How to do Cohort Analysis in Google Analytics

New to cohorts? Check out the Introduction to Cohort Analysis for Startups.

Clearly cohort analysis is a great tool to track retention and user engagement but how do you set up your blog, game or web service to track cohort groups? Google Analytics doesn’t support cohort tracking as a standard feature. The service primarily targets traditional site navigation metrics such as visits, pageviews, traffic sources and bounce rate. In the past, most companies relied on in-house solutions to get visitor-level data – and many still do. But for those unable or unwilling to create a custom analytics application for their product there haven’t been a lot of alternatives.
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Introduction to Cohort Analysis for Startups

Sometimes, when you’re buried in data, statistics, graphs and reports, analytics work can feel a tad dry. Personally, I tolerate creating reports (generally by automating them) but find analysis (identifying why the data is the way it is) rather compelling. In this first of several posts on cohort analysis I’m going to explore why dividing your visitors into cohorts is the fastest path to the insight you need to answer the tough “why” questions about your data.
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