How much traffic you have coming through to your website is the factor that influences how long you need to pick in the Google Analytics date ranges in order to select a large enough date range that you can be confident in what it tells you.
If you have lower traffic numbers you need to select a larger date range, and if you have larger traffic volumes you can get by with a relatively small date range (and iterate faster).
This gives large online businesses a massive edge over small ones because they’re able to A/B test and change the website quickly, thereby boosting their conversion rate which then gives them more revenue for paying for more traffic. The largest online business in an industry and location and often lock out all the smaller ones in the same sector due to this “winner takes all” ability to iterate quickly.
People generally behave pretty similarly on your website, so with enough data you can get an idea quickly. Too little data though and you get what I call “Fake Insights”. This is when you draw conclusions from not enough data and assume something is a trend when actually its just chance.
In today’s website I’ll share my rules of thumb with regards to what periods of time to look at data over, and if you are an ecommerce store, how many transactions you should let pass before analysing data.
PS. Always check your date ranges before looking at, or exporting data from Google Analytics!
All the best,