Crowdsourcing Custom Reports
The digital analytics industry is excellent at sharing information for the betterment of the community. This is often done through conferences, blogs, document integration, API hacks and more. If there are new ways to gather information, we share it.
Within this industry, Google Analytics has proven effective at providing powerful data to any user. One drawback with the ease and mass appeal is that reports are often relegated to the lowest common denominator. This is often enough for most users, but for the typical analyst or power-user, teasing out important data takes a few tricks. Power-users will create Custom Reports to get the data they are looking for without having to wade through standard reports.
For users who don’t know where to start with Custom Reports, have no fear! CustomReportSharing.com is here!
CustomReportSharing.com is a crowdsourced, forum-inspired site that allows users to submit custom reports they have created to fit specific needs. Custom Report Sharing was created by Jill Whalen, and with it, you can easily create an account with Facebook or Twitter (or set one up manually, if you are antisocial) and get started immediately. In fact, you don’t even need to register to install the reports. You must be using V5 of Google Analytics (and why wouldn’t you be by now?). Google Analytics makes sharing easy by simply generating a URL that automatically populates the custom report for whichever profile you select.
The forum is broken into four sections:
Simply put, a custom report is a report that is user created. It allows for a different way to look at the existing dimensions and metrics. It allows for combinations that standard reports don’t provide.
With custom reports you can isolate organic search performance, days of the week and page efficiency – go directly to the dimensions and metrics you care about.
Dashboard sharing capability is a fairly recent update with V5, but dashboards can now be shared via profiles and users. Dashboards provide a great snapshot in performance to complement the in-depth data provided by custom reports.
Advanced segments allow you to isolate specific kinds of traffic and analyze accordingly. They are also great for comparisons, such as new vs returning visitors, paid search vs. organic search or east coast vs west coast. But, if you don’t know what kinds of traffic should be separated, these pre-made advanced segments are an awesome starting point.
Finally, the last section (not technically a report section) covers general Q&A, forum-type questions. Topics include best practices on filters, event tracking and direct links to Google Support for specific help topics. There is even a general chat area for not-specific questions.
Custom reports can be an incredibly powerful way to drill right down into the metrics and dimensions you want to see. They are a great way to leverage the experience advanced analytics users have had to endure and implement on your or your clients’ sites. And with the foresight built into these Custom Reports, plus Dashboards, Advanced Segments and a little bit of tweaking, you already have a great head start into thoughtful analysis and actionable insight.
CustomReportSharing.com is only a few weeks old, so for now, content is a bit light. However, it’s been blowing up recently, and the reports will keep getting better and better. And, by all means, if you create a Custom Report, share it! That’s what this community is about.