The Difference Between Dimensions and Measures

6 years ago by
What's the difference between a "dimension" and a "measure?" It's a question I get asked all the time. For marketing analytics, here's the easiest way to think about it:


Dimensions are those things you want to track. They're referrers, pages, country of origin, product category and other items whose attributes are often non-numerical.


Measures are the quantities you want to measure. Visits, page views, hits, bounce rate and other items that can be quantified numerically.

Remembering Dimensions vs. Measures

Here's a tip to help you remember the difference between dimensions and measures: dimensions can be thought of as the rows in a spreadsheet, while measures are like the columns. In fact, for web analytics reports, you're likely to see your data displayed that way.

Standard Dimensions & Measures

In a web analytics tool—like Webtrends, Omniture or Google Analytics—these are the standard dimensions and measures you have access to. Of course, you can always create your own.


Standard Dimensions
  • Agent
  • Area Code
  • Authenticated User Name
  • Campaign
  • Campaign Type
  • Browser
  • Browser Version
  • City
  • Content Group
  • Cookie Parameter
  • Country
  • Custom Drilldown
  • Day of Week
  • Directory
  • DMA
  • Domain Name
  • Downloaded File
  • Duration
  • Entry Page
  • Entry Request
  • Exit Page
  • Extension
  • Geographic Region
  • Geographic Drilldown
  • Hour of Day
  • MSA
  • Multi-homed Domain
  • Network
  • Network Type
  • New vs. Returning
  • Organization
  • Page Views
  • Platform
  • PMSA
  • Product
  • Product Category
  • Query Parameter
  • Query String
  • Referring Domain
  • Referring Site
  • Referring URL
  • Return Code
  • Search Engine
  • Search Keywords
  • Search Phrase
  • Shopping Cart Level
  • State
  • Throughput
  • Time Zone
  • Time Period
  • Top Level Domain
  • URL
  • URL with Query String
  • Visitor
  • Standard Measures
    • Clickthroughs
    • Hits
    • Kbytes Transferred
    • Orders
    • Page Views
    • Percent of Hits
    • Percent of Views
    • Revenue
    • Time to Serve
    • Units
    • Visit Duration
    • Visits

    For those interested in knowing more about analytics, check out Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability.

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