How does Annie Cushing approach setting up custom reports and dashboards in Google Analytics for specific business needs?


May 31, 2023



Introduction: Who is Annie Cushing?

Annie Cushing is a renowned analytics expert and founder of Annielytics, a digital analytics consultancy firm. She has been working with Google Analytics for over a decade and is recognized for her expertise in the field. She has also written several books on data-driven marketing and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences.

Understanding the importance of custom reports and dashboards

Custom reports and dashboards are essential tools for businesses to track their website performance, analyze customer behavior, and make data-driven decisions. Google Analytics, a free tool from Google, provides a vast amount of data, but it can be overwhelming for businesses to process. Custom reports and dashboards allow businesses to focus on the data relevant to their specific needs and goals.

Identifying business needs and goals for Google Analytics

Before setting up custom reports and dashboards, it is crucial to identify the business needs and goals for using Google Analytics. This involves determining what data is essential for the business to track, how it will be used, and who will be accessing the data. This will help to ensure that the custom reports and dashboards provide meaningful insights and contribute to the business’s overall success.

Annie Cushing’s methodology for setting up custom reports

Annie Cushing recommends starting with a deep dive into the Google Analytics data to understand the website’s overall performance. This involves identifying the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that are relevant to the business’s goals. Once the KPIs are identified, custom reports can be created to track them over time. Cushing also recommends setting up custom alerts to notify the business of any significant changes in the data.

Utilizing Google Analytics segments for more precise data

Google Analytics segments allow businesses to filter data based on specific criteria, such as demographics, behavior, or traffic sources. This provides more precise data and allows businesses to gain insights into specific customer segments. Cushing recommends creating custom segments to track different customer behaviors, such as new vs. returning visitors or customers who completed a purchase vs. those who abandoned their cart.

Best practices for designing effective dashboards

Effective dashboards should be designed with the end-users in mind, providing relevant and actionable insights. Cushing recommends limiting the number of metrics displayed on the dashboard, using visual aids such as charts and graphs to make the data easier to understand, and using color coding to highlight important data. She also suggests using real-time data when possible to keep the dashboard up-to-date.

Annie Cushing’s tips for optimizing custom reports and dashboards

Cushing emphasizes the importance of testing and refining custom reports and dashboards over time to ensure they continue to provide meaningful insights. She recommends regularly reviewing and updating the reports and dashboards to ensure they align with the business’s changing needs and goals. Additionally, Cushing suggests sharing the reports and dashboards with stakeholders to ensure they are getting the insights they need.

Conclusion: The benefits of using Annie Cushing’s approach

Annie Cushing’s approach to setting up custom reports and dashboards in Google Analytics provides businesses with a clear framework to turn data into insights. By starting with a deep dive into the data and identifying the relevant KPIs, businesses can create custom reports and dashboards that provide meaningful insights. Utilizing Google Analytics segments and following best practices for designing effective dashboards can further enhance the data’s precision and usefulness. By regularly testing, refining, and sharing the reports and dashboards, businesses can ensure they continue to provide insights that contribute to their overall success.

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