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Why is there a difference between my Google Analytics data and Polar?
Why is there a difference between my Google Analytics data and Polar?

This article details the data discrepancies that could arise from latencies with Google Analytics.

Abby Garland avatar
Written by Abby Garland
Updated over a week ago

If you notice a data discrepancy between Polar Analytics and Google Analytics, there are a few possible causes. To help you understand where this discrepancy comes from, we've provided some helpful context below.

Data latency from Google Analytics.

Google Analytics takes up to 12 hours to aggregate and consolidate the data. After those 12 hours, the data is available in its final state and should not fluctuate anymore. From there, Polar Analytics has to process the data (which could take time depending on how often the data refresh happens). You can read more on data freshness on GA4 directly here.

Additionally, there are additional scenarios that can cause latency from all tracking systems, including Google Analytics:

  • You could start a session on your phone before bed, and then turn your device off before the tracking event is sent to Google.

  • Then, when you wake up 8 hours later, you turn on your device, and the tracking event is sent to Google.

  • Once the tracking event is sent to Google, it might take Polar 4 hours to process the data.

  • In this example, you'd experience a latency of 8 hours + 12 hours + 4 hours.

Due to this latency, you might see a discrepancy even for data older than Yesterday.

N.B.: If you need to see your Google Analytics data faster, you can subscribe to a Google Analytics 360 subscription (where Google aggregates the data in 1-hour maximum instead of 12 hours) and ask your CSM about an hourly refresh feature in Polar Analytics.

Discrepancy within Google Analytics

Google Analytics uses a different database, and thus different version of the data:

  • to calculate its Reports

  • to calculate its Explore

  • to share data with 3rd party apps - including Polar Analytics.

Moreover, Google Analytics 4 per design, cannot give 100% accurate results that add up depending on the breakdowns and metrics combination.


  • You check your number of sessions

  • You check your number of sessions per gender

The total number of sessions per gender doesn’t add up to 14 560 (1 196 + 2 187 + 11 389 = 17 772).

As another example, you can see below that the engaged session per type of session combined is more than the total of Engaged Sessions (242 769 + 50 295 + 28 537 = 321 601)

This source of discrepancy has been confirmed with the Google Analytics team, and at this time, they were not able to provide us with a solution.

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