data might allow a recipient of the report to infer the characteristics (such as age, gender, or interests) of an individual visitor. Any rows below the threshold are not displayed. Rows above the threshold will contain complete data.

When these circumstances occur in a report, you see a notice below the report title.

The thresholds that I applied are two…

  • I just one single day.
  • I have turned on an advanced segment to show inquiry submissions only.

The plan:

  • Use one day of internal data from an inquiry form.
  • Compare with one day of data from Google Analytics.

How does the internal data on Gender compare with the Google Analytics Data?

 

Internal Data Google Data

Percentage of Error for Google

Male 51 41 -20%
Female 91 87 -4%
Totals 142 128 -10%

 

How does the internal data on Age compare with the Google Analytics Data?

  Internal Data Google Data Percentage of Error for Google
Below 18 10 none -
18-24 48 39 -19%
25-34 43 24 -44%
35-44 24 17 -29%
45-54 13 24 +46%
55-64 4 none -
Totals 142 104 -27%

 

Questions:

  1. The totals in Gender and in Age are way off. For gender, google is 10% under. For Age totals, Google is 27% under. That is a discouraging start.

 

Qualifications:

  • Perhaps our sampling is too small. If we were using numbers in the thousands, perhaps google’s margin of error would be much lower.
  • Perhaps our internal data represents parents filling out the form for younger individuals?

Observations:

  • I’m not really sure of the purpose of using the Age and Gender metrics if they cannot be trusted.
    Any thoughts?
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