Click Here For Customized Data: Google Analytics Automated Dashboard

Brian Alpert, USA , Effie Kapsalis, USA, Sara Snyder, USA

After museum web professionals have gone through the long process of conceiving, producing and launching a website, they are often tasked with making sense of the resulting web analytics data. It is not an easy or intuitive process; extracting trended, meaningful data is often more easily said than done.

Smithsonian analyst Brian Alpert developed a custom dashboard to help Institution staffers more easily "see" what was happening with their websites, particularly with respect to audience engagement. Version 1.0 (presented at MW2012) utilized Google's manual data-export capabilities. Now, with the advent of user-friendly GA automation tools an automated version of the dashboard has been created.

The automated dashboard provides analysis of the critical visit engagement metrics (frequency, length and depth), and bounce and conversion rates. It can be easily edited to support multiple profiles and advanced segments. There are also search-related metrics, to help practitioners understand the critical search engine segment and how the site is performing in terms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

The demonstration consists of three sections. The first shows how GADG works: how to create reports, how to access multiple profiles and date ranges, and how to customize the resulting charts. The second section provides a guided tour of the dashboard, its reports and features, and shows how it can be used to demonstrate data and connect that data to program goals. The third section presents a series of Smithsonian case studies showing different groups using the dashboard to understand data and explain how it lends insight in the context of program goals or initiatives.

After the demonstration has ended, viewers will be able to login to GA and connect their own profiles to the dashboard, and come away with their own copies of the dashboard.