Introduction to dashboards and shortcuts

As we’ve been going through and looking at various reports, it’s clear that some of these metrics will be more useful for your business than others. In some cases, there may even be metrics you want to check regularly to gauge the health of your business or a particular ad campaign. You can use dashboards and shortcuts to quickly find these metrics without having to navigate to a specific report.

Dashboards

Dashboards are flexible and may be used for different purposes. For example, you could create an overview of how your site is performing by displaying summaries of different reports as widgets together on a single page. Or you could gather a list of critical business metrics that show the state of your business at a glance or compare different reports side by side.

Click “Customization,” then “Dashboards” in the left-hand navigation to view the reports that you’ve collected. To create a new dashboard, click Create, select a blank or starter dashboard, and give your dashboard a name.

You can add widgets to a dashboard by clicking “Add Widget”. This will let you name the widget that you want to appear on the dashboard and select a visualization type. You can choose to view the data as a number, a timeline, a map, a table, a pie chart, or a bar graph.

You can select some of these visualizations for standard or real-time metrics. Use the “Add a metric” pulldown menu below to search and add the particular metric you want to include. You can even add filters to the report widget once you’ve brought it into the dashboard, similar to the way we set filters at the view level earlier.

Once you have created a dashboard, you can format it by clicking “Customize Dashboard” and selecting a layout. You can also drag and drop existing widgets to different locations within the dashboard. Mousing over a widget will reveal an edit icon that you can use to edit the data coming into the report widget. It also reveals a delete icon that allows you to remove the widget from the dashboard.

There are two types of dashboards: private and shared. A private dashboard is only visible to you within that view. A shared dashboard can be seen by anyone who has access to that view. You can have 20 private dashboards per user and 50 shared dashboards per view. If you share the dashboard with other users, they can change what shows up on their dashboard, but their changes will only be visible to them. Your original shared dashboard cannot be changed by another user.

If you want to share a dashboard, simply click “Share” at the top. “Share Template Link” will provide a link to your dashboard template that can be added to any other view, but don’t worry, this won’t include any of your Analytics data.

If you wish to share your template more broadly, you can add the dashboard template to the “Google Analytics Solutions Gallery” by clicking “Share in Solutions Gallery.” The Solutions Gallery is a place where Google Analytics users can share different types of customizations like dashboards. It’s also a great place to find dashboard templates that you can import and then customize for your own business.

Save Reports

You can also save reports in order to view them later by clicking “Save” at the top of most reports. When you save reports, they include any customizations you’ve made to the report. For example, if you’ve filtered the data table, then that filter will automatically be applied when you access the report from the Customization area under Saved Reports.

Use dashboards and Saved Reports to easily retrieve data that’s valuable to your business, or share them with other stakeholders. Be sure to check out the “Google Analytics Solutions Gallery” for some great ideas.

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