I love analytics. I love diving into the data, looking at the numbers and finding new and actionable insights. But there is one thing about analytics I don’t love – monthly dashboard reports. You know what I mean – a spreadsheet showing visits, pageviews, new visitors, etc., compared from month to month in nice little columns, filling in a neatly formed Excel graph. While not always actionable, these reports do show big-picture trends, and your bosses and boards love that. In the world of analytics, monthly dashboard reports are a necessary evil.
However, I could never get Google Analytics to give me data in a form that really fit any of my monthly dashboard report needs. I’ve spent hours clicking, copying, pasting, and reformatting in search of the perfect dashboard report.
The tedium may come to an end, thanks to an Excel Plugin called Excellent Analytics. The plugin uses the Google Analytics API to allow you to run customizable Google Analytics reports right in Excel. And after you create a query, a few clicks will update the numbers in next month’s report.
So after you invest some time to set up your first Dashboard report with Excellent Analytics, all you need to do next month is copy and paste a few columns as values, and update your query. I tried it out for the first time this month, and I went from spending almost 4 hours on a dashboard report to 45 minutes.
Now that’s efficiency only an analytics geek could love.