New GA Feature: Custom Dashboards

Add To Dashboard At the top of each report you’ll see an ‘Add to Dashboard’ button. Simply click the button and GA will add the report to your dashboard. I’m not sure if there is a limit to the number of reports that can be added to the dashboard, but I would not add more than 6 or 7. Remember, the primary purpose of the dashboard is to provide a high level view of your website’s health. If you see something unusual in your dashboard then you should investigate further.

Customizing Dashboard Layout

The dashboard is not static, meaning you can re-arrange the layout of the reports. Simply drag and drop the reports on your dashboard as you would a widget on your Google Homepage (aka iGoogle). Just place the mouse pointer over the report header and it will turn into a hand. Then click and drag!

Dashboards: A Recommendation

When using your dashboard I recommend comparing two date ranges. The reason is that looking at the data, without any historical context, is useless. For example, if your dashboard reports that your conversion rate was 5% for the last week what would you think? You wouldn’t know what to think because you don’t know if 5% is good or bad. Adding a date comparison shows how the data has changed over time. The only downside of date comparison and dashboards is that Google Analytics will not remember if you applied a date comparison to the dashboard This means that every time you log in you’ll need to reapply the dates you want to compare.

Automated Dashboard Delivery

Another cool feature of the new Custom Dashboards is the ability to have your dashboard EMAILED to you at a regularly scheduled interval (you can read more about the emailed reports, and how to set them up, here). You no longer need to log into GA to check your stats. Just have your dashboard emailed to you every morning. And, when you schedule your emailed dashboard, you can specify that Google Analytics includes a date comparison. So, if you receive your dashboard weekly Google Analytics will compare the last two weeks of data.

Creating Your Own Dashboard: Where to Start

Start by identifying the KPIs vital to your business. Then, find the reports that contain those KPIs and add them to the dashboard. If you’re still having trouble go out and get a copy of Eric Peterson’s book, The Big Book of Key Performance Indicators. Chapter four lists the best KPIs for the four main business models:

If people still need some help I’ll post some dashboard suggestions later. Just leave a comment if you’re interested.

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    Comments

    1. says

      While the new dashboard is very impressive, there is one big problem: only one dashboard is supported.

      Ideally, there should be support for role specific dashboards, as was the case in the previous version. The new e-mail a report function is great, but would be most useful in conjunction with personalized overviews, i.e. dashboards, based on an individual’s organizational needs (Executive, Marketing, Technical).

    2. says

      Hi Sean,

      The point of the new dashboard is to allow each user to create their own set of applicable reports. In a small organization one person may wear the marketer hat, the CEO hat and the sales hat. However, in larger organizations, different people will fill different roles. Each person can have their own GA account and thus their own dashboard.

      Justin

    3. says

      The other BIG drawback is the “Custom Dashboards” represent single site data only… though surely many of us have multiple sites and want a report for visitors to all, sent in one email/report instead each site in it’s own email with is horrible if you’re reporting on many sites, as I.

    4. says

      I’m having issues with setting up the ecommerce tab view on the dashboard – it seems to default to the site useage tab when I add to the dashboard. Has anyone else experienced this?

    5. says

      Hi Amanda,

      You make a fantastic observation! As of right now, you can’t add the e-commerce tab view to the dashboard. I think it is a feature that is sorely needed.

      Justin

    6. zahir says

      Hi,

      Everywhere i look, i see people stating that the reports can be dragged and dropped in Analytics. I’m using the newest version of GA and firefox and cant seem to be able to do this at all.

      As well as this it says i can create my own report. I’d like a report to include:

      Campaign Name | Campaign Cost | Date range | Traffic | Revenue generated | ROI %

      But i cant seem to think how this can be done.

      Any ideas will be appreciated.

      Regards

      Zahir

    7. says

      Hi Zahir,

      I’m not sure why your dashboard is not working. It may just be some confusion re: the capabilities of GA. You can only drag and drop the report widgets on your dashboard. You can not drag other reports or navigation items.

      As for the report you want to create, that’s not possible. You can not specify which columns appear in a Google Analytics report. What’ you’ll need to do is find the report that provides as much of the information as possible and then tweak it in Excel. From the looks of it, I think you want to use the AdWords Analysis report.

      Justin

    8. Eric says

      I want to email monthly reports of my website’s dashboard to my sales staff. When I do this, GA emails the dashboard …as well as the “expanded” report for each item on the dashboard (six pages!). Sales only needs the dashboard. Is there a way to turn off the additional “expanded” reports?

    9. says

      Hi Eric,

      Unfortunately there is no way modify the report. GA will always send the dashboard AND the “real” version of the reports listed on the dashboard.

      Thanks for the question,

      Justin

    10. Ben says

      Any thoughts on how to setup a set of customised dashboards and have these propogate across all users for the profile?

      Large marekting department and generally the user base is a little adverse to Google Analytics but requires the top level dashboard views I’ve setup – sadly I’ll then need to replicate these across several accounts (and several profiles for each account)…

      All suggestions welcome!!

    11. says

      Hi Ben,

      Unfortunately, a dashboard is specific to a user. If you have a large number of people that need to access a single dashboard you may want to create a single login for your users. Otherwise you’ll need to recreate the dashboard for each user.

      Thanks for the question,

      Justin

    12. says

      On a similar line as Ben, is there any way I can copy the dashboard in one profile (website) so that I can use the same dashboard layout on other profiles within the same account? I own many sites with the same business model and it would be great to be able to check all the sites on the same kind of dashboard layout (without doing the work manually, of course).

      • says

        Hi Julian,

        Unfortunately no, there is no way to copy a dashboard. Or even create a default dashboard. I think Google has a long way to go in terms of sharing some of the personal settings in GA, like dashboards, segments, etc.

        Thanks for the question!

        Justin

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