With Dashboard Analytics, you can track how many people are reading your data-driven dashboard, how they are discovering your dashboard, and how deeply they are engaging with your content. This information empowers you to make informed decisions about sharing and marketing your dashboard or where you can customize your content for the interests of your audience.
How to Enable and Access Your Dashboard Analytics
Dashboard Analytics are only available on published dashboards. To publish your dashboard (or to see if your dashboard has been published) go to your dashboard editing screen, and select the Share tab.
Under Publish Settings, click the drop-down and select Published - Public
Once your dashboard has been published and you’ve shared your dashboard with your audience, the analytics tool will automatically track visitors and engagement with your dashboard.
NOTE: For dashboards that were published before we released the analytics feature, all analytics will only reflect traffic which occurred after August 24, 2018.
To view your engagement metrics,
- Open your dashboard from your mySidewalk account.
- At the top of the page, next to the options for Edit and Preview, click Analytics. This will open your Dashboards Analytics dashboard.
It’s that easy!
How to Interpret and Use Your Analytics
The metrics presented can help you understand how your dashboard is performing in three ways:
- The quantity of engagement. This includes how many visitors your dashboard has and how wide of an audience you reach. Quantity of engagement tends to be driven by actively sharing your dashboard with your audience, such as during events, through social media, or directly sharing with stakeholders.
2. The quality of engagement. A user who has a high-quality experience with your dashboard will often spend more time viewing your dashboard or will explore more pages. Quality of engagement tends to be driven by informative, high-quality content and data visualizations that are both relevant and attractive.
3. The source of your engagement. Track what kind of devices your visitors use to view your dashboard, and how they arrived at a your dashboard - such as from a google search or a social media post. This helps you know which of your owned channels or outside websites are driving traffic.
It is important to note that the success of a dashboard as measured by analytics is very relative. There are no hard rules or thresholds that dictate whether a dashboard is “successful” or “unsuccessful”. However, knowing your metrics can help your team leverage your dashboard more strategically if you have certain goals in mind. Effective ways to use analytics include:
- Measuring the impact of an event or marketing effort
- Identifying which portions of your dashboards are the most useful or interesting for your audience
- Learning which of your owned channels, search, social media, or other websites are the most effective for driving traffic.
- Informing when and what you should share to websites, news media, or social media to increase views.
Analytics Dashboard Glossary
Your analytics metrics are organized by key engagement metrics:
The Overview section gives you a quick snapshot summary of your visitors and engagement.
The Audience section provides a detailed breakdown of your dashboard’s visitors
The Acquisition section provides a detailed breakdown of how your visitors accessed your dashboard, such as whether they came from a social media platform.
The Behavior section provides a detailed breakdown of how long your visitors engaged with your dashboard and what pages they visited.
Users are the visitors who have viewed your dashboard. In this visualization, users include both unique visitors and returning visitors.
Page Views measures the total number times your dashboards pages have been viewed. If a page is viewed more than once in a single visit, each view counts towards this count.
You can view your user and page view counts for 7 day, 30 day or 1 year time periods by selecting the drop-down arrow.
Returning Visitors are users that have visited your site before. More returning visitors indicate your dashboard’s content is engaging and provides continuous value to your audience.
New Visitors are users that have never visited your site before. More new visitors often indicate successful marketing and outreach, which are attracting a wide audience to your dashboard.
Page Views Per Session measures the average number of page views in a single visit. Higher values for this metric indicate users are interacting with a larger portion of your dashboard. Lower values for this metric could indicate users are less engaged with your dashboard, but it may also mean your users are gathering all the information they need from one or a few pages.
Device Type shows what type of device your users used to view your dashboard. An advantage of mySidewalk dashboards is their excellent experience on mobile. This metric can help identify whether your users tend to view your dashboard when on the move, or at a computer.
Referral Types show how your users access your dashboard:
Direct - the user accessed your dashboard by clicking the URL directly, such as in an email, they typed the URL directly in their browser, or they may have the dashboard bookmarked.
Organic Search - the user found your dashboard using a google search (and the search result they clicked was not a paid-for google ad link).
Referral - the user accessed your dashboard by clicking a link to it from another website, such as your city’s website.
Social - the user accessed your dashboard through a social media post, such as a Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
Referrer Sites track which specific referral websites your visitors access your dashboard from most often. This can help you identify which websites reach a wider audience, or how your city’s website referral traffic compares to other sources.
Social Network Referrers tracks which social media platforms generate the most visitors to your dashboard. This can help you identify which social networks reach a wider audience, or measure the impact of sharing your dashboard in recent social media posts.
Popular Pages highlights the pages in your dashboard with the most total pageviews. The pages are identified by the last portion of the dashboard page’s URL. This metric helps you identify where users are most engaged in your dashboard. Often the home page will have the most pageviews by virtue of being the landing page where users can then find the content of most interest to them.
Page Views by Page lets you track the number of page views for each page in your dashboard, for a deeper look at where users are engaging. If you find there is information that your team knows is critically valuable - but users are not viewing it - you can make strategic decisions about the design of your dashboard to get that information in front of more users.
Average Session Duration measures the average amount of time users spend (in seconds) on your dashboard in a single visit. Generally, a longer session duration indicates your users are more deeply engaged in your content.
Improve your Dashboard’s Engagement
Although Analytics should never be the only metric for measuring a dashboard’s success, they can give you a deeper understanding of how well you are reaching your audience.
A critical component of improving engagement is consistently marketing and sharing your dashboard with your community. Residents and stakeholders have to know your dashboard exists and what value your dashboard can provide to them.
To learn more about how to effectively market your dashboard, read our dashboard launch guide or contact your Customer Development Manager. We're here to help!