Dashboards in Matomo offer you the ability to include various types of analytics data on a single page for easier analysis. You can customise Dashboards to focus on your website goals and then optimise them with your specific analytics users and use cases in mind. For example, a business director seeking a high-level overview will be interested in one set of reports. While a digital marketing team delivering a content marketing strategy will want something else.
Where to Find Dashboards in Matomo
To access your Dashboards, click on the Dashboard link in the blue top menu. Then click the Dashboard menu item within the main navigation on the left-hand side.
Inside that section, you will see a list of available dashboards including a default which is appropriately called Dashboard. If you have created, or have access to, any custom dashboards, you will see them listed below.
Note: If you have more than five dashboards, you will only see the currently selected dashboard name with a dropdown arrow next to it. You can click on the dashboard name to load the full list. There’s also a search bar to make finding a specific dashboard easier.
The Anatomy of a Dashboard
The actual dashboards are made up of widgets which are typically self-contained reports based on your analytics data. There are some exceptions to this, such as widgets containing news feeds and social media integrations.
Matomo comes with approximately 100 widgets by default, and they are all displayed in an interactive card format. Widgets can also be added via plugins if you are using Matomo On-Premise or Matomo for WordPress. The screenshot below shows a typical dashboard with several different styles of widget within the white boxes. These provide a high-level overview of key stats for your website.
Best Practice for Creating Custom Dashboards
A successful dashboard design is a dashboard that is useful. Therefore, when creating new dashboards, it is helpful to keep in mind the user that will be accessing the dashboard and their needs.
You should typically put the most important metrics front and centre so they can be referenced at a glance. Additionally, you should also avoid the temptation to add too many widgets as this can slow page load times and overcomplicate things.
It is also valuable to familiarise yourself with the standard Matomo reports first, so you don’t waste time replicating existing views. The best times to create a dashboard are when you wish a particular collection of reports existed, and when you can take the time to cater for your own needs.
How to Create and Customise Dashboards
You can create and customise as many dashboards as you need. Within each dashboard, it is possible to curate your own selection of widgets and arrange them into different layouts. The majority of these settings are available through the dashboard menu. You can access this menu while on any dashboard page by clicking the Dashboard button within the Data Selector area.
How to Create a New Dashboard
Whenever there is a unique collection of reports you need to check regularly, it is worth considering creating a dashboard. There might be some reports you check daily, while others are only useful monthly or for particular projects. In any case, you can create task-oriented dashboards containing elements from multiple sections of your analytics data.
The steps for creating a new dashboard are as follows:
Go to the Dashboard section in the main navigation.
Click the Dashboard button.
Click Create new dashboard to bring up the dashboard creation popup.
Type a descriptive name in the field that pops up.
Choose between an Empty dashboard (recommended) or the default dashboard.
Click OK and then Add A Widget to load the widget selection menu and get started.
How to Add Widgets to your Dashboard
When in the Dashboard section, click on the Dashboard button in the data selector area to bring up the Dashboard menu. At the top of this menu, you will see a section to Add a widget. This menu area lists all of the available widgets you can add to your dashboard.
You can add as many, or as few, widgets as you need. Generally, you should aim to add your most frequented statistics so you can keep track of them at a glance after logging in.
While many widgets offer reports that are available within other reporting sections of Matomo, there are some widgets which are only available within customised dashboards. Below you will find a few examples of these widgets.
Become a Matomo Expert Widget
The default dashboard that comes with Matomo includes a widget towards the top right of the page. It comes with a series of tasks to get started. As you complete each task and familiarise yourself with Matomo, these tasks are ticked off, and you level up. Once you have completed them all, you will likely want to remove the introductory widget from your dashboard. You can remove this widget by hovering your mouse over the title and then clicking the close icon that appears at the top right of the widget.
This widget focuses on just a single metric so you can reference its performance and growth at a glance. It is also possible to add multiple instances of this widget to your dashboard with each focusing on a different metric. Several KPI widgets focused on your most important metrics can provide you a quick and easy way to see how you are performing against your company’s goals.
When you select this widget, it will load with Visits shown by default. Once it is on your dashboard, you can click on the metrics picker icon to reveal a comprehensive list of available metrics. You can repeat this as many times as necessary until you have all of your key metrics listed within your dashboard. The example screenshot below shows three separate instances of the widget, each with a different metric selected.
Custom Reports Widgets
Custom reports are a powerful feature available within Matomo Cloud and through the Custom Reports plugin for Matomo On-Premise. They allow you to combine any of the dimensions and metrics collected by Matomo into a single custom report. Once created, it is also possible to add these custom reports to your dashboard. You can find your report widgets by clicking on the Dashboard button. Then click Add a widget, and finally a list will be shown under the Custom Reports sub-menu. Your custom report widgets can contain anything that can be compiled into a custom report. The example below shows how it might look with a custom report width showing three dimensions for events as described here.
This is a useful widget for keeping track of your website coverage within the search engines. It reports on the number your website pages currently included within the most popular search engines. Additionally, it reports on your Alexa ranking, which is a ranking of the most popular sites on the web. You can also add other domains into the website URL field and click the Rank button to compare yourself with competitors in your market.
How to Manage Existing Widgets
To manage existing widgets within your dashboard: hover your mouse above the top right of the widget card to bring up the Widget Menu.
Within this menu, you will see four icons. From left to right, these are:
- Refresh – This updates the widget data with any changes since it was loaded. This can be especially helpful when testing and analysing with real-time activity on the website.
- Minimise – This temporarily hides the data in the widget, which can be helpful if you have lots of widgets on a page, or certain data that does not need to be checked frequently.
- Maximise – There are two potential actions when clicking on this icon. If the widget is currently minimised so you cannot see any data, then it will return to its normal size. If the widget is already at normal size, then clicking this icon loads a popup containing a larger version of the data. Maximised widgets can make data within certain graphs easier to read.
- Close – This completely deletes the widget from your dashboard. You should only use it if you are not interested in seeing that widget on the dashboard again. If you want to see it later, you will need to re-add the widget to your dashboard.
How to Customise Your Dashboard Layout
When you first add new widgets to your dashboard, they might not be in the most logical order. Additionally, some widgets inherently work better at a smaller or larger size. This is where customising the layout of your dashboard comes into play.
Change the number of columns on your dashboard
While on your dashboard page, click the Dashboard button. This will bring up the dashboard menu where you will see a Manage dashboard section at the bottom. Within this section, there is a change dashboard layout button which allows you to alter the number and width of columns on the page. You can have anywhere between one and four columns of varying widths. It is generally easier to choose a layout after you have selected your dashboards widgets, so you know how much space you need for each.
How to reorder and move widgets within your dashboard
After you have selected a layout, you can simply move things around with your mouse via drag and drop. Simply hover your mouse over the top part of the widget until the crosshair icon appears as shown below. Then click and hold your mouse whilst moving the widget into the desired position.
Removing, Renaming and Resetting a Dashboard
Also within the Manage dashboard section of the Dashboard menu, you will find several options for the dashboard you are working with. The settings are all fairly self-explanatory.
- You can click remove dashboard to get rid of the current dashboard you are viewing. It is not possible to delete the default dashboard, but you can remove any other dashboards you no longer need.
- There is a reset dashboard link which removes all widgets from the current dashboard and replaces them with the default configuration so you can start again.
- You can also use the rename dashboard link to customise the label shown in the Main Navigation. Setting descriptive names for your dashboards makes it easier to navigate between them.
If you are a super user, then you will also see the set as the default widgets selection link which allows you to curate the default selection of widgets for any new websites or users of your Matomo instance.
Share Your Custom Dashboards With Other Users
If you work on a team with several people accessing your analytics, it is possible to create and then share custom dashboards with other users. This means you can share useful dashboards amongst your team for a central reference point. Or you can share your key performance indicators with members of your wider organisation. Instructions on how to share your dashboards can be found here. This feature is only available to accounts with Super User permissions.
Custom Dashboard Configurations (and How to Create Them)
The best way to get started with customising dashboards is by experimenting with what is available to see what would be useful. However, with over 100 widgets available in Matomo by default, there are countless ways you could organise them.
Below we have provided a few different examples of dashboard configurations for specific use cases to get your creative juices flowing. Each contains a short description of when and why you might use it, the questions it answers, and the specific widgets that have been used.
Goals and Ecommerce Dashboard
This dashboard configuration is designed with marketers and conversion optimisation in mind. It provides a high-level overview of how successful various aspects of the website are performing.
This dashboard features a three-column layout containing the following widgets from top to bottom and left to right:
- Visits Overview (Column One)
- Actions: Event Categories (Column One)
- Goals Overview (Column Two)
- Ecommerce Overview (Column Three)
- How is the website performing overall (Visits, speed, conversions, etc.)
- What are the high-level engagement metrics for the site?
- What kind of actions are people completing on the site?
- How effective is the site at achieving its overall goals?
- How much money revenue is the site generating?
Email Marketing and Campaigns Dashboard
This dashboard is designed with campaign-based marketing and email marketers in mind. It relies on the use of Matomo’s Campaign Tracking feature to differentiate between which specific content brought a user to the site and which of these resulted in sales.
This dashboard features a simple two-column layout with the following widgets:
- KPI Metric > Visitors from Campaigns (Column One)
- Campaign Names (Column One)
- KPI Metric > Percent of Visitors from Campaigns (Column Two)
- Sales by Referrers: Campaign Names (Column Two)
- Which campaigns appear to be driving the most traffic to the site?
- How many visitors arrive at the site from campaigns in general?
- Which campaigns are contributing the most to goals and sales?
- How much revenue is being generated via tracked campaigns?
Content Marketing and SEO Dashboard
This dashboard is designed for content marketers and anyone interested in the SEO (Search Engine Optimised) performance of the website. It is based on an equal three-column layout featuring the following widgets:
- KPI Metric > Visitors from Search Engines (Column One)
- KPI Metric > Percent of Visitors from Search Engines (Column One)
- Combined Keywords (Column Two)
- Sales by Referrers: Search Engines (Column Three)
- SEO Rankings (Column Three)
- How effective are search engines as a traffic source for the website?
- Is traffic from search engines increasing over time?
- Which keywords are people using to find the site?
- How many of the website pages can be found through search?
Advanced Developer Resources
- If you use Matomo On-Premise, it is possible to create custom widgets for your dashboards.
- There are several dashboard related functions available through the Matomo Reporting API.
- For plugin developers, additional dashboard and widget functionality is available through the PHP API.
- Learn how to access your Dashboards and other sections with the Matomo Tour.