Create and customise Dashboards

Customise your dashboards and widgets for the best account overview.

Every view in Google Analytics comes with a default “My Dashboard”. While the default Dashboard may suffice, the real usefulness of Dashboards lies in your ability to create and customise them the way you want.

Dashboards contain one or more widgets (up to 12 per dashboard) that give you an overview of the dimensions and metrics that you care about most. The steps outlined in this article will teach you how to create and customise a new Dashboard. (You can follow many of these steps to edit existing Dashboards as well).

In this article:

Create your Dashboard

To create a Dashboard, navigate to your view, then:

  1. Select the Reporting tab.
  2. Select Dashboards.
  3. Click on +New Dashboard.
  4. In the Create Dashboard dialogue, select either Blank Canvas (no widgets) or Starter Dashboard (default set of widgets).
  5. Give your Dashboard a descriptive title, then click on Create Dashboard.
Screen shot of + New Dashboard link and Create New Dashboard dialog.
Figure 1: Creating a new Dashboard.

Add widgets to your Dashboard

A Dashboard can have one or more instances of the following kinds of widgets:

  • Metric – displays a simple numeric representation of a single selected metric.
  • Timeline – displays a graph of the selected metric over time. You can compare this to a secondary metric.
  • Geomap – displays a map of the selected region, with the specified metric plotted on the map. Hover over the map to see the actual metric values.
  • Table – displays up to 2 metrics describing the selected dimension, laid out in tabular format.
  • Pie – displays a pie chart of the selected metric grouped by a dimension. Hover your mouse pointer over a slice to see the specific metric values.
  • Bar – displays a bar chart of the selected metric grouped by up to 2 dimensions. Hover your mouse pointer over a slice to see the specific metric values.
Screen shot of the widget editor.
Figure 2: Widget editor.

Standard vs. Real-time widgets

Some of the available widgets can display their data in real time. These widgets update the metrics automatically (standard widgets, by comparison, update when you load or refresh the Dashboard).

Real-time widgets can display only the Active Users or Pageviews metrics, depending on the widget. The following widget types are available as real-time widgets:

  • Counter – displays a count of the active users on your website. Optionally, you can group these users by a selected dimension.
  • Timeline – displays a timeline graph of pageviews on your site for the past 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Geomap – displays a map showing where your active users are coming from.
  • Table – plots a table of your active users against up to 3 selected dimensions.

To add a widget to a Dashboard:

  1. Create a new Dashboard and select Blank Canvas, or click on + Add Widget on an existing Dashboard to open the widget editor.
  2. Select the type of widget.
  3. Configure the widget’s dimensions, metrics and other options. These vary depending on the type of widget. Scroll or use the search box to locate the specific metric or dimension that you want.
  4. You can limit the data shown by the widget by clicking on Add a filter. Filters let you include or exclude data in the specified dimension that match your filter criteria. You can add multiple rows to your filter definition. All conditions must be met for the filter to work.
    Report and Dashboard filters are not the same as view filters. View filters permanently change your data, while report and Dashboard filters only limit the data displayed in the report or Dashboard. Dashboard filters are specific to the Dashboard in which you define them.
  5. You can link the widget to a report or a URL. Doing so makes the widget title a link, taking you to the specified report or web page. To link to a report, begin typing a report name. Google Analytics will autocomplete your entry, trying to match it to an existing report. Alternatively, you can copy and paste the report’s URL into this field.
  6. Enter a Widget Title or accept the suggested title.
  7. Click on Save.

Add a linked report directly to your Dashboard

Another way to link a report to your Dashboard is to add it directly from the Google Analytics reporting tool.

  1. Locate or create the report that you want to see in your dashboard.
  2. Click on Add to Dashboard below the report title. 
  3. Select an existing Dashboard, or create a new one by clicking on New Dashboard
  4. Select the check boxes for the Dashboard widgets you want to include (e.g. table, pie chart, timeline). You can add up to 2 widgets per report to your Dashboard. You can change the widget titles using the Click to Edit links.
  5. Click on Add to Dashboard.

Your new linked report widget opens on the dashboard that you selected. Use the widget title link to open the underlying report.

Screen shot of adding a report to a dashboard.
Figure 3: Adding a linked report to a Dashboard.

Linked report limitations

Linked reports can’t have metric filters or secondary dimensions. If you try to add a report with a metric filter or secondary dimension, you will see a warning icon. Hover over the icon to see the warning message. You can still add the report, but it will not include the filter or secondary dimension.

You can only embed the Data view of a report in your Dashboard. If you try to add a report that uses another view of the table (e.g. Percentage, Performance, Comparison or Pivot), you will see a warning icon. Hover your mouse pointer over the icon to see the warning message. You can still add the report, but it will display only the Data view.

Linked reports display only the first two metric columns from your reports. If your report contains more than two metrics, additional metrics will not be displayed in the Dashboard.

Screenshot showing warning that dashboards can only display up to 2 metrics from a linked report.
Figure 4: Linked report warning messasge.

Edit a widget

To modify an existing widget, hover your mouse pointer over the widget title, then click on the Edit (pencil) icon.

To delete an individual widget, hover your mouse pointer over the widget title, then click on the Close (X) icon.

Screen shot showing hover on widget title to display edit and delete icons.
Figure 5: Edit a widget.

Note: you cannot undo deleting a widget.

Clone a widget

You can create an exact copy of a widget using the Clone widget link. This is convenient when you want use one widget as a base for another.

Screenshot of widget editor showing clone widget link.
Figure 6: Clone a widget.

Add segments to your Dashboard

As in Google Analytics reports, you can add segments to your Dashboard, allowing you to compare and contrast metrics generated by different session or user groupings.

To edit an existing segment, click on the segment label at the top of your Dashboard. To add a segment, click on the empty +Add segment label.

Learn more about segments.

Customise the Dashboard’s layout

Click the Customise Dashboard link to change how your widgets appear and how they are arranged on the page.

Screenshot showing customize dashboard link located in action bar.
Figure 7: Customise Dashboard layout.

Delete a Dashboard

You can remove a Dashboard entirely by clicking on the Delete Dashboard link on right-hand side of the page, under the date picker.

Screenshot of delete dashboard link located in the action bar.
Figure 8: Delete a Dashboard.

Share your Dashboard with other users.

Learn more about segments.

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