Google Analytics is an amazing tool, however, it is very easy to find yourself overwhelmed by data. An issue I see often is with so much great data available, people can find it difficult to see the wood from the trees. You can gain some great insights from Google Analytics but it is a tool to help you make actionable decisions to grow your business.
What is a custom dashboard in Google Analytics?
If you are spending all your time analysing the data and not putting anything you find into action, you are doing it wrong!
If you are finding that you are spending too long in your analytics then creating your own custom built Google Analytics dashboards may be your answer.
Google Analytics dashboards are a collection of widgets that allow you to pull different data stream from Google Analytics and display them easily in one easy to read dashboard. They allow you to get an instant snapshot of your most important data.
I personally have multiple dashboards which give me the ability to skip between them and look at the huge amount of data very quickly. For those of you who obsess over the data, you can even have up to 20 dashboards filled with widgets.
How to create a custom dashboard
Google have made it very easy to customise your dashboard in Google Analytics. There is no coding or messing around with the API, you can be up and running in just a few clicks.
Under the ‘Private; dropdown, Google Analytics has provided you a default dashboard to work with.
Each of the boxes is a separate widget. You can also modify the layout of the page to fit with your personal preferences.
If you like the default dashboard but feel it is missing something, feel free to ‘Add Widgets’ (top left) and / or ‘Customise Dashboard’ (top right).
How to Create a Google Analytics Dashboard
If the default dashboard does not have all the features you want then you will need to create your own Google Analytics dashboard.
On the lefthand side navigation in Google Analytics, click ‘+ New Dashboard’.
A popup box will appear with a few options. Firstly, give your dashboard a name. If you are new to Google Analytics dashboards then I would recommend not using the ‘Blank Canvas’ option. Instead, I would explore the dashboards that other Google Analytics users have already created. Click on the ‘Import from Gallery’ button to access these dashboards.
Google Analytics will load a new pop up that allows you to filter by category. This all depends on what you want the dashboard to achieve and the data you want to see.
You can import any of these dashboards in your own Google Analytics by clicking on one of them and then selecting ‘Import’.
You will find your new dashboard in the lefthand navigation of Google Analytics where you created your dashboard.
Customising your dashboard
The ‘out of the box’ pre-built dashboards may not have everything you are looking for. Think about which data sets you use the most and are the most important to you.
To add a data feed, click ‘Add Widget’ and then choose your data feed from the popup. If you want to remove a widget from the dashboard, just hover over it and select the X.
Sharing Your Dashboard
You may want to share your newly created dashboard with other members of your organisation or your clients. To do this, select the ‘Share’ drop-down button in the top navigation of the dashboard and then select ‘Share Template Link’.
Then just copy the link and send it to whoever you want. They will just need to click the link and import the dashboard.