In order to use custom reports effectively, metrics and dimensions must be reported on in the right way. This is important to understand and take into account when creating reports!
When reporting metrics or dimensions on your site, you have two main options for reporting: across sites or across devices. Both of these modes report in a similar way, but the way varies slightly. For example, on desktop devices, reports show as a line chart, table or circle instead of graph. In both cases, the size of the bar represents the quantity represented by the dimension or metric.
When creating reports using either of these modes, there are some rules that must be followed. When reporting data using only one method with no additional input required, then there are no hidden cost or benefit differences between mobile and traditional platforms. However, when reporting differently with both platforms, then there are differences in cost associated with having one platform versus the other.
Dimensions and metrics must be on the same axis
When reporting metrics in a custom report, there are some rules to keep in mind. First, the report must have dimensions! These are the categories that the metrics fall into. Then, each metric must be on an axis, which is how it reports its value.
Some values may not be on an axis, like money spent on a product. This is correct as long as the axis is not money, but rather one of the other factors listed above.
Dimensions and metrics must use the same values
There are some reports that require metrics and dimensions to share values. A report that requires a dimension called revenue, but metrics called dollars spent on a product is an example.
By requiring metrics and dimensions to share values, reports can have more input fields, drop-downs, and totals organized correctly. This helps make it easier to compare one metric to another, as well as report owners.
By having shared values in reports, reports can also be more customizable for each person reading them. This can help make them find something of interest on the website or application they are looking at.
Many times when reporting Metrics or Dimensions must use the same value is not asked for in. This can lead to one metric or dimension being worth less than the other because of this.
Only report on numbers that make sense together
A critical part of report creation in Custom Reports is sharing information with other parts of your application. In order to report accurately, metrics and dimensions must be included, and this includes being able to link them.
It is always best to include both numbers and words when reporting metrics, especially for reports that look at more than one area of your business. By including words, you can add some context to the number being reported.
While only reporting on numbers that make sense together is the next key part of report creation, you can still get some great reports without it.
Keep it simple, start small
When setting up a report, there are some basic elements that must share in order to report accurately. These include the user name, organization name, goal met, and other details such as daily totals or monthly averages.
This includes user-based goals such as “work on 1 project” or “manage my savings.” Organization-based goals such as “keep an eye on my finances” or “monitor my health.” And details like my monthly spending or saving amount.
Your report must include these elements in order to report accurately. Too many calculations and factors can make your report look inaccurate or stop it from reporting at all.
Use a formulas to filter data
Some metrics and dimensions cannot be reported on using a simple filter. These include:
Ordering options/pricing tiers/configurations/etc.
While these features can be valuable for understanding your business, reporting on them is not valid data. This is due to the number of different ways customers can order, the number of orders each order can have, and the number of orders that match your ideal customer. Report only data that exists!
Data that does not match a filter must be combined into another metric or dimension to report. This is done by using a formulas technique.
Create multiple reports with different dimensions and metrics
Most businesses create one or two reports that report on dimensions and metrics for their entire company, or just one report that reports on dimensions and metrics for one area of the company.
This is a good habit to get into as your business grows. You will have more reports to share information with your team and the world!
However, there are times when you can share information more explicitly than what the standard report looks like.
For example, if you had a report on sales, you could create a report that reported only on square feet of sales. Or if you had a report on product quality, you could create a report that reported only on how many complaints an item received.
These reports would be more specific than the standard sales and quality reports, but they would still use the same dimension and metric combination to calculate sales, quality ratio-wise.
Both of these reports would show an increase or decrease in square feet of sales.
Consider using a software tool to manage your reports
Once you have your metrics and dimensions, you can use the report tool to create a report that displays all of your metrics and dimensions. This can help to see whether or not your reports are reporting accurately for you.
Using a software tool such as the one offered by IgniteHomes, I was able to create my custom reports in less than an hour! It was easy to customize the report to show only what I wanted it to show, and I was able to set breaks before and after each dimension so that I could run reports on multiple homes at once.
Understand the limitations of Excel reporting
When it comes to reporting in the finance field, there are some limitations to the reporting power of Excel. For example, reports cannot show multiple lines of data in parallel, and they can only report one dimension at a time.
This can make a big difference when it comes to properly comparing two pieces of information. For example, if one metric is dollars and another is days, then two days in excel would not be equal to two dollars in excel.
When it comes to measuring something like profitability, this can be critical. If one were to compare two companies with different metrics for profitability, then they would be able to determine whether or not one was more profitable than the other.