You need to turn that pile of statistics inside Google Analytics into a story for your audience. Worse-still, that story needs to be compelling, brief but packed with inspiring information. But it has to be the right information… and the story can’t go on too long… and it can’t take all day for a simple Google Analytics report, right? Custom dashboards and engaging graphics are here to help.
Delivering Awesome Google Analytics Infographics (With Real-World Examples)
I’ve had the pleasure of working with the back end analytics of 10+ active websites and in each case I had to present insight to senior leaders. Here’s how you make a splash with data!
- Paid vs organic search
- SEO monitoring
- Roadblock diagnosis
- Content performance
This process can be applied to all the above. Here’s how to create beautiful report with an emphasis on audience impact, simplicity and guiding aesthetics that will let you whip up a fancy graphics report.
Here are the tools we’ll be using:
- Tableau, Google Analytics, R (if you want a challenge)
- Database of quantitative data mined from an early build of the 8-Bit Statistics website, mined using Google Analytics and analysed in Excel and R.
“What question do you want to ask?”
Every act of data research begins with a question and Google Analytics is no exception.
What are the conditions that are leading you to analyze Google’s database of quantitative behavioral information? Has your website experiences a numbers drop since a change in style or formatting? Is one type or piece of content under performing and you want to know why? This is the stuff that inspiring Google Analytics reports are made of!
Even if you can’t pin down a definitive reason for the report (monthly analytics reports are widely seen as performance indicator rather than diagnostic tool – for example) always keep in mind the purpose of the website whose data you wish the analyse and present, whether its selling your weird homemade tea cozies, pulling in users for affiliate marketing purposes, or just increasing the audience size of your My Little Pony fanfic blog.
— Steffen Wendt Andréa (@Dudehere) May 12, 2017
Make Research, Mining and Design Easy
Save yourself building custom reports and dashboards within Google Analytics makes it easy to get the information you want at glance and, when it comes time to extract, packages your data export in a manageable set that’s easier to work with.
My custom Google dashboard is already suggesting some important areas of investigation with website speed ranking low. The bounce rates are also unusually high, well over the average for similar websites.
Time to run a browser report and see if any one is incompatible, maybe that is adversely affecting the averages.
Let’s see whats happening with our browsers…
It’s clear that Chrome performs better than its rivals.
Time for a more comprehensive report to analyse website speed. I extend the range for Google Analytics to pull data from and customize custom report further.
And the result…
Now we’re getting close to some answers! Look at that page load time for mobile users! We can see how the high page load time is throttling audience acquisition.
The issue of page load time seems a fine focus for a graphics report, so let’s create some powerful and engaging graphics to get our point across.
Want to stand out? Don’t use the default options for infographics or dataviz
In our case we are presenting to a senior leader at an organisation. Let’s think about how many reports this person has written, read and listened to over the course of their life. A lot. And I bet that most of them were really boring and designed by
To make an impact with reporting I can’t stress enough how important it is to make your work stand out against the average – for me, it’s a pre-requisite for success and going that little bit extra in visual effort is 50% of the work done.
Aim for simplicity and maximum impact, with colors that pop.
Simplify, simplify, simplify…
If you can get across two or three ideas or representations in one image or word, do it. Everytime.
Visual overload is confusing and usually ugly. In an age where powerful graphics programmes and vast sources od data at our tips its easy to get carried away.
Don’t do that. I personally follow minimalism as a guiding factor for what makes it in to an infographic report and have endless experience of less being more.
This article is part of a series for 8-Bit Statistics. For more on tricks, guides and discussion on analytics, data visualization and awesome uses for machine learning, join me here.
— 8-Bit Statistics (@8BitStatistics) April 25, 2017