Google Analytics is Slow

Yes, Google Analytics can sometimes be slow. It’s not uncommon to hear users complain that it’s working more slowly than they would like. These complaints fall under two categories: the interface itself is not very responsive, or the data is not updating fast enough.

The report sampling feature is intended to combat slow report loading, although some users (like analysts) don’t want to see sampled data. If sampled data is an issue for your environment, we recommend using a second analysis tool in tandem with Google Analytics.

Report Updates
Officially, Google Analytics processes data every few hours but it can lag by 24 hours. From our observations, updates tend to come every hour or two. But a few metrics, like unique visitors, sometimes seem to be on a less frequent schedule.

There is no official word from Google on how frequently they update or plan to update data. You can increasing the frequency that your reports update by signing up Google Analytics Premium ($150K/year and up). The good news is that Google Analytics updates have become more frequent since it was first released, and the platform is significantly more stable with each passing year.

Google Analytics also offers real time reports, but it should be noted that real-time reports are of dubious value from an analysis standpoint.

Slow Interface
Sometimes the pages and reports just load slowly. Some users have noted an irony when Google Analytics is slow on Chrome, Google’s new browser.

It’s possible that you are requesting data from Google’s servers at a time when they are being overloaded. If this is the case, the issue is usually very temporary and doesn’t last for more than a few minutes. Severe latency issues are almost always caused by to a user’s own machine or network, not Google’s servers.

Processing large amounts of historical data can be a slow process. If you are noticing latency issues while loading reports for a large time range (especially if you have a high traffic site), this is not unusual. You can sample your data to speed this process up in the future, but otherwise there’s not much to do to get around it.

If you are not requesting large amounts of data, it may be an issue with your own browser or computer. Here are some other things to check:

  • Check to see if other sites load quickly.
  • Try another browser.
  • Check for stuck processes on your system. See if any other programs are eating up your RAM or are themselves running slowly.
  • When all else fails, however, waiting just a few minutes usually solves the problem. Google arguably has the most stable and redundant server network in the world.