Tracking website metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is no longer an option but a necessity for marketers today. If you want to gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of their online presence, you must measure your online performance to identify areas of improvement, assess marketing success, and enhance the user experience. Ultimately, this leads to increased conversions, customer satisfaction, and overall business growth. One powerful web measurement tool is Google Analytics 4 (GA4) custom dashboards.
With these dashboards, businesses can analyze data points that are most relevant to their operations. Building Google Analytics 4 dashboards provides an all-inclusive overview of your digital media or eCommerce site’s capabilities, so you can make data-driven decisions.
This guide walks you through the process of creating new dashboards in Google Analytics 4. It highlights their benefits, functionality, optimization techniques, as well as available customization options. In the end, you’ll better understand how to leverage GA4 dashboards to gain actionable insights and drive business success.
Understanding Google Analytics 4 Dashboards
Google Analytics 4 dashboards serve as a central hub for monitoring and analyzing key metrics and data points related to how your website performs. They provide a visual representation of your data and allow you to gain insights quickly. Unlike the previous version of Google Analytics 3 or Universal Analytics, GA4 dashboards offer enhanced functionality and a more intuitive interface.
If you’ve been using GA3, you know it had several limitations that have now been addressed in Google Analytics 4. Universal Analytics primarily focused on tracking website data, but with the rise of mobile apps and other digital platforms, it struggled to give a comprehensive view of user interactions across different channels.
Improvements Worth Knowing
A major improvement in GA4 is the improved cross-platform tracking capabilities. It integrates web and app data by default such that businesses can track and analyze user behavior across multiple platforms in a unified manner. This is particularly appreciated by companies with a robust mobile presence or operating on various digital touchpoints.
Another notable enhancement in GA4 is the shift from a session-based to an event-based model. In Universal Analytics, data was primarily organized around sessions, which represented a series of user interactions within a given time frame. But, this approach often failed to capture the entire user journey, primarily where customers engaged with the website over an extended period.
GA4 addresses this limitation by focusing on individual events, which present a more granular and detailed understanding of user interactions. This way, businesses can focus on specific events and their parameters to access deeper insights into user behavior, such as button clicks, video views, and form submissions.
Overall, Google Analytics 4 offers improved cross-platform tracking capabilities and a more comprehensive event-based model. This addresses some of the limitations of Universal Analytics and provides businesses with a more holistic view of their digital performance.
Benefits of Creating Custom Dashboards in Google Analytics 4
These centralized reporting interfaces within the GA4 platform allow tracking and analyzing metrics and KPIs tailored to your business. They also present data in a visually appealing and easily-digestible manner for better understanding and analysis.
Google Analytics 4 dashboards offer real-time insights into your performance and progress, as you continuously monitor the metrics that are applicable to your business operation. Consolidating these measurements in a single dashboard helps streamline reporting processes, which in essence, saves you time. Creating new dashboards in GA4 is also beneficial for:
- Granular Data Segmentation. Custom dashboards in Google Analytics 4 segment your data based on dimensions or attributes, such as user demographics, device types, or traffic sources. This granularity helps you uncover patterns and trends within your audience, leading to more targeted marketing strategies and personalized experiences.
- Comparative Analysis. Custom dashboards enable you to compare different metrics side by side. Analyzing multiple variables helps you understand how various factors impact your website or app performance so you can optimize your marketing efforts accordingly.
- Data Sharing and Collaboration. Google Analytics 4 dashboards can be shared with team members or stakeholders. It aids in better collaboration, communication, and decision-making to ensure everyone’s understanding of the data is aligned based on the same insights.
Google Analytics 4 dashboards also offer a high degree of flexibility in terms of design and layout. In fact, you can customize the dashboard to suit your preferences, rearranging widgets, adding or removing components, and adjusting the visualizations to best represent the data. This customization capability creates a dashboard that aligns with your unique reporting requirements and visual preferences.
How to Set Up a New Dashboard in Google Analytics 4
To build a new dashboard(s) in Google Analytics 4, sign into your Google Analytics account at analytics.google.com and follow these steps:
- Select the property you want to create the dashboard from the property drop-down menu in the top-left corner.
- On the reporting page for the selected property, you’ll see a navigation menu on the left-hand side. Scroll down to the “Customization” section, choose “Dashboards,” and click on the “Create” button.
- You’ll be presented with two options: “Blank Canvas” and “Starter Dashboard.” Select the option that suits your needs.
- Once you’ve added all the desired widgets and customized their settings, click on the “Save” button to save your dashboard. Name your dashboard and select the view level at which it should be available either to you or your teams.
Note, if you choose the “Blank Canvas” option, you must build your dashboard from scratch. The “Starter Dashboard,” on the other hand, has a pre-designed template that you can modify by adding or removing widgets or customizing the settings and data displayed within each widget.
Save and finalize the creation of your dashboard. Your new dashboard, which you can access anytime from the Dashboards section in the Navigation Menu, is now ready to use in Google Analytics 4. The following are helpful optimization techniques and customization options available on the GA4 platform.
Choosing Metrics and Dimensions
Metrics represent data points, like the number of page views or conversion rates, while dimensions provide additional context to the metrics, such as the source or location of your website visitors.
When selecting metrics and dimensions for your dashboard, consider your reporting needs and the exact insights you want to gain. For example, a customer-focused eCommerce site may focus on total revenue, conversion rate, and average order value. Dimensions like traffic source, device category, or product category can provide additional context to these metrics.
Think of widgets as the building blocks of your Google Analytics 4 dashboards, where you can visualize data in different formats, including time series, pie charts, or tables. Configure widgets by:
- Clicking the “Add Widget” button on your dashboard
- Select the type of widget you want to add
- Customize the widget by choosing the metrics, dimensions, and visualization options.
- Arrange/resize the widgets to create an intuitive and informative layout.
Pro Tip: When visualizing data in GA4 dashboards, always keep the design clean and focused. Avoid cluttering it with excessive widgets or redundant information. Pick colors and visual elements that enhance readability and highlight important insights.
Applying Filters and Segments
Filters and segments help you narrow down your data to focus on specific subsets and insights. With them, you can answer targeted questions and uncover hidden patterns. To apply filters and segments:
- Select the “Edit” button within your dashboard
- Navigate to the “Filter” or “Segment” section
- Choose the filters or segments based on your reporting objectives
- Apply the selected filters or segments to your dashboard
Sharing and Collaboration
Google Analytics 4 provides options for sharing dashboards with other team members or stakeholders. This feature is very helpful, as it facilitates a collaborative analysis and ensures everyone can access the most up-to-date data. If you want to share a dashboard, click on the “Share” button within your dashboard.
Next, pick the appropriate sharing settings, such as view-only or editing permissions, and then share the dashboard URL or invite users via email. Collaboration features in GA4 permit multiple users to work on the same dashboard simultaneously, making it easier to discuss findings, share insights, and collaborate on data analysis.
Troubleshooting and Optimization
You may encounter some setup issues or face challenges with performance and usability when building Google Analytics 4 dashboards. To mitigate this, make sure your data sources are properly configured and integrated with GA4. Also;
- Double-check your selected metrics and dimensions because they should align with your reporting goals.
- Optimize the layout of your dashboard to prioritize the most significant metrics and minimize distractions.
- Regularly monitor and review your dashboard’s performance to identify any issues or areas for improvement.
Leverage the Power of Custom Dashboards in GA4
Custom dashboards in Google Analytics 4 provide a powerful tool for tracking and analyzing website data. You can gain the necessary insights and make informed decisions by creating custom dashboards tailored to your reporting needs. Take advantage of the features and customization options available in GA4 to build dashboards that give a comprehensive view of your website’s performance.If you need assistance building new dashboards in GA4 or migrating to GA4, speak with an experienced Google Analytics consultant at Ndevr. Our goal is to enable a smooth transition to GA4 to help you unlock invaluable insights that will take your website’s performance to new heights. Contact us today to start building your custom dashboards in Google Analytics 4.