Google recently began offering a beta test version of their custom reporting tool for Google Analytics. With this enhancement, Analytics just got a whole lot better.
Like any reporting tool, one common complaint with Analytics has been Google’s limitations on reporting data with multiple variables or criteria. The Customer Reporting feature is a way to move beyond the canned reports supplied by Google and create one that fit specific business needs.
Custom reports are made first by picking dimensions and metrics. A dimension is an attribute (time of day, geographic location, or page name) to report on. There is sometimes confusion between dimensions and metrics. One easy way to remember the difference is that a dimension is like a column title (like "city") and metrics are the numbers that appear in the column (like the number of hits generated from that city).
Any metric can be chosen for reporting. One important point to note is that not all dimensions can be paired with all metrics. Google supplies a chart
to identify which pairings are possible. There are some combinations, such as network location, page names, and visits that would be highly useful but aren’t possible.
All in all, this is a great additional to the free Google Analytics tool that is a "must learn" for those that are serious about using Analytics as a reporting tool.