Dashboards and Reports

In Google Analytics, Dashboards and Custom Reports* are the tools you use to visualize your data. Default dashboards are available in every view, and they are very useful, but unless you filter them, they will display data from ALL UB web pages and are not very flexible.

A far easier and longer lasting way to see the precise data you want, from your web pages only, is to create a custom dashboard or report. A simple monthly Custom Report template is available in every View in our Analytics Master Property. You can copy it and configure it to show the data you want. Other templates are available in the Training section. 

Google Analytics Dashboards & Reports

(To see just your pages' data in a default dashboard, you can apply an Advanced Search filter.)

Below is information on dashboards and reports, how to find them, and how to use them in Google Analytics.

* All custom configured Reports and Dashboards (e.g. Templates) are located in the Customization section, in the left sidebar.  

How can I only see usage of my own pages?

UB's Universal Analytics Master Property shows you traffic data from the entire buffalo.edu domain. This gives us critical insight into our users’ behavior, including how traffic flows between individual pages (which is typical for most users).

It is easy to filter this data to see only your own site's pages (e.g. arts-sciences.buffalo.edu/). You simply need to either:

  • Apply an Advanced Search filter to a Google Analytics default dashboard
  • Import a Google Analytics Custom Report or Dashboard template and configure it 
  • Configure or Edit a Custom Report or Dashboard
  • Use a Google Data Studio (GDS) report template.

Custom Report or Dashboard: what’s the difference?

A Custom Report is a fast and easy way to track, and consistently report on metrics. These types of reports also allow you to drill into the data.

Learn More about Custom Reports from Google

Example of a Google Analytics Custom Report.

Example of a Google Analytics Custom Report.

A Dashboard is a built upon widgets and provides a static view of web traffic at a specific date. You cannot drill into the data. 

Learn More about Dashboards from Google

Example of a Google Analytics dashboard.

Example of a Google Analytics dashboard.

Where can I find templates for custom reports and dashboards?

A standard Monthly Dashboard template is shared with all users in your Google Analytics view (UBWeb1>Master Property>choose your view). To use it: 

  1. Make a Copy: 
  • Open the dashboard. In the top grey bar, click Share>Share Template Link.
  • Copy the link provided.
  • Paste the link in a new browser window.
  • Choose your view
  • Change the title
  • Click “Create”.
  1. Open the new dashboard (Customization>Dashboards>find your newly named dashboard) and filter the data to show only your web pages by editing each widget with an Advanced Search filter by your web pages or other desired configurations.
  2. Several other templates for Dashboards and Custom Reports are available from the link below.
  3. Simply find the link to the report/dashboard you want, then import it, using the “How do I Import a Report or Dashboard” instructions below:

Dashboard & Report Templates

Looking for a specific report template? Contact dcthelp@buffalo.edu and let us know what kind of report you’re trying to create. If we don’t already have a template we can create one for you.

Screenshot of where to find the basic Google Analytics dashboard template.

Where to find the basic Google Analytics dashboard template.

Several other templates for Dashboards and Custom Reports are available from the link below, including some that help you track:

  • Downloads
  • Events (User actions)
  • Keywords used to find you
  • Monthly analytics
  • Search terms
  • Social Media traffic
  • Top pages
  • Top Sources
  • Traffic overview

To use these templates:

  1. Find the report or dashboard you want here: 
    Dashboard and Report Templates
  2. Import it (see instructions for importing dashboards and reports here).

Looking for a specific report template? Contact dcthelp@buffalo.edu and let us know what kind of report you’re trying to create. If we don’t already have a template we can create one for you.

Where do I find my reports and dashboards in Google Analytics?

In Google Analytics, all reports and dashboards are accessed from the Customization drop down in the left sidebar. Once you import a dashboard or custom report, follow these instructions to find it again.

  1. Go to analytics.google.com.
  2. Open Customization in the left sidebar (under Home)
  3. Then open Dashboards or Custom Reports.

The reports or dashboards you have created or imported, and those that have been shared with you, will be listed.

Screenshot of the Customization section of Google Analytics - where dashboards and reports live.

Customization section of Google Analytics - where dashboards and reports live.

How do I share reports and dashboards?

  1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account and navigate to your view. For example: UBWeb 1>Master Property>Enrollmt Mgt/Academic Svcs
  2. Go to the Customization section in the left column. 

Share a Dashboard

  1. In the Customization section, open Dashboards and open the dashboard you wish to share
  2. Go to Share (beneath the dashboard title)
  3. To share it with everyone who has access to your view, choose Share Object
  4. To share it with individuals via a link, click Share Template Link, then copy and paste the link into an email and send to recipient.
Screenshot of how to share a dashboard in Google Analytics.

How to share a dashboard in Google Analytics.

Share a Custom Report

Share a PDF report:

  1. Go to the Customization section in the left column>Custom Reports and open the report you wish to share
  2. Click Share (top right, across from report title)
  3. Add recipient's email address and choose a frequency>Click I am not a robot>Send

Share a live, customizable report or template:

  1. Go to Custom Reports in Customization
  2. See a list of all available Custom Reports and find, but do not open, the report you wish to share.
  3. In the Action dropdown (far right), choose Share>Share Template Link
  4. Copy and paste the link into an email and send to recipient.
Screenshot of "share a custom report" via link in Google Analytics.

How to share a custom report via a shared link in Google Analytics.

How do I import shared reports and dashboards?

When someone shares a dashboard or report, they will generally do so by emailing you a link. To import a shared dashboard or report:

  1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account and navigate to your view. EXAMPLE: UBWeb 1>Master Property>School: College of Arts & Sciences
  2. Copy and paste the template link into your browser address bar. A screen will appear: "A Custom Report configuration was shared with you."
  3. Change the file name as desired. 
  4. Click Select a view and choose your view. This will save this report or dashboard to your Google Analytics account.
  5. Once you’ve imported the report/dashboard, be sure to configure/edit it to filter for your web pages and your desired date range.

The report/dashboard will then appear in your Google Analytics account under Customization in left sidebar. 

Sceenshot of Importing a report or dashboard, select a view.

To import a report or dashboard, paste the report/dashboard link into your browser window. Then choose your view, change the file name and save. The report/dashboard will then appear in your Google Analytics account under Customization in left sidebar.

How do I configure/edit a dashboard

A custom dashboard is useful if you need a quick snapshot of specific metrics but you don’t need to dig into the numbers too deeply. Dashboards are static reports; you can’t drill down into the data.

  1. Follow the instructions for Importing a Shared Report, Dashboard or Template
  2. To edit the dashboard, go to Dashboards in the Customization panel. Find your report and double click to open it.
Screenshot of how to find dashboards in Google Analytics.

Where to find dashboards in Google Analytics.

3. To change the layout of the dashboard, click Customize Dashboard in the top right of the report

Screenshot of Customize Layout of Google Analytics dashboard.

Change the layout of a Google Analytics dashboard.

4. To edit charts and tables, click the Edit pencil in the top right of each widget.

5. To add a widget, click “Add a widget” in the top/mid-left of the screen, beneath the Dashboard title.

Screenshot of how to add or change widgets in a Google Analytics dashboard.

How to add or change widgets in a Google Analytics dashboard.

How do I configure/edit a custom report?

After importing a Custom Report you will need to configure it to show only the data you need. 

  1. In the left sidebar, choose Customization>Custom Reports
  2. Find the report and go to the Actions dropdown on the far right>choose Edit
  3. Once your report is open, choose Edit (top right), then scroll down to Filters
  4. In the input field to the right of Include>Page>Regex, type the URL of the web pages you are trying to explore. (Do not include http://www, or .html.)
  5. To explore multiple pages, separate each with a pipe | (found above the Enter key on your keyboard; Shift \).
          EXAMPLE: www.buffalo.edu/academics|www.buffalo.edu/ub_admission
  6. Change other metrics and dimensions as desired.
  7. Scroll down and click Save

Be sure to change the date range as required.

Screenshot of Configure Custom Reports in Google Analytics.

Configure Custom Reports in Google Analyitcs.

How do I see New vs Returning users just for my site?

To get New vs. Returning User analytics for specific pages, you will need to set up a custom report.

1. Log in to Google Analytics and navigate into UB Web 1 + Master Property + your view.

2. Go to Audience + Behavior + New vs Returning.

This is the default report – you need to edit it and add a page filter. Filtering only by the Advanced filter does not work.

Create the new report.

3. Click 'Edit' (top right).

4. In the report that loads, adjust the name as desired.

5. Then delete all of metrics except the first row of Summary: Users + New Users + Sessions + Bounce Rate + Pages/Session. The rest is usually not of interest and will obscure the general usage data. But you can of course customize what is shown as you desire.

Adjust the metrics.

6. Click 'Add Dimension'.

7. Type "page" in the search box, then choose 'Page'.

Adding a Page dimension drilldown value.

8. Go to Filters + Add filter. Type "page" and choose 'Page'. Then instead of 'Exact', choose 'Regex'. Paste the URL path for your site into the box; e.g. www.buffalo.edu/hunter-james-kelly-research-institute (do not include http:// or .html).

Setting the page filter Regex value.

9. Click Save.

Your new report will load.  It will always be available in this view under Customization + Custom Reports.

10. Each time you load the report, change the date range as desired.

Your custom report.

What is a “default dashboard” in Google Analytics?

Every view in Google Analytics comes with a standard set of “default dashboards” - you can see them in the left sidebar. They are preconfigured dashboards for:

  • Real Time
  • Audience
  • Acquisition
  • Behavior
  • Conversions

Learn more about Default Dashboards from Google Analytics

Screenshot of where to find default dashboards in Google Analytics.

Where to find default dashboards in Google Analytics.

What if I just want a quick snapshot of my web traffic. Do I need to create an entire report or dashboard? (Advanced Search filter)

While it isn’t as versatile as a Custom Report, it’s easy to get a quick snapshot of your website traffic by applying an Advanced Search filter to Google Analytics’ default dashboards. First, decide what data you want to see, then:

  1. Navigate to the appropriate default dashboard (i.e. Behavior, Acquisition).
  2. Click Advanced to the right of the filter search box (right side of page)
  3. In the left drop-down, choose Include 
  4. In the green Dimension selector drop-down, search for and choose Page 
  5. In the next drop-down choose Containing or Matching RegExp.
  6. In the text box, type the URL of the site for which you wish to see data. Omit "http://" and ".html" (e.g. arts-sciences.buffalo.edu) 
  7. Click Apply
  8. Save, export or share your data by choosing an option in the top right of the report.

See Regex for a list of regular expressions for major UB schools and units. For help filtering your data, please contact dcthelp@buffalo.edu.

Screenshot of Temporary Advanced Filter box in Google Analytics.

Temporary Advanced Filter in Google Analytics

What is Regex?

Regex (Regular expressions) is a powerful filtering tool that gives you a higher level of control over the data you see in your Google Analytics reports. Using Regex you can filter broadly or narrowly to pages or other criteria by matching patterns in your Analytics data. There are some simple Regex expressions that can help you parse data, but most often, you will use Regex to filter Google Analytics to show only data from your web pages. See Advanced Search filter for more information.

Learn more about REGEX from Google Analytics.

Learn even more about REGEX.