Creating a Dashboard within the new Google Analytics Platform

- April 27, 2011

Seemingly everyone in the web analytics community is talking about the new dashboard section within the new Google Analytics platform. It’s one of the hottest new features available in the measurement industry today, and now that the new Google Analytics platform is available to everyone, it’s the perfect time to show you what great (and useful) dashboard features you have waiting for you.

First of all, look for a red-colored New Version link on the top-right of the screen, after you log-in to your Google Analytics account. Click on that link, and then you will see the Dashboards tab within the new Google Analytics platform. This is your gateway to viewing your data in the most unique way possible – your way!

The default dashboard will be shown to you – it’s a very basic dashboard that simply shows you the four widget types that you can create or edit. Below is a screen-shot of the default dashboard, but do note that it’s not carved in granite: Anything can be changed, including the name of the dashboard, the titles of the widgets, the location of the individual widgets, the widget types, the number of slices in your pie charts, the number of rows in your tables, and even what traffic segment is shown within an individual widget.


The four widget types are:

1. Metric. The most basic type of widget available (Example: Visits and Bounce Rate in the upper-left hand side of the above screen-shot). You can filter it by essentially any dimension in the product suite (For instance, bounce rate by country).

2. Pie Chart. With the pie chart widget type, you can define what metric is shown (Ex: Visits) and what dimension your pie chart will group your metric by (Ex: Country). You can also apply a dimension here, and you can choose to display anywhere from three to six pie slices in one widget.

3. Timeline. In a timeline widget, you can plot a metric over time, and you have the option to compare that metric with a second metric (Example: Total Goal Completions compared to Abandonment Rate). Filtering / segmenting is available here, too.

4. Table. A table widget lets you view a dimension, and up to two metric contributions for that dimension (Example: Visits and Bounce rate by Country). You can show between five and ten table rows, and as you may have already guessed, you can also apply a filter to this widget type, just like you can with the other three widget types.

My advice: spend some time and play around with the dashboard, and just create widgets and filters for the heck of it. This is the best way for you to get a grasp on how this works. Once you do that, you will inevitably start to come up with widgets and filters within the widgets that are meaningful and that work for you. The worst thing that can come of this is that you need to delete your dashboard and start from scratch – which you can do at anytime!

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