In this post I will mention some cool SiteCatalyst interface features that you may not be aware of, but could save you some time and avoid stress (just in time for the holidays!).  My hope is that there are more out there that you may have found so please feel free to add them as comments at the end of this post.

Collapse Left-Navigation Menu Bar
Ever looking at a report with a lot of metrics and wish you didn’t have to scroll?  Many people out there don’t know that you can collapse the SiteCatalyst left-navigation bar to increase your report screen size.  Simply click on the “minus” sign above the menu to collapse and the “plus” sign to expand:

Double-Click to Add/Remove Metrics
Most of you should already know this, but in SiteCatalyst v14 you can double-click to add/remove metrics in the “Add Metrics” window.  For those of you using v13.x, hold down the CTRL key down when clicking on metrics to get the same result.

Double-Click to Rename Dashboard Reportlets
Ever want to change the name of a reportlet on a SiteCatalyst Dashboard?  Bet you didn’t know that you could double-click on it to rename it!

View Reports in Trended View
Most SiteCatalyst reports allow you to switch from the default “Ranked” view to a “Trended” view which shows you the context of the data.  This is useful for seeing if things are heading in the right direction.  You can let SiteCatalyst pick the Top 5 items to trend or you can specify the five items you want to trend.  If you want to see more than 5 of your data points trended, you can do this by using the ExcelClient.

Add Targets to SiteCatalyst Reports
While it is nice to look at your SiteCatalyst reports and see that the trends are going up or down (depending upon which way you want them to go), sometimes that is not enough.  Out in the real-world, there are mean bosses who want to hold you accountable for your metrics!  If this sounds familiar, you might want to check out a seldom used feature of SiteCatalyst called “Targets.”  Targets allow you to define metrics for specific timeframes and then show you how you are performing toward the targets that you set.  Let’s say I showed you the following graph:

You would most likely say that it looks like things are going pretty well.  Revenue is trending up and there are not many situations where you want Revenue to go down!  It may be time to head out early, take a well deserved vacation or ask for that raise you have been longing for!

But what if I then showed you the same graph, but with a Target added to show you where your boss expects your metrics to be…

Uh-oh, suddenly you are not feeling so confident!  This is why Targets are important since in web analytics, context is king!  You can set SiteCatalyst Targets manually through the interface or import them using an Excel Spreadsheet.  I encourage you to dig into the user manual and learn more about Targets when you have the time.

Reorganize Menus and Hide Menu Items
Did you know that you could completely re-organize the left-navigation menus of SiteCatalyst?  Does the notion of Traffic vs. Conversion Variables not seem intuitive to you?  Do you want to hide some SiteCatalyst reports that you don’t think your organization will care about?  You can do all of this and more in the Admin Console by creating your own menus and adding/removing items.  Simply select the report suite(s) you care about and open the “Menu Customization” tool.  For example, below you can see that there are a few Traffic reports related to “Day Parting” (time of day, day of week) buried within the Custom Traffic 1-10 report folder:

You can easily create a new “Day Parting” folder and drag these reports there instead of having to hunt for them under the Traffic reports folder.  When you are done, it looks like this:

Upon saving, all users will see the menus the way you arrange them and you can use the “Restore Defaults” button to return to the original menu structure if it is ever needed.  For obvious reasons, this functionality is limited to Administrators.

Save Custom Reports
Have you ever opened a Conversion (eVar) report, added the exact metrics you wanted, chosen the perfect graph and sorted on the perfect metric?  It is a great feeling when you get a SiteCatalyst report exactly the way you want it.  Once you have done this, why would you ever want to have to go through all of that work again?  While you can add the report to a dashboard or as a bookmark, you would then have to take the additional step to share it with co-workers.   If you are ok with everyone seeing this report, you can save it as a “Custom Report.”  To do this, simply create the report as you’d like it to be seen by others and click the “Custom Report” icon from the toolbar and give it a name and save:

Once you have one or more Custom Reports, they will show up in a folder at the bottom of the left-navigation bar.

Of course, you can also move these Custom Reports anywhere you want in the menu structure using the Menu Reorganization tool described above.

Create Global Calculated Metrics
Have you ever created a Calculated Metric that you wanted everyone at your organization to know about?  Perhaps you and your counterparts have different definitions for Bounce Rate which drives your superiors crazy.  Using Global Calculated Metrics, you can create Calculated Metrics and push them out to your organization.  As long as the user has Administrator privileges, these Global Calculated Metrics can be created on the fly from the Metrics Builder…

…or through the Admin Console:

Limiting Results in ExcelClient
One of the more powerful things you can do with the ExcelClient is to narrow down items that appear in reports by using the search criteria boxes.  You can use these boxes to limit results to those matching a particular phrase which can be a real time-saver.  Besides not taking advantage of this feature, many clients don’t realize that they can combine multiple elements in their search criteria.  The following will demonstrate this functionality.
 
The first step is to create cells in which you will enter your search criteria.  I mainly use the “OR” and “NOT” items so I will focus on these in this post.  Once you know which cells you want to use for your criteria, you assign those cells to your data block (click link labeled “Top 1 -50″) as shown here:
 
 
Once this is done and you have saved your data block, I normally run my report with no criteria in these cells to be sure I have the data I am looking for.  In this case, I ran a report for Blog Post Titles, saw that they all appeared correctly and then entered my first search criteria.  The thing that most people don’t know about is that you want to use a space as the separator.  In this case, I would like to see any posts that have the phrase “SAINT” or “VISTA” in them.  After I enter these terms and refresh my data block, I would see the following:
 
 
As you can see, three items were returned all of which matched one or the other of the items in my search criteria.  If I had wanted both to be present, I would simply use the “AND” cell instead or the “OR” cell.  Now let’s say that I want to narrow my focus to items that contain “SAINT” or “VISTA,” but for some reason I don’t care to see any items that contain the phrase “DB.”  In this situation, I would keep my “OR” criteria as I had it before and add “DB” to the “NOT” criteria.  Here you can see the criteria and the resulting data set after the data block is refreshed:
 
 
You will notice that the results are similar to those above except the item related to “DB VISTA” is no longer shown.  Finally, let’s use the space as a separator again and this time exclude items that contain “DB” or “SAINT” so that we only look at items that contain “VISTA.”  Below you will see the criteria entered and the resulting data set:
 
 
Anything Else?
Are there other SiteCatalyst time-savers that you have found?  Any other tricks?  Please let us know by commenting below…
 
 
Have a question about anything related to Omniture SiteCatalyst?  Is there something on your website that you would like to report on, but don’t know how?  Do you have any tips or best practices you want to share?  If so, please leave a comment here or send me an e-mail at insidesitecatalyst@omniture.com and I will do my best to answer it right here on the blog so everyone can learn! (Don’t worry – I won’t use your name or company name!).  If you are on Twitter, you can follow me at http://twitter.com/Omni_man.

 

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7 comments
Adam Greco
Adam Greco

Henry - I am not aware of a way to copy a report from one report suite to another, but you can do the following: 1) Open the report, switch the report suite and then bookmark it again or 2) use the excel client to create a report shell and just change the report suite using a cell in Excel. Both of these assume the different report suites are set-up the same way...

Henry Phillips
Henry Phillips

This is good stuff, thank you. Any chance of a how-to or a link to a resource that would show how to copy reports from one report suite to another? I'm sure it can be done with menu customisation but can't work out exactly how. I have a great set of reports on one suite and want to transfer some of them to a new report suite.

Bansi
Bansi

Great Tips! I've been using SC and Discover for almost three years, and wasn't aware of most of these. Thank you!

Adam Greco
Adam Greco

Kjartan, Thanks for your comment Kjartan. While this is not my specific area, I can tell you that we hear you and definitely understand your frustration. System performance is a high priority for us and we’re working on making sure you can run these reports quickly anywhere in the world. I would speak to your account manager who can escalate as needed. Thanks!

John Hossack
John Hossack

Adam - Great tips. I especially appreciated the first one. Collapse Left-Navigation Menu Bar. A simple little thing that will make life easier.

Kjartan Bjørkvold
Kjartan Bjørkvold

Thanks for useful tips! Speaking of saving time when using sitecatalyst, is there any way to speed up the entire system? Seems like a lot of time is being spent waiting for reports to generate, not only for myself but for others I have talked to that are also based in Europe. I heard rumors of some European servers being on the way, what is the current status of this possibility?