Understanding the app's purpose

Important to understand when using this app is its purpose: It is not the main goal of the app to access all your Google Analytics metrics on your mobile device. The idea behind the app is to have the most important metrics - your website key performance indicators (KPIs) - always with you on your mobile device. Therefore only a selection of metrics is available: The 'big three metrics' users, sessions and page views plus goal conversions and goal values (only totals in the free version, all 20 individual goals in the Pro edition).

If you use web analytics in a goal or conversion oriented way, you'll be very happy with the performance oriented focus of the app. If you're not yet using web analytics this way, you might get more value out of it focusing on goals and conversions than relying on standard metrics like page views or sessions.

Besides having your website KPIs always with you the advantages of this app are the following:

  1. KPI target values: You can define a target value for each KPI (e.g. 100 orders per week) so that an indication can be calculated if you're on track reaching your target or not. Google Analytics itself cannot store target values, this is a unique feature of the app.
  2. Performance index: You can calculate a website performance index (similar to a stock index like Nasdaq or S&P's) based on your KPIs. The KPIs can be weighted therefore, so that e.g. one order has a higher impact on the index than one contact lead. Google Analytics doesn't have such an index or a similar weighting possibility, this is a unique feature of the app.


Quick Start.

To start with the Dashboard app, it's recommended to proceed the following steps:
  1. Configure or check goals
  2. Configure dashboard
  3. Define target values
  4. Define metric weight

1. Configure or check goals

With the Pro edition of the app you can make use of the individual goals that you have configured in Google Analytics. Therefore when using the pro version, you should first configure or check your Google Analytics goals via the web interface of Google Analytics on www.google.com/analytics. If you need support on how to configure goals in Google Analytics, please check out the appropriate help page in the Google Analytics help center.

2. Configure dashboard

After logging in to the app using your Google Analytics username and password and selecting your account and website profile (familiar to the Google Analytics web interface) you see your preconfigured dashboard displaying some standard metrics. As a first step you should now define which metrics are to be displayed on your dashboard by clicking on the Settings-Icon in the lower right corner of the app. From the list of available metrics, including all of your configured Google Analytics goals (Pro edition only), you can switch on or off the ones that you like to appear on your dashboard.

3. Define target values

After having chosen your dashboard metrics you should define a target value for each metric. Target values, not available in Google Analytics itself, are one of the key features of this dashboard app. For example if your target is having 100'000 users per month on your website or receiving 100 orders a day, you can store this information in combination to the appropriate metric on the metrics setting page.

By selecting a time period of the target value (day, week or month), the target value will extrapolate automatically for the other time periods. The app will use this target values later to indicate on the dashboard in red or green whether or not you're on track reaching the defined target values.

4. Define metric weight

Another key feature of the app is the calculation of your individual website performance index. the performance index gives you similar to a stock index like Nasdaq or S&P's an indication of your current website performance. The index is calculated based on the metrics displayed on the dashboard. The selected metrics are weighted, so that e.g. one order can have a much higher influence to the performance index compared to e.g. one session. This weighting of each metric can be done again on the metrics setting page. Enter a value between 0 and 100 for weighting each metric that is used on the dashboard.

If you're not sure what weight a metric might have, you can use monetary values of each goal to get a relation between the metrics. Let's say that you value an order $50, a contact lead $20 and a session $1, than you would enter 50, 20 and 1 as weight for the appropriate metrics.

Dashboard

After selecting one of your Google Analytics profiles on the appropriate screen you see its default metrics on the dashboard.

Reporting period

For all metrics you can choose between four time spans on their basis the metric values are calculated:
  • Now: Calculates the real-time metric values for the last five minutes.
  • Today: Calculates the metrics values from midnight till now.
  • This week: Calculates the metrics from Monday till today.
  • This month: Calculates the metrics from the first of this month till today.

In the navigation bar at the bottom of the dashboard you can change the reporting period to show metric values for yesterday, last weeks and last month instead of the upper ones. Remember that there might be a time lag of some few hours in the reporting of the Google Analytics data (except for real-time data under the now tab). This can cause delayed metric values especially noticeable in the today's dashboard. Also make sure that you have set the correct time zone in the Google Analytics web interface. Since the default is North American Pacific Time you have to adapt the time zone manually if you're website is operated outside this zone. If not configured properly, you might have a larger time lag until you see your today's metric values. See the Google Analytics help center on how to set your local time zone.


Metrics and supporting numbers

The metrics that are shown on the dashboard can be configured in the dashboard settings, by default you'll see some basic metrics like users, sessions and page views. When looking at your dashboard's metrics you can see for each metric beside its actual value some additional information that supports you in the interpretation of the metric value.






Comparison to previous time span
The metric value for the selected time span is compared to the value in the previous time span. If you've selected this week's time span, than the metric value from Monday till today is compared to the values of last week's Monday till the day one week ago. If you've selected the "this month" time span, than the value from the first of this month till today are compared to the first of last month till the day one month ago. The today's values are compared to the reached value from yesterday. The difference to the previous time span is indicated in absolute numbers and a percentage value.

Target value and percentage of achievement
For each metric you can define on the metric settings page a target value that should be reached (e.g. if your target is having 700'000 users a week, define this value in the dashboard settings). The target value displayed on the dashboard is the one that you should have reached by today (e.g. if it is Tuesday and you have selected this week's view, you should have reach a value of 200'000 users by the end of today). The percentage value indicates how close you are in reaching your target. If your current percentage of achieving the target lies between 80 and 100% the metric is colored white. The metric gets red if the percentage is below 80% or green if it's beyond 100%. You can change these thresholds as well as invert the red/green color indication in the dashboard settings.


Performance index






The performance index is a calculated value based on your metrics on the dashboard. In the dashboard settings you can weight each metric and how it influences the performance index. Based on this weight and the performance of the metric, an index is calculated similar to a stock index like Nasdaq-100 or Standard & Poor's 500.

The index shall give you a quick overview of your website's health. By weighting the metrics, more important metrics like conversions can have a higher impact on the index like less important metrics (like e.g. users). The base value of the index is set to 1'000 points, so if your index is above this value your website has made a progress since the start of the index (installation of the app).

The calculation of the performance index follows this formula (simplyfied):
(metric 1 * weight 1 + metric 2 * weight 2 + metric n * weight n) / base value * 1000




Dashboard settings

Settings

By tapping the settings icon in the navigation bar on the dashboard you can change the settings of the dashboard for the selected profile. The settings page lists the metrics that can be displayed on the dashboard and indicates whether they or currently displayed (on) or not (off).

In the free version of the dashboard the available metrics are users, sessions, page views, total goal conversions and total goal value. In the Pro edition of the app all 20 individual Google Analytics goal conversions and goal values as well as eCommerce transactions and revenue are available in addition. The goal conversions and goal values are automatically displayed in the pro version if they are configured properly in the Google Analytics web interface. For instructions on how to configure goals and goal values in Google Analytics, please see the according topic in the Google Analytics help center.

For each metric you can define separate settings on the metric settings page.

Beside this settings for the dashboard metrics, you can define some global settings for the dashbaord app. If you choose 'Load this dashboard on start', the selected dashboard will directly be loaded when the app is started. If you select 'yesterday, last week/month' as default period', this date range will be initially loaded. Further on you can define the threshold for the red-, green- or white-coloring of the metric values on the dashboard. You can even invert the colors (red for good, green for bad) if this is more familiar to you.


Metric settings

Visibility and weight
As a first option on the settings page you can define using an on/off switch ('Show on dashboard') if the metric is shown on your dashboard or not. In addition you can enter the 'performance index weight' (only to be considered, when the metric is shown on the dashboard) which defines the metric influence on the performance index (see performance index). The weight can be an integer number between 0 and 100 where 0 means no influence on the performance index and 100 a very high influence. The weight is not a percentage value, so 100 for one metric doesn't mean that all other metrics have no influence at all. Instead you have to define a value between 0 and 100 for each metric on the dashboard, the percentaged influence of each metric is then calculated by the app.

Performance index settings
For the first metric on the settings page, the performance index, the metric settings are a little different to the other metrics. Beside the switch whether to display the performance index on dashboard or not, you have a button to reset the index to 1'000 points. This is required to calibrate the index to a specific starting level - like some stock indices are set to 100 or 1'000 points at a specific starting date some time ago. By default the performance index is set to 1'000 points at the day before the installation of the app. By resetting the index, yesterday's performance index value is assumed to be 1'000 points.

Target values
Except for the performance index (for which this value is calculated automatically) a target value for each metric can be configured on the metric settings page. The target value is the value you expect from a metric to be reached after a certain period of time. If your target is having 100'000 users per month on your website or receiving 100 orders a day, you can store this information in combination to the appropriate metric on the metrics setting page. By selecting a time period of the target value (day, week or month), the target value is automatically extrapolated for the other time periods. The app will use this target values later to indicate on the dashboard in red or green whether you're on track reaching the defined target values.


Charts and reports

Charts

When clicking on a metric on the dashboard a chart view is opened. The chart shows a trended view of the metric data of the past 30 days. Additionally to the metric trend, also its target value as defined in the metric settings is displayed, graphically showing the gap to the target value. By tapping on the graph, the values for each day ar shown. Turning the device to the horizontal orientation, show the chart in full size view.

When choosing the tab for the accumulated view, metric and target values are accumulated on a weekly or monthly basis (depending on the selected reporting perdiod on the dashboard). The accumulated view starts at zero every month or week and adds up the daily values.

The Pro edition of the app contains additional charts showing demographics (countries and new vs. returing), sources (traffic sources, campaigns, search traffic and keywords, social sources and referring sites) and used content. All chart data is segmented by the metric that you select on the dashboard. If you select 'Total Goal Conversions' for example, only the countries, sources and content are shown that have generated conversions. If you prefer to see an unsgemented view of demographics or sources as by default in Google Analytics, then select the metric 'Sessions' or 'Users' on your dashboard.


Reports

The Pro edition includes a drilldown to nearly all Google Analytics reports. You can drilldown to the reports after clicking on a section on the metric overview screen. The reports are grouped by audience, sources and content section, in most cases corresponding to the Google Analytics web interface.

The primary metric shown on each report page is the one previously selected on the dashboard screen (e.g. "Total Goal Conversions"). Beside that also general metrics like Users, Sessions, Page Views, Bounce Rate, Average Time on Site and Percentage of New Users are available via dropdown selection. By clicking on "Comparison" in the report chart all these metrics can be compared to each other in a single view.










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