Time Saving Google Analytics Tip: Save Filtered Reports
When you spend a lot of time in Google Analytics, you start to pick up on features that are not very well documented. One such feature is the ability to save a filtered view of a report to your dashboard.
Common Task – Filtering Reports
One of the more common tasks I find myself doing in Google Analytics is filtering reports to look at specific data. For example, let’s take a really simple example of a blog that shares the same profile as your main site and is located in a sub folder of your domain (for example, www.blastanalytics.com/blog).
Normally, when you go to the ‘Top Content’ (under Content) report in GA (Google Analytics), you see a list of the top content pages across your entire site. The reason why you went into GA was to find out which are your top blog posts; it was not to press the next page button until you find a blog post. The simple way to do this is to filter this report with the following regular expression: ^/blog/.
Voila! Now you are only looking at posts from your blog!
The problem with this is that you have to remember the filter expressions and apply the same filters every time you want to look at this subset of data. This can often require the use of a spreadsheet to copy/paste from a list of filter expressions; this is inefficient.
If you first apply this filter to the ‘Top Content’ report (^/blog/), you can then click the ‘Add to Dashboard‘ button at the top of the report.
Now, go check out your dashboard. You’ll notice a new item on your Google Analytics dashboard. When you click the ‘view report’ link, you’ll be taken to the report, with your filter expression already applied. If you decide to schedule an emailed report of your dashboard, it will include the full details of this saved dashboard item.
Another quick Google Analytics tip: if you first edit the filtered report to show 50 rows instead of the default 10, it will come over as 50 rows in the emailed dashboard report or in the ‘view report’ link.
Rename Custom Reports on Dashboard
One question that may come to mind is “Can I change the name on the dashboard?” If it is important enough to do so, there is a way to do this via custom reports. Since you can rename a custom report and save a filtered custom report to the dashboard, this works out nicely.
Here are the steps:
- Create a custom report and name it how you would like it to show up on the dashboard.
- View the report and apply a filter expression to the custom report.
- Click the ‘Add to Dashboard’ button to save this filtered, custom report to your dashboard.
Want this Custom Report?
Here’s the custom report share-link if you’d like to easily create this custom report and apply it to your own Google Analytics dashboard.
A common question we get asked, is if it is possible to apply an advanced segment to a report and then save that to the dashboard (with the segment applied)? Unfortunately, this is not supported. This is probably due to the way that advanced segments work in GA. Since advanced segments are applied across the interface and not local to just one report, this won’t work. This technique also won’t work on the recently released weighted sort feature.
Have any Google Analytics tips to share or a dashboard challenge for us? Leave a comment below.
Have other questions or need more help? Contact our Google Analytics Consultants.