By Geoff Jackson on 27 February 2010 @ 1:33 PM.
Filters and Advanced Segments in Google Analytics can be very similar in what they can offer/provide but there are a few key differences and they can serve different purposes...
In simplistic terms:-
Filters: Modify data on the pageview level
Advanced Segments: Change a reports view of the data at the visit level
Filters are applied to the information that comes into your analytics account and allows you to manipulate the final data in order to provide specialised reports. By creating one master profile with your original data, you can additionally create seperate profiles to track different filtered data, as each filter will alter your original data.
Advanced Segmentation is a tool you can use to filter the analytics data you are viewing within a report. These do not require you to set up separate profiles like is needed with filters, your original data is left untouched and this tool offers a wide range of dimensions and metrics to filter this original data so you can analyse any area specifically.