Create customized Google Analytics Dashboard

 

Dashboard, the term that we use many times in our day-to-day life addressing and associating it to a car, bike, boss asking for a dashboard on on office process, etc, etc. I have even created a dashboard for my home monthly expense, that’s a good way to know where is your money is going.

As per WikipediaDashboards often provide at-a-glance views of KPIs (key performance indicators) relevant to a particular objective or business process.

So, a dashboard is a one page or single screen snapshot of the items that really plays an important role to achieve the objective. In my home monthly expense my KPI is to know from where I am getting the earnings, where I am spending the most and where it is least, along with the source of payment – credit card, debit card, cash. So, my expense dashboard gives just 4 items – source of earning, highest spend, lowest spend and mode of payment. This tells where I have to cut down my spends and where I have already improved.

Now, lets see how it the dashboard helpful for bloggers. Bloggers across the world use Google Analytics for analyzing the performance of their blog or sites. Google Analytics gives you lots of information on the sites performance. You can create a customized dashboard and include only selective stats which is require for your analysis or which you want to know to track the popularity of the site. Heres how to create a customized Google analytics dashboard.

As you open the Google Analytics, by default the page you see is the Audience Overview. On the left side menus under the MY STUFF you will see Dashboards. Click on it and click on +New Dashboard. On the new window click Blank Canvas and give the name to your dashboard and click Create Dashboard.

A new ‘Add a Widget’ window will open giving you the option of six types of standard widgets or graphs and four type of real-time widgets. Lets understand how to setup each one of the widgets and use it effectively. Maximum 20 dashboards can be create each having maximum of 12 widgets in it.

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Metric Widget

The first standard widget is the Metric widget. It is the most simplest one, showing the single piece of information. After selecting the metric widget you will have to choose the metric type that you want. There are 232 different types of metric for selection. List of all the metric is given at the end of this article. The metric widget can be useful in many ways,  for example, if you want to display the total number of visitors per day, earnings per day in US dollars, what is the loading average time it can be the count of visitor a day, average visit duration, the time on page, how many are new visitors and many more.

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This widget can also be used for real-time data fetch. You can see the count of visitors currently active on your site or active for past 1 hr.

Timeline Widget

I think the Timeline widget will be the most used two dimensional graphical representation of any two items you want. In the below example I am showing to total number of visitors to my new site per day and clearly shows that the visitors are increasing daily with a peak on 22nd September. If you have a site with Google adsense as one of the mode of earnings then you can have a graph showing Visitors and Revenue.  So, if any day your are making more revenue then you can do the same that more than ones in future to increase the revenue. The timeline widget can also be used real-time.

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GEO Map Widget

As the name say, it shows the chosen statistics with respect to the geographical location. This is very helpful if you have a site targeting multiple geographical locations. For example, you want to see the average visit duration across the globe continent wise or city wise. For this, under the Plot selected metric section  select City and Avg. Visit Duration. Under the Select Region section you can either select the entire world or a country or a continent / sub continents. The GEO map widget can also be used real-time to know who all is accessing the site currently across the globe.

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Table Widget

The table widget is the most traditional one, where in you can have three items and its respective statistics. For example, it will be very helpful in listing the visitors, time on page and revenue. The most valuable usage of a table widget comes when it is used real-time giving the list of stats for 3 important items.

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Bar Widget

A bar widget, probably most useful after the timeline widget, gives a clear pictorial representation and the ups and down stats of the chosen items. So, if you want to know the which place in the world is your site more popular, or from which continent you are getting the most revenue, than a bar chart can be the most helpful in this case. That’s not the limit, you can have multiple mix and match of many statistical information.

To customize it further –

1. There can be a maximum of 9 bars.

2. The information on the horizontal and vertical axis can be modified.

3. Upto 4 grid lines can be selected.

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PIE Widget

Yup, it is the pie chart. And as you know Pie charts are generally used to know percentage of the whole section. For example, to visually see the how many users are access your site using different browsers or from what all places you are getting your revenue.

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After setting up the widgets that y0u need lets look at the other features and functions of Dashboard.

Share

The Share option is available on the orange bar menu. You can share the created dashboard with other users via the available two options –

1. Share Dashboard – share the dashboard with the users in current view.

2. Share template link – this will generate an URL which can then be shared with the users.

3. Share in Solution Gallery – (From Google) With the Solutions Gallery, Google Analytics users currently have the opportunity to share and import dashboards, custom reports, segments and bundles of up to twenty templates. Click on the Solution Gallery link to see the contents of it.

Email

Sometimes it is required to send the statistics via email, as the other person dont have access to the Analytics or you dont want to give access to a particular user or you yourself dont have time to login to analytics every time. Such situations can be overcome by using the Email feature of Analytics. With this feature you can send a PDF format of the dashboard periodically to yourself or other users. To do so click on the Email option on the menu bar and you will see below popup window. Enter the email address of the user/s in the To box, put in the subject, the PDF format of the dashboard is auto attached to the mail. You can set the frequency either to once, daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly. This means that at the selected period you will received the snap shot of the dashboard in my mailbox. You can even select the duration for which this functionality can remain active and to do this select the ADVANCE OPTIONS, Active for option. Thats it, put in the details in the body of the mail and send it.

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Export

Finally Export, you can export and download the current view and statistics of the dashboard in PDF format.

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Customize Dashboard

By default you will get two columned dashboard, but you can have more then tow columns or just one column by going to the Customize Dashboard option on the right corner of the main menu.

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Conclusion

Dashboard can be a good way to keep track of the progress of your website or to improve on the areas where you feel that it is week. So, give it a try.

 

List of statistical items that can be selected for the widgets –

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Comments

  1. Hello, just wanted to say, I loved this article. It was
    practical. Keep on posting!

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