By default when you look at the reports in Google Analytics, they show you data for last 30 or 31 days days (excluding the current date). To change that default date range move your mouse to the right hand side, right above the chart and click on the down arrow next to dates. It will open up the date picker window (see below).
In this window you can chose any Start Date and End Date that you want. In the image below Start Date and End Dates fields are highlight with a square around them. Click on the first field and select the Start Date from calendar on the left hand side, then click on the End Date field (if it is not already selected) and the end date from the calendar. Click on the “Apply” button to see the reports.
There is also a small dropdown that allows you to select a predefined date range. The options in that field are shown below. Select your option and click “Apply”
Comparing Date Ranges
You can also compare the data for two different dates or ranges by check on the checkbox next to “Compare to past” (see below). When you click on the checkbox, two additional date fields will show up. Those two dates are the dates to which your current data will be compared with. By default, the comparison will go back the same number of days as you have selected in you Start Date and End Date boxes. You can choose to compare any number of days by change the dates in the Dates Columns (see below). Choose your dates and click Apply.
Changing Graph Display
By default the Trend graphs shown in Google Analytics show the breakdown of data by day. You can change the graphs to show you hourly, daily, weekly or monthly view. To change the graph display option, move your mouse to the far right corner of the graph and the option to change display is available next to “Graph By” (see the image below).