Experimenting with EmbeddedAnalytics to create Google Analytics Dashboards
I was recently contacted by Mark Schenkel of Embedded Analytics to try out a piece of software he’s created which allows you to quickly create and embed your Google Analytics data right into a web page.
No more learning how the Google Analytics API works and no more remembering all those dimensions and metrics.
I’m normally accustomed to using the Google Analytics API with Google Spreadsheets and some scripts to fetch the data, run the queries and then turn it into visualisations such as graphs, line charts, pie charts and maps so this was a no brainer for me as I knew it could save me some time doing a lot of the manual work.
With EmbeddedAnalytics you create all your charts once, embed into a web page or dashboard in your CMS and it automagically updates itself depending on the time frame set.
Mark confirmed “Realtime metrics (visits and by geomap) are refreshed every 20 seconds. All other reports are refreshed hourly if you’ve selected the ‘Include Current Day’ option, otherwise it’ll be every 24 hours”.
How’s that eh?
The first step in creating your chart is to select your profile and select the chart type (see above image again for chart types).
Then you simply select your metric, dimension, time frame and whether you want your visualisation to be JPEG, HTML5 or as a Google chart.
Once you’re done you’ll then be presented with your chart (with basic settings) where you can change then do a but more advanced stuff using the settings provided such as change colours, font sizes, iframe window size, data series and if you want 3D visualisations or just 2D.
You also have the opportunity to create a series using segments (limited so far but again, it’s great for top level stuff) if you wanted to view more than one series of data.
Once you’ve created your graph using the appropriate metrics, dimensions and segments (as you would using Google Analytics API and Google Spreadsheets) you can then hit the ‘get embed code’ button and go grab your embed code.
Grab the code and embed onto your web page or dashboard in your CMS and voila.
It’s as simple as that.
Best thing is….it’ll update itself every day.
Why and who would Embedded Analytics benefit?
Ok, firstly I think it’s a great way for publishers who sell advertising space to be more transparent to advertisers in how they show visits to their sites via Google Analytics (even if it’s behind a login). After all, Google Analytics is a common tool which nearly all marketers are aware of and probably use for their own sites. See this example of a publisher displaying its stats to advertisers.
As a marketer I want to be able to see that the publisher I am spending money with is doing what it can to grow it’s own traffic – I’d like to be able to see a 12 and 24 month traffic chart showing a gradual increase in traffic.
Secondly, for agencies, I think it could be a good way of displaying the data right within bespoke content management systems. This would save clients having to keep logging into Google Analytics and rummaging through report after report just to get one number or chart.
If you have clients who only really only ever want to see top level data on a day to day basis right from within one login (often your CMS) then this could be for you. Here’s an example of a site showing its visitors the number of documents downloaded.
It’s well worth signing up for as it’s FREE if you have less than 2,500 visits per month. For anything above this the cost is $29.95 per year/per profile (correct at the time of writing) and Mark has stated that prices will likely increase in the near future as the feature set expands, or pricing based on the size of monthly visits of your Google profile. So get in quick!
I know Mark is doing all he can to improve it and to bring new functionality to the tool so please do get in touch once you’ve experimented with any feedback and to lock into that $29.95 cost.
View Embedded Analytics in Action Using my Own Stats
I’ve created a simple one page dashboard for my website so you can see exactly how and what could be done.