I'm a huge fan of Google Analytics these days. In the last year, Google has given web analysts some amazing tools for analyzing user behaviors in whole new ways. However, for Google Analytics data to be highly useful, we need to put that data into the hands of the broader web team (or organization). A dashboard presents your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in a format that's easy to understand and contextualize.
Over the last couple of years, quite a few startups have developed cloud-based dashboard platforms that integrate easily with the Google Analytics APIs. Leftronic is one dashboard provider that I think is a great fit for Google Analytics junkies like myself. It provides some powerful tools for easily connecting with one or more Google Analytics accounts and presenting meaningful, actionable GA data for your entire web team.
These 10 features make Leftronic a great dashboard platform for Google Analytics users.
1. Speed of Development:
Okay, this is not really a feature. But one of the best benefits of using Leftronic is that once you get familiar with the interface, you can create dashboards for GA data in a matter of hours rather than weeks, and updates to the dashboards can be done in minutes.
This becomes very important as you are reviewing dashboards with internal stakeholders. Adding and removing data points or changing chart types on a dashboard can be done on-the-fly while you are sitting down with the folks that will be using the data.
2. Customizable Resolutions:
When creating a new dashboard, you can determine the resolution of the reports and later decide how many data points and graphs you want on each screen. On each new dashboard there is an open grid for placing widgets and adjusting the sizes with your mouse.
3. Image and Straight HTML Widgets:
While most of the widgets are focused on presenting dynamic data pulled in from an external data source (such as GA), there are also static widgets that allow you to simply display an image or HTML content. With these widgets, you can brand the dashboard with the company logo or product images, or display the site that you're reporting on.
4. Chart Types:
While adding new widgets to display dynamic data from Google Analytics, you have many options for displaying data, including line graphs, pie charts, horizontal/vertical bar graphs, geo-maps, dial gauges, progress bars, and tables.
5. Segments and Filters:
Here's where the dashboard gets really fun. After selecting the data point(s) and the chart type, you can apply your GA segments and one or more GA filters to your data. Leftronic does not query GA for your previously created segments, so you have to know the segment ID.
6. Custom Variables, Dimensions, and Metrics:
Leftronic gives users full access to all dimensions and metrics within Google Analytics. This means that you can populate widgets with data from or filter data with you Custom Dimensions/Metrics. This is a great feature when you are combining data from multiple platforms, such as email or CRM. You can populate CRM or other external data into Google Analytics through the data layer into Custom Dimensions, and then use it for reporting/filtering in Leftronic.
7. Custom Styles:
Many dash boarding tools give users a selection of backgrounds, fonts, and colors to choose from. Leftronic goes one step further by allowing power users to override the styles of each widget. Dashboard creators with a moderate knowledge of style sheets can get really creative with how graphs, text, and backgrounds are rendered on the dashboard.
8. Password Protection and Data Encryption:
Some organizations get upset about housing their anonymous web analytics data externally. You can imagine how these companies might feel about another organization pulling the data out for dashboards. Leftronic offers a simple level of security with data encryption and password protection for each individual dashboard.
9. Responsive Design Dashboards:
Dashboards and widgets automatically scale from small iPhone screens to large screen TVs. The data renders well at just about any size/resolution. You do have to keep the complexity of the data in mind when viewing dashboards in multiple formats.
10. Email and Phone Support:
Leftronic is still in startup mode, and they seem to care very much about customer satisfaction. We have found that trial account holders, new customers, and long term customers (like me) have gotten great email support and phone support. This is very impressive given the low price point for the dashboards.
There a few limitations in the platform worth noting. Leftronic does not have a strong tool set for manipulating the data within the dashboard platform. Leftronic dashboards are meant for presenting data and do not have easy drill-down features to dive deeper into data, or any filtering functions in presentation mode of the dashboards for regular users.
Leftronic has been adding new features to their platform all year at a rapid pace and has been great about reaching out to customers for ideas on feature improvements. We are confident they will continue to improve this great platform.
Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
Mark leads the analyst team to develop ROI goals, data strategies, digital channel reporting, and establish processes for data analysis for EXTRACTABLE clients. Since joining EXTRACTBLE 14 years ago, he has worked on numerous high-profile websites including Yahoo, DirecTV, Visa, FedEx, and HTC. The most trafficked web page that he's ever worked on received 15 million unique visitors in one day, he has run analytics analysis on over 150 sites, and the biggest ROI he's ever seen on a corporate website redesign was > 800 percent. He is an active member of the Digital Analytics Association and has contributed to the DAA Education Committee for over five years.
March 19, 2014