As we explore some of the new fea­tures and enhance­ments of Site­Cat­a­lyst 15, I’d like to review an area that is near and dear to my heart — dash­boards. As a freshly minted MBA stu­dent seven years ago, one of the very first projects I was assigned at Omni­ture was to cre­ate mul­ti­ple Site­Cat­a­lyst dash­boards for one of our biggest clients. The client needed essen­tially the same dash­board repro­duced for each of its 30+ dif­fer­ent prod­uct divisions.

Being the low man on the totem pole, I got the fun assign­ment to build all of them in Site­Cat­a­lyst 10. At the time, there was no way to copy a dash­board and sim­ply change its report suite. Each had to be built from scratch, and they were fairly large in size (16−20 reportlets). Get the date range wrong on one of the reportlets, and it would have to be built over again. While I wouldn’t say it was my worst assign­ment ever, it was repet­i­tive, ardu­ous, and — I’ll be hon­est — a lit­tle clunky. If we fast for­ward from ver­sion 10 to ver­sion 15, there have been a lot of dash­board improve­ments along the way. I’d like to high­light some of my favorites in Site­Cat­a­lyst 15’s dashboards.

New look-and-feel

Focus­ing on the aes­thet­ics first, the dash­boards get a new look-and-feel in Site­Cat­a­lyst 15. If you look at the screen­shot of the same dash­board in ver­sions 14 and 15, you might think that not much has changed because the actual report­let graph­ics look sim­i­lar. How­ever, if you look more closely you’ll notice that the wasted white space at the top of the dash­board (near the dash­board name) and the extra space on the left-hand-side has been removed.

Tight­en­ing up the spac­ing increases the size of the reportlets so they can be more eas­ily viewed. I also like the gray report­let bor­ders that make the indi­vid­ual reportlets more dis­tinct and aligned. In addi­tion, some inter­ac­tiv­ity was added to some of the reportlets. Pages reportlets now have links to the cor­re­spond­ing Page Sum­mary report for each page. On the map ver­sions of GeoSeg­men­ta­tion reportlets, you can now hover over a country/state to see its total count and per­cent of total (e.g., Canada  99,168  12%).

Improved work­flow

If you’re respon­si­ble for build­ing dash­boards on a reg­u­lar basis, you’ll be happy to know that the work­flow for edit­ing reportlets and dash­board lay­outs has been improved in Site­Cat­a­lyst 15. If you’re build­ing a new dash­board, you’ll have the choice to start with a 3×2 (three columns by two rows) or 2×2 lay­out. In ver­sion 14, the default set­ting was the 3×2 for­mat, and you had to add a new page to get the 2×2 for­mat. I like the 2×2 for­mat for sit­u­a­tions where I’m com­par­ing two time peri­ods side-by-side (e.g., last 7 days vs. pre­vi­ous 8–14 days).

You’ll also find the other edit­ing options bet­ter orga­nized and more user-friendly. When you want to edit a report­let, a quick-access win­dow will drop down giv­ing you the option to select the graph, details, etc. Lastly, it is now much eas­ier to set a dash­board as a land­ing page as you can select that option from the dash­board tool­bar (under “More Actions”).

New Dash­board Options

I’ve been sav­ing the best two new fea­tures for last. In the past, Site­Cat­a­lyst dash­boards were fairly inflex­i­ble, espe­cially when it came to chang­ing date ranges. Now you can adjust the date ranges of the entire dash­board or indi­vid­ual reportlets with­out even going into the lay­out (edi­tor) mode like you needed to in Site­Cat­a­lyst 14. You can now click on the date range for any report­let to change it or click on the cal­en­dar fea­ture on the far right to adjust the date range of the entire dash­board. Being able to adjust the data ranges on the fly allows for quick spot checks for dif­fer­ent time peri­ods with­out hav­ing to pull up the full report or go into the dash­board editor.

In a pre­vi­ous post, Kevin Willeit­ner walked through Site­Cat­a­lyst 15’s new seg­men­ta­tion fea­ture. In Site­Cat­a­lyst 15, you can apply the var­i­ous seg­ments to indi­vid­ual reportlets or the entire dash­board. For exam­ple, you may want to look at a par­tic­u­lar dash­board fil­tered for just Face­book users or new vis­i­tors. Now the dash­board isn’t just a report­ing tool but also a handy analy­sis tool where you can quickly see mul­ti­ple reports in one view for a par­tic­u­lar seg­ment. The seg­men­ta­tion fil­ter makes it eas­ier to gain insights into a vari­ety of segment-specific behav­iors. It’s great to see the dash­boards evolve over the past seven years and pro­vide more value than just reporting.


hi How do you delete and share the dashboard created in v15 ? I am unable to locate any function for it Please advise soon Thanks