Google Analytics Data Made More Informative

May 28, 2009  |  Statistical Visualization

goal-tracking

A large majority of us who have websites use Google Analytics as our traffic monitor, and why not? It's free, it works, and it provides loads of data on traffic, referrals, and our content. We can then make decisions based on that data, but the trouble is there's a fair amount of clicking before we get to the good stuff. Enter Dshbrd by DabbleDB. Yes, that's dashboard with no vowels.

Taking the Guesswork Out of Analytics

The DabbleDB folks know data, and Dshbrd is no exception. Using data from your Google Analytics account, Dshbrd analyzes and finds the points of interest - and then shows them to you in a clear and concise way. I've grown incredibly tired of overused sparklines, but Dshbrd uses them well to show traffic trends alongside a vertical stacked area chart. The two are linked such that when you scroll over an event (e.g. rise in referrals from Digg), the area on the stacked chart highlights and vice versa.

View traffic from site referrals, search engines, and direct links or content popularity, etc. Basically, you can examine all of your analytics data in Dshbrd that you can in Google Analytics but in this new view. It might take a second to get used to time on the vertical axis, but once you get over that, this alternative interface is quite intuitive and more importantly, very useful.

Now if only DabbleDB would provide a reliable API I would be very happy.

Premium Analytics

Ultimately, I'm guessing DabbleDB would want to turn Dshbrd into a fee-based service if it gained enough traction. I personally wouldn't pay for it since I really don't need that much outside the usual Google view, but I could see how Dshbrd could be useful to others. What do you think? Would you pay for this sort of premium view into your Google Analytics data?

4 Comments

  • Nathan, thanks for the writeup. We do indeed plan to turn this into a fee-based service; introductory pricing will probably be in the $5/month range.

  • Interesting. At first I thought the vertical and horizontal time axes would produce confusion, but after looking at about four screen shots on their web sit, it actually began to make sense. A vertical time scale is still a bit strange, but maybe they can pull it off.

  • I too was wondering about the vertical timescale, but seems pretty readable. I’ve actually been doing a bit of this myself by pulling data out of google analytics and making my own charts to trying to see referral trends..

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