Supercharge your user journey analysis with Sunbursts and our custom GA4 repository

You may already be familiar with sunbursts, the circular diagrams that visualize hierarchical data and analyze user journeys on a website. In this article, we offer a few tips on how to best leverage these diagrams to optimize your website. In addition, we have developed a GitHub repository for GA4 that allows you to query and generate your own Sunburst chart directly from BigQuery.

Discover the hidden potential of Sunbursts

The concentric rings that make up the structure of sunbursts represent different stages of the user journey, which help us understand user behavior and optimize conversion rates. Here are some ways to take advantage of this versatile visual tool:

  1. Analysis of the most frequent paths: Use a sunburst to identify the most common user paths on your website. This will help you understand preferred navigation paths and identify key pages for engagement and conversion.
  2. Identification of friction points : By examining the sunburst sections where users frequently leave the site or spend a lot of time without converting, you can identify potential friction points and take steps to eliminate them.
  3. Comparison of user segments: Compare the sunbursts of different user segments, such as mobile visitors versus desktop visitors, or existing customers versus new customers. This will help you understand differences in browsing behavior and adapt your site accordingly.
  4. Seasonal analysis : Compare sunbursts of different periods, for example, during holidays or promotional periods, to assess the impact of these events on user journeys and adapt your marketing and acquisition strategies.
  5. Evaluation of the effectiveness of marketing campaigns : By integrating marketing campaign data into a sunburst, you can visualize the impact of campaigns on user journeys and determine if they lead to conversions or create friction points.

The image below provides a preview of the visualization in the Datama Journey tool,  comparing user paths between mobile and desktop users on an eCommerce site.

The convenience offered by GA4 and BigQuery

With the advent of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and the integration of Big Query, managing and analyzing data to create a sunburst is easier than ever. Unlike Universal Analytics (UA), GA4 is designed to be user-centric and offers a more granular approach to event tracking. GA4 data is stored in Big Query, allowing efficient data analysis with SQL queries and quickly generating visualizations with a higher level of precision.

UA vs GA4 difference – from Directom

How to Set Up and Use Our GitHub Repository

To facilitate the creation of your Sunburst chart for Datama Journey, we have developed a dedicated GitHub repository for GA4. With this repository, you can easily extract the necessary data to generate your sunburst. Simply follow the instructions provided to set up and use the data queries adapted to your website.

  • To start, make sure you have connected GA4 to BigQuery. You can find tutorials to perform this connection here: connect GA4 to BigQuery (for all clients).
  • Next, copy and paste the GA4_Journey_Sunburst.sql file into a BigQuery SQL environment (or if you’re familiar with git, clone it to the desired location). Specify the appropriate dates for the analysis in the query, replacing the default dates if necessary, typically the last week
  • You will also need to replace the names of the GA4 event tables (your_project.your_GA4_ID.events_20*) throughout the query with the appropriate names of your tables. Additionally, find and replace the name of the page type tracking key (content_group) in your own setup.

Once the query is run and the results downloaded, you can visualize user paths and derive insights. To visualize the sunbursts, you can:

  • Use open source packages like SunburstR in R 
  • Opt for Datama Journey SaaS. Simply create an account on the Datama platform and import your CSV file into Datama Journey. A free trial is available for 15 days.

Analysis via Datama Journey

Datama Journey will not only allow you to visualize sunbursts but also to compare journeys and assign values to understand where to optimize your user paths. To learn more about Datama Journey, check out this article explaining how to derive value from a sunburst.


Sunbursts are valuable tools for analyzing user behavior on a website and optimizing conversion rates. By strategically leveraging them, and with our dedicated GitHub repository for GA4 data, you can understand your users’ behavior and make the right decisions to maximize your website’s potential.

Feel free to suggest other visualizations and analysis methods to get the most out of your user journey data, we are always happy to learn and especially to evolve our tools with the best market practices.

Don’t hesitate to test our solution by creating a demo account on our site.

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