Making a Report That Has Only One Row for “All Traffic”

Yes, you can have a report with only one row that’s just for ALL TRAFFIC. It’s useful.

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It’s funny how often this need comes up in day to day analytics work.

You need a report that has only one row — and you want that row to contain all visits.  So simple.  Maybe you want to see a trend graph for one particular measure.  Your aim is to put this graph in a dashboard.

Here’s how:

  1. Go to Report Configuration > Custom Reports > Dimensions and click on “New”
  2. Name the dimension something like “All traffic (one dimension)” and make the Column Heading something like “All Traffic”
  3. Click on “Next” to get to the Based On tab.
  4. “Value to Base On” should be “Query Parameter”
  5. “Parameter Name” should be something that doesn’t exist.  I like the “nevergonnahappen” parameter name.
  6. Click on “Advanced” (see screen shot below)
  7. In the expanded Advanced screen, check the “Override Default String” box and, in the “New String” box, put the name that you want to appear as the label of the row.  Why are we doing this?  Because otherwise, that row will be called “None” and that will be confusing.  The most general name to put here would be “All traffic” or “trend.”  (It’s a pity that this row label override has to be set in the dimension definition and can’t be done when it is applied to a custom report.  To make good clear custom reports with concise row labels, you’ll have to create a separate one-row dimension for each measure you want to use it with … purchases, downloads, customer service form submits, whatever.  Oh well.  Try to compensate by being creative with the custom report name.)
  8. In the “When To Collect Data” tab, do “All Hits”  (unless you have a well-thought-out reason to do otherwise)
  9. Save

nevergonnahappen

 

Now apply this to a custom report.  Remember a couple of things when defining the custom report:

  • Never check the box “Exclude activity without dimension data” – that’s the None row and this dimension IS the None row!
  • If you are going for a trend graph to put into a dashboard, be sure to have Interval Data turned on for that measure.

Postscript:  Since this trick focuses on measures, did you know that practically any URL can be turned into a measure?  The measure would show a count of the times that URL was seen?  See our “Measures” posts using the Categories at the right.  There are several such posts; start with this one:  http://www.webtrendsoutsider.com/2008/how-to-display-any-kpi-page-as-a-measure-column/.  Don’t settle for the measures that Webtrends provides!

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