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://​twit​ter​.com/​O​m​n​i​_​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?