To the inexperienced eye, the stacks of data in Google Analytics can be an overwhelming prospect. Simply finding and remembering where key data points are within the interface isn’t always easy, even for those who use it every day.
If you’re an MD with a lot on your plate or a Marketing Manager juggling a million and one tasks – having efficient reports to collect key data from analytics automatically makes a lot of sense.
So, rather than trawling through the interface, moving from section to section and picking out individual groups of data, here are three ways to make your life easier…
These are a fundamental part of analytics but are often overlooked by many users. Dashboards allow users to create a customised group of 10 widgets that display data as a single metric, in a table or in various graph formats. You can access the dashboard section of Analytics in the top of the left hand side menu.
While a dashboard is limited to 10 widgets, you can create multiple dashboards focusing on different elements of your website such as traffic acquisition or user engagement. Download your dashboard to a PDF or schedule it to be emailed to you (or others) as often as you like.This means you don’t even need to login to stay up-to-date with how your site is performing.
Sometimes you need to dig a little deeper than dashboards or the default reports in Analytics allow. That’s where the custom report section comes in. You can find it in the ‘Customisation’ tab.
Here you can merge whatever data you like to create complex tables with up to 10 different metrics. Again, Analytics lets you download the data, this time in multiple formats including CSV, Excel, TSV, Google Sheets or PDF. You also have the option to schedule emails, just like dashboards.
So maybe your boss likes detail. She wants complex multi-tabular reports and graphs at any given time that only a spreadsheet can handle – or perhaps you’re just an analytical geek like me! A dashboard just won’t cut the mustard and your custom reports can’t be converted into graphs or handle the volume of data you need. Well here’s the solution: automatically generated spreadsheets in Google Sheets that extract data from Analytics all by themselves.
Simply fire up Google Sheets from the Google Docs interface, install the Google Analytics Add-on and you’re ready to start extracting data and converting it in to pretty tables and graphs. Anything you can do in a normal spreadsheet can be done with your Analytics data but, and I won’t lie, it’s not easy, especially if you want to compare complex metrics. That said, if you’re a spreadsheet wiz or willing to learn – the stress of Analytics reporting can be a thing of the past. You can even have the spreadsheet automatically emailed to multiple contacts.
Here’s a resource provided by Google to get you started.
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