Real-Time Widgets Now Available in Dashboards

The Dashboards feature in Google-Analytics is a great way to arrange a set of related custom widgets into a report you look at frequently (for example, see dashboards for a variety of use cases in our Solutions Gallery). Today we’re expanding dashboards’ functionality with four new real-time widgets that you can and plug into any dashboard (new or existing) of your choosing!

1) Setting up a real-time widget
If you have set up a dashboard widget before, then this will be very familiar to you. Create a new dashboard or click on the +Add Widget menu option of an existing dashboard.

Pick any of the four widgets available in the Real-time: section and customize the widget. Below I have created a widget that shows me active visitors from Canada but split up by Traffic-Type:

Here is how I set up this widget:

I chose the ‘Counter’ real-time widget and gave it a custom name (“Canada Active Visitors”), then set up a ‘Group by’ on ‘Traffic type’. This is how I see the split between referral and organic in the widget. Finally, I set up a filter to only show visitors from Canada.

2. Combining with other dashboard widgets
By creating and combining widgets, you can perform many types of analysis at a glance.

Using filters you can compare different segments of your real-time traffic. For example you can create two separate widgets that have different filters for the Country dimension (say Country==USA for one and Country==Canada for another) and you can compare real-time USA traffic versus India traffic, side by side.

You can go further and set up real-time and non real-time widgets on the same dashboard. 
Here is how one of my dashboards looks like (I use it to monitor and understand how traffic from Canada behaves after a blog post):

I have 5 widgets and widget #4 is a non real-time widget that gives me context on where I get visits from across the globe over the last month.

We hope you will enjoy creating new dashboards with these widgets and sparkling some real-time magic on existing dashboards!

Dashboards, Advanced Segments, And Custom Reports For Your Business Needs

We’ve heard you loud and clear that getting started on Google Analytics can be challenging. It’s such a robust tool with a variety of reports, filters, and customizations that for a new user it can be overwhelming to figure out where to look first for the data and insights that will enable you to make better decisions. For more advanced users it can be time consuming to build out different variations of reports and dashboards to get the clearest snapshot of your performance. That is why we’ve created the Google Analytics Solution Gallery.

The Google Analytics Solution Gallery hosts the top Dashboards, Advanced Segments and Custom Reports which you can quickly and easily import into your own account to see how your website is performing on key metrics. It helps you to filter through the noise to see the metrics that matter for your type of business: Ecommerce, Brand, Content Publishers. If you're not familiar with DashboardsAdvanced Segments and Custom Reports, check out these links to our help center for detailed descriptions on how they work and the insights they can help provide.

Solution examples
Here are a few examples of the solutions that you can download into your account to see how the analysis works with your data.
  • Social sharing report - Content is king, but only if you know what it's up to. Learn what content from your website visitors are sharing and how they're sharing it. 
  • Publisher dashboard - Bloggers can use this dashboard to see where readers come from and what they do on your site.
  • Engaged traffic advanced segment - Measure traffic from high-value visitors who view at least three pages AND spend more than three minutes on your site. Why do these people love your site? Find out!

How do I add these to my account?
We’ve designed it so it’s easy to get started. Simply go to the Google Analytics Solution Gallery, pick from the drop drown menu the solutions that will be most helpful for your business. Select from Publisher, Ecommerce, Social, Mobile, Brand, etc.. . Hit “Download” for the solution you want to see in your account. If you are not already logged into Google Analytics we’ll ask you to sign in. Then you’ll be asked if you want to accept this solution into your account and what Web Profile do you want to apply it to. After you select that it will be in your account and your own data will populate the report.

We’re planning on expanding on this list of top solutions throughout the year so be sure to check back and see what we’ve added. A big thank you to Justin Cutroni & Avinash Kaushik for supplying many of the solutions currently available.

Posted by Ian Myszenski, Google Analytics team

Share your custom reports, advanced segments and dashboards

We are excited to announce more ways you can share insights through Google Analytics. We have upgraded the existing custom report sharing, plus added the ability for you to share advanced segments and dashboards with other Analytics users.

To try this out, look for the Share button in any of these sections:
  • Custom Report: In the Actions menu on the table that lists your reports.
  • Dashboard: In the top-left corner over your dashboard.
  • Advanced Segment: Visit the Admin tab in the top right corner of your account, then select Advanced Segments to enable sharing.
The button will bring up a URL that you can send to anyone you’d like or publish on your blog.

Sharing this link will only share a template, not the data about your site traffic. So for example sharing a dashboard will provide a user with the dashboard name, widgets and data fields to be populated with data from their Analytics account.

Important Tip: Links to all shared templates are permanent snapshots. That means after you have shared the link, you can safely change or even delete a dashboard in your account and it will not change the experience for anyone using the previously shared link.

When you or someone else opens the link, they will be prompted to choose a profile in which to import the custom report, advanced segment or dashboard. They will also have the option to change the name. After that is complete they will see the template populated with data from their account.
To get you started, here are a few templates from Google Analytics Advocate Justin Cutroni, to try in your account:

  • Basic blog dashboard: If you’re a blogger you can use this dashboard to keep tabs on where your readers come from and what they do on your site.
  • Mobile ecommerce dashboard: If you’re getting into mobile commerce use this dashboard to get an end-to-end view of your customer experience.
  • Site Performance dashboard: How about a report for the IT team? This dashboard contains various speed metrics to help identify issues with your pages or servers.
  • Engaged Traffic advanced segment: This advanced segment measures traffic that views at least three pages AND spends more than three minutes on your site. Why do these people love you so much? Find out!
  • Daily Ecommerce report: Use this report to keep tabs on all parts of the ecommerce lifecycle: acquisition, engagement and conversion in one single table.

As always, please let us know what you think about this new feature. We can’t wait to see all the new and creative customizations you will share.

- Gilles Roux, Google Analytics team

Customize your standard reports

Designing a good custom report can be challenging, and sometimes all you really want is a slightly different version of a standard report. Using the new "Customize" feature in Google Analytics allows you to tweak our definitions of Standard Reports into your own Custom Reports.

So, what's new?
There is a new button in the action bar on all tabular standard reports in Analytics, labeled "Customize". 

Where to find the "Customize" option on standard reports

Clicking this button loads the custom report builder. From there, you are just clicks away from your own custom report.

An example of a customized standard report

What can I use it for?
Here are some example use cases to get the ideas flowing:
  • New metrics, familiar reports - The best metrics are the ones that provide actionable insights into your business. Try adding different metric groups to your favorite reports to see if how it impacts your view of conversion rates.
  • Drill down into your data - Sometimes, the best route to a particular piece of data is a drilldown not found in any standard report. You could customize the Language report to drill into search terms for a language-by-language comparison of your organic search traffic.
  • Filter to find insights - Ad campaigns can span many networks. Try customizing the AdWords Campaigns report and applying a filter for Ad Distribution Network matches "Google Search" to see your performance on only Google Search. 
What else should I know? 
  • Not all standard reports can be transformed into custom reports. Look for the "Customize" button to see if a particular report can be customized.
We hope you'll gain even greater insights into your data by customizing the power of Google Analytics standard reports to more closely match your business needs.

- Chris Anderson, Google Analytics team

Improvements in Custom Reports: Better builder, more metrics, and custom navigation

This is part of our series of posts highlighting the new Google Analytics. The new version of Google Analytics is currently available in beta to all Analytics users. And follow Google Analytics on Twitter for the latest updates. This week, Gilles Roux, an Analytics engineer will discuss some recent improvements to custom reporting in Google Analytics.

Creating custom reports in Google Analytics is a great way to answer specific questions about how users interact with your website or keep track of the metrics that really matter to you.
Since releasing the new Analytics earlier this year you have sent us lots of great feedback. Thank You! We have been hard at work integrating some of your suggestions and adding new features that will make custom reports more useful and easier to use.

Simplified custom report builder
The custom report builder has an updated look and feel that simplifies the process of creating and editing custom reports. The sections are now clearly labeled, with optional settings at the end, and the metric groups are shown on a single page without the need to switch tabs. We have also added the ability to quickly reorder metrics and dimensions using drag and drop. We hope these improvements will help you create reports that look just the way you want, in just a few minutes.

More metrics and dimensions!
We know - when it comes to analyzing your website usage, the more metrics the better. That’s why we have enabled 45 additional metrics and dimensions inside custom reports. These cover a wide variety of areas such as mobile, social, goals, site search, e-commerce and advertising. All metrics and dimensions are now organized in categories to make the list more manageable.

When viewing a custom report that has an explorer tab, you will now be able to select a secondary dimensions, which can be useful to perform a deeper analysis of your data without having to make changes to the custom report.

Custom navigation
The custom reports overview page is the central place to view and manage all your custom reports. You will now notice a ‘New Category’ button to create your own categories, in which you can group related custom reports. You will also be able to reorder reports, for example to make sure that your most important ones are conveniently shown at the top of the navigation.

We hope these improvements will help you create powerful reports that are targeted to the specificities of your site. As always, please don't hesitate to send us feedback, and expect more features in the near future.

Shoes of Prey - Using Custom Reports to identify influential pages

One of the most effective ways for startups and small businesses to generate more sales on their e-commerce sites is to optimize their site for conversions. With no large marketing budgets to play with, this is one of the most cost-effective means of driving more sales.

The Shoes of Prey team, an e-commerce startup specializing in custom women’s shoes, are constantly tweaking their site in order to maximize sales. A component of their strategy is to provide visitors with useful content and to make the purchase process as straightforward as possible.

Michael Fox, co-Founder and Director of Operations, Shoes of Prey, shares with us how he uses Google Analytics custom reports to identify content that influences sales. Based on their learnings, Shoes of Prey now have a good idea of what content and messaging to utilize on their site to encourage more visitors to make a purchase. Read more on the Conversion Room Asia-Pacific blog.

Custom Reports in the new Google Analytics

This is part of our series of posts highlighting the new Google Analytics. The new version of Google Analytics is currently available in beta to all Analytics users. And follow Google Analytics on Twitter for the latest updates. This week we’ll be discussing how to use updated custom reports.

Every website is different, yet we focus much of our time on the standard reports in our web analytics tools. Custom reports have been an integral part of Google Analytics since 2008. With the new platform, we took a close look at how we could improve the custom reports to make them more usable and powerful.

The Custom Reports tab
For starters, custom reports now live under their own tab, which you can find next to My Site in the main menu bar.

The overview shows a list of all the custom reports available for your profile. You can also view, edit, or share a custom report, and, of course, you can also build a new custom report.

Building a custom report
As with the previous version of Google Analytics, you build a custom report by picking the metrics and dimensions you want. For the new platform, we’ve made some enhancements. Let’s walk through the creation of a custom report for measuring the effectiveness of content on this blog (borrowing from one of Avinash’s awesome custom reports).

Getting the right data
We saw that custom reports were most useful when focused on subset of data. For my blog report, I've decided that I want to only focus on referral traffic. In the old version, I’d have to combine an advanced segment with my custom report to do this analysis. With the new platform, we’ve made it possible to make the filter part of your custom report.

You can add multiple filters to the same report, and filter on dimensions other than those you’ve chosen to use in the report. Best of all, these filters are saved as part of your custom report. As soon as you (or your boss) opens the report, you’re looking at the data you need.

Organizing your report
Like the current version, you can build multiple report tabs into your custom report. This is helpful to organize your report, or build different views for people across your organization. In the new Google Analytics, you’re no longer restricted to using the same dimensions for each report tab, which allows you to truly get all of the data you care about in one custom report. There are two types of report tabs available: Flat Table and Explorer tabs.

Explorer report tabs are similar to the report view that is used across Analytics. They allow you to drill down into data, as well as add a secondary dimension. When creating an Explorer tab, you can also create Metric Groups, which help further organize your report for easier analysis. For our example, I've built out an Explorer tab focused on content quality metrics with a drill down into where the traffic came from.

Flat Table report tabs allow you to look at two dimensions side by side, meaning you don’t have to click to drill down into your data. We’ve created this report view to make it easier to export the information you care about, email it to a colleague, or simply print it out. For the example report, I have a Flat Table tab focused on where the traffic came from and the quality of that traffic.

And here's the finished report:

Sharing your custom reports
Once you've finished creating your report, you might want to share it with your team. One of the most widely used features of Custom Reports has been sharing, which allows you to share a link to your custom report configuration with others.

Like the current version, sharing a custom report in the new Google Analytics only shares the structure of the report, not the data from your account. There is one difference to keep in mind, when you share a custom report in the new version, the link will always reflect the state of the report when you first created the link. So, if you create report, share it with your colleagues, and then make further changes, the link you shared will still point to the first version of the report. You can share your reports from the Custom Reports overview. Just click the share link:

And here’s a link to the custom report example we’ve referenced throughout this post:

Finding a home for your old custom reports
Did you spend a lot of time creating the perfect custom report in the old version? Not to fear: we’ve created a migration tool to help you migrate your reports from the old version to the new Google Analytics. From the Custom Reports Overview, you’ll see a section called Migrate Custom Reports. It will let you know if you have reports to be migrated. Keep in mind that migration only works one way. Once you move your reports over the new version, you won’t be able to use them in old version.

Using standard reports to analyze your website can only take you so far, which is why we’ve put so much effort in making custom reports more powerful and easier for Google Analytics v5. Please continue to give us your feedback on the new Google Analytics. Happy analyzing!

Posted by Kate Cushing, Google Analytics team