Overview of the Matomo Reporting Interface
Matomo is a powerful analytics tool once you learn how to navigate through your data. Below you’ll find a high-level overview of the reporting interface and how to get started. If you’d like to follow along, you can click here to access a live Matomo demo.
Exploring the Reporting Interface
Top Menu (1)
At the very top of the Matomo interface, you’ll see the top menu within the blue bar. This menu allows you to navigate between the different features and settings of Matomo itself. It is also the only menu which is always showing so you can access the main sections of Matomo, described in more detail below.
The Dashboard link in the top menu takes you to your default Analytics dashboard view. This Dashboard is the gateway page to all of your analytics data.
Clicking the All Websites link takes you to your All Websites dashboard. In this section, you can review all the websites linked to your account as well as add new ones (if you have at least “Write” permission). You will also see some high-level visit statistics, which can be useful if you want a quick snapshot of all your websites within a specific period.
Clicking the Tag Manager link takes you to the tag management feature within Matomo. This is a useful tool for marketers. It allows you to easily add, manage, and unify all your marketing tags. For example, you can add the Matomo tracking code and advertising network pixels as tags here. The first time you visit this section, you’ll see a guide to help you fully understand this feature.
Clicking the cog icon within the top menu will take you to your Settings. This section holds information and settings for your Matomo account itself. The specific settings shown here will vary depending on your type of account. A few examples of things you might see are: account settings, security, billing, privacy configurations, and extensions.
Clicking the i icon will take you to the Help page. Here you will find helpful links and a search feature to help you discover popular user guides and frequently asked questions.
Notifications (Cloud Feature)
If you use Matomo Cloud you will see a bell icon in this section. When you click on this a pop-up will load containing details on any new features included within your cloud plan. This menu item will not be shown if you are using Matomo On-Premise or Matomo for WordPress as new features will be detailed in update and plugin notes instead.
The last icon in the top menu (half a square with an arrow coming from it) allows you to Sign out. If you are using a shared device, it is especially important to sign out from Matomo whenever you finish your session. Not doing so could reveal your private analytics data to others.
Data Selectors (2)
The grey section just below the top menu contains your data selectors – these are the grey buttons shown above. This area is arguably one of the most important parts of the Matomo interface for exploring your data. The selectors allow you to narrow down exactly where the data is pulled from for any section of the Matomo dashboard.
Up first, you’ll find the search functionality through the search bar. This is especially powerful in Matomo. It can help you find specific reports within the analytics Dashboard, as well as user guides from the official Matomo website. If you know which report or metric you are looking for but not where to find it, this search box is the place to go.
Note: You can also bring the search box into focus by pressing the f key (f for find) which acts as a keyboard shortcut for this feature.
Matomo lets you manage analytics for multiple websites or digital properties within a single account. Therefore it is crucial to select the correct data set you want to analyse. You can do this with the first button within the data selector section.
The text label for the website selector button shows the name of the currently selected website. When you click the button, a menu will appear with a full list of the digital properties that you have access to. It is also possible to press the w keyboard shortcut (w for websites)to bring this up.
Click the name of the website that you want to work with, and the page will refresh to include the relevant analytics data. There is also another link to the All Websites dashboard.
Whatever your analytics question, you will want to make sure you are looking at data within a relevant time period. To help you with this, the Date Selector is the second button in this section and shown with a calendar icon . This text label on this button always shows the currently selected date range, as shown below.
Clicking the Date Selector button will display the calendar and period options shown above. Not only can you select when you want to review data from, but you can also select over what period, or time frame.
Note: You can also bring up the date selector by pressing the d keyboard shortcut (d for date) from anywhere within your analytics.
To begin your selection choose a reporting period from the bullet options on the right. In the example above, we have selected a month, then clicked on the calendar to choose the specific date range. You will notice month and year drop-down fields above the calendar which let you easily navigate through available time frames.
The currently selected month under Period is highlighted with a green circle, and the selected date range is shown highlighted in black. If you are happy with these selections then clicking the big green Apply button reloads the page with data from the relevant date range. However, there is one last feature which you might find useful…
The final checkbox section of the Date Selector allows you to compare data from different periods. To enable this feature, click on the Compare to: checkbox and then select a range within the Previous period dropdown. There are three different ranges available by default.
Previous period – This will compare your selected data with the directly preceding period. If you have selected a day, it will compare with the previous day, or if you have chosen a month, then it will compare with the previous month, and so on. This can be especially useful for reviewing shorter-term growth trends and the immediate impact of website changes.
Previous year – This will compare data from your selected date range with the data of the exact same period of the previous year. This kind of reporting is especially useful for seasonal businesses where month to month growth may not be relevant. An example might be an ice rink that is only open for a few months a year. Comparing the first operating month of each year, to the same month of the prior year will provide feedback on pre-season marketing. \
Custom – This allows you to set any reporting period. This feature can be useful if you’d like to compare marketing campaigns that happen on an irregular schedule. For example, you might run an offline promotion at a few different times of the year, and want to review the online impact within those periods.
The final data selector allows you to review a segment of your data. By default, this is set to the All Visits segment and labelled as such. To benefit from more advanced functionality, you can learn about segments here. If there are any other segments available to you, they will be shown in a list as seen below when you click this selector. You can also bring up this menu by pressing the s key (s for segments) at any time.
The next button on this row is only shown within the Dashboard section and is slightly different from the other data selectors. It is used for managing the reports that are shown within your customisable dashboards. By default, there is only one dashboard available in this section, and it is literally called Dashboard. You can learn more about dashboards in the Matomo Dashboard Customisation guide.
Zen Mode Button
There is one last icon almost hidden away within this section featuring two upward-facing arrows points. Clicking on it activates Zen Mode which hides both the top menu and the main navigation. This gives you more space to review the data that is currently shown on the page. You can also access this feature by pressing the z key (z for zen) on your keyboard.
Main Navigation (3)
The main navigation section on the left-hand side of the Matomo interface is your primary method for navigating through your data. The key sections which we will describe in more detail below are listed in bold. Clicking on the top-level item for this section reloads the page and brings up a sub-menu containing the rest of the items for this section.
The Dashboard is the section that loads by default whenever you first log into your Matomo account. There is a standard Dashboard layout created for you. However, you can also create high-level, customised reporting views aligned to specific use cases.
This is where you can get more information about the visitors to your site. For example, the number of people visiting; the devices and software they are using; where they come from; and the times they are using your site.
This section gives you more information about what people do when they are on your website. You can see which content is most viewed, what users search for, how they navigate your site and ultimately how people leave.
This section provides you with feedback on how your digital marketing is performing. It does this by breaking down the various ways people reach your website. You can find reports on the search engines, social networks and websites referring people to your site. You can also dig into which search terms people are using.
This section will only be visible if you have eCommerce tracking enabled. Within it, you’ll find a general overview of your eCommerce conversion data. There is also a full eCommerce log for more granular detail, as well as sections on sales and product trends.
The Goals section is where you will go to review the data relating to any custom goals you’ve configured. These are often some of the most important stats to consider outside of your eCommerce data. You can learn more about Goal Tracking here.
There are several other reporting sections which may or may not be available depending on the version of Matomo you use. A few examples you might see while using Matomo Cloud or marketplace plugins are:
- Funnels – Used for tracking user progression through your sales and lead funnels. These reports can help you identify stages where you are losing conversions.
- Forms – Helps you keep track of your form’s conversion rates and identify potential issues. For example, where large numbers of people start a certain form but don’t complete it for one reason or another.
- Media – Useful for understanding user engagement with your media, such as videos. You can keep track of how many people play your content and what percentage of those people actually complete it too.
- A/B Tests – Got a theory on how to improve your conversions? Split-test it on your site by sending a subset of visitors to your new versions, so you can confirm your changes actually improve conversion.
- Heatmaps – These show a colour coded overlay of your website to see where on the page people, click, scroll to and interact with the most. This is extremely useful for optimising your website design.
- Session Recordings – Review actual screen recordings of people’s sessions on your website. It might surprise you to see how people really interact with your site and where people get stuck.
Graphs and Visualisations
The main reporting area within Matomo is where you’ll review your data from the various sections of the main navigation. Analytics data within the Matomo reporting interface is displayed through four primary visualisations. These are the Evolution Graph, Table, Sparkline Summary Cards and Maps. Each of these is described in more detail below.
Evolution Graphs (4)
The Evolution Graph visualisation shows a customisable line graph over the specified time period. You can change the period via the Date Selector in the data selector area. Each chart will typically load one metric by default. You can usually customise this chart by plotting different metrics. You can also display the numeric values for any metric by hovering your mouse over its point on the chart.
Changing Plotted Metrics
If you’d like to change the plotted metrics within any Evolution Graph, then you click on the line chart icon that is shown at the top left of the graph. This will bring up a list of all metrics which are available for this visualisation. Click on the checkbox of any metrics within the list that you’d like to activate and the page will refresh with your updated data.
Evolution Graph Menu
While your mouse is over the Evolution Graph card, you will notice a green icon menu appear in the bottom right.
In order, the features within this menu are:
- Calendar Icon – This lets you update the graph to display your data in days, weeks, months, or years.
- Share Icon – This allows you to export the data into various formats so you can work with it in other software.
- Image Icon – Clicking this loads your data as an image which can be helpful for compiling reports for clients or management. You will still have to right-click and Save the file to download it to your device.
- Annotation Icon – This annotation feature is extremely useful as it can help to provide context to changes in your data. Check out the documentation to learn more about how to use annotations. Within the Evolution Graph section, it will bring up a list of annotations within the selected date range and a button if you want to add your own.
Tables are another data visualisation format that is very useful for reviewing your data. Tables typically show a primary dimension such as a page or traffic source on the left hand side. This is then followed by a series of associated metrics in columns on the right hand side. You should experiment with hovering your mouse over rows and metrics to reveal additional data and features.
By default, many of the table reports are loaded hierarchically. Essentially this means that similar data types are rolled up into their high-level category, and can be expanded for you to view more specific data. For example, in the report below, you might be most interested to know the number of visitors from various channel types such as search engines. However if you were reviewing a table of landing pages to optimise on your site, you would probably want to see reports for each individual page instead of grouping them all.
To see the more detailed view, you will need to either expand your selection or flatten the table as a whole.
- Expanding your selection – Click on the plus icon to the left of the row to reveal individual items that have been rolled up into a top-level hierarchy. You can also re-flatten a row with the minus icon .
- Flattening your table – Do this if you want to see the complete data set broken down into individual entries. Move your mouse to the table section and click on the green cog icon that appears in the bottom left. This brings up a table configuration menu where you can Make it flat along with a few other options depending on the data being shown.
Show Table Totals
You may be interested to learn the metric totals for each column in the table. You can do this by moving your mouse into the table area and clicking on the green cog icon to bring up that same menu and then click on Show totals row.
Revealing Extended Table Data Options
Tables within Matomo will load all available data for the most common metrics. However, many reports provide options to customise the data shown in the table. To explore the available options for a table report, click the green cog icon in the bottom left of the table. The specific options will vary between reports but can include options such as, showing totals, or removing infrequent data values.
Searching within reports
You will also notice a search icon below most tables. Clicking this will reveal a search bar. You can then type in the data you are looking for and hit the Enter or click on the Search icon again to search. For example, in the “Keywords” report, you can search for nature and it would return all keywords matching nature. Learn more.
Viewing historical report about any data point
You can expand the data within any row in the tables to show a historical Row Evolution. To do this, hover the mouse over a row and click on the row evolution icon which will open a detailed view of the historical values for this specific row:
You can also compare several rows together, for example to compare Browser market share over the last 30 months. To do this click on the link to Pick a row to compare and then click the row evolution icon on the additional row you like to compare to load the comparison. The example described above would look a little something like this:
Changing number of rows displayed in the report tables
Tables containing a large number of rows are separated across multiple pages that you can navigate with the < Previous and Next > links shown below the table. The current number of rows per page will be displayed in green at the bottom right of the report when you hover the mouse over the table. You can change the number of rows displayed by clicking on the number and selecting an alternative. For example in the Operating System versions table below you can see the option to display 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250, 500 rows, or all rows without any limit applied.
Alternative Visualisations of Table Data
There are also several types of graphs you can use to display table data which you may find useful. The icon shown for accessing these will vary depending on your current visualisation. By default you will start in the table view, so you would click the green table icon at the bottom left of the table to bring up the visualisation menu shown below.
Within the Insights visualisation, you can quickly reference the biggest increasing and decreasing metrics of your current report. This is also known as the Movers and Shakers report. Below the report you will be able to choose from a number of comparison periods depending on what makes sense for each specific report, including:
- Previous day
- Same day in previous week
- Same day in previous year
- Previous week
- Previous month
- Same month in previous year
- Previous year
- Previous number of days (Compared to a custom date range)
You can also see the results for a different time period by changing the date in the Date Selector at the top of the page. The data can also be filtered for example show only movers, only the new elements, or only show those that have disappeared from the report. By default, the report is set to show Increaser and decreaser, or you can update it to show either on its own.
The example below shows the most increased visits by Channel Type over a one-month period. You can see the actual number of additional visits and the percentage increase those visits represent.
The Vertical bar graph visualisation is useful for a visual comparison of the numeric data values. Whereas, the Pie charts visualisation can easily show you the relative distribution of each item from the table.
Lastly the Tag cloud is great for generating a visual snapshot of your most populous data. Higher value items are shown in bold with an increased font size. The example report below shows how you might use this to identify your top search keywords.
Sparkline Summary Cards (6)
These are most commonly shown on overview pages and provide a high-level summary of the data surrounding a topic. For example, on the Goals page, you will see a summary of the number of conversions, the conversion rate, and overall revenue associated with these goal completions.
Sparkline summary cards are shown with a line chart on the left and a text summary of the data just to the right of it. The line chart spans the date period you have selected with the Date Selector. Within this line chart, the red bubble represents the lowest data point, the green represents the highest data point, and there is a blue bubble at the end, representing your most recent data point.
There are no settings within these summary cards however, there are two significant features. You can hover over the text summary for a more detailed description of precisely what is being shown. Additionally clicking on any of these items will update the Evolution graph to display this data.
The final data visualisation is the Map view which is only relevant when looking at location-based data. By default, this shows a world map. You can drill down, by clicking on a country to see a breakdown of regions, and you can click on these to reveal an Evolution Graph for the selected region. It is important to remember when you are reviewing location data, that this is being pulled from the IP address. This means the accuracy may vary depending on how you have configured your privacy settings. You may also need to configure your geolocation settings before this feature can work.
Accessing Helpful Advice Within Matomo
If you are ever unsure of what something is, or how it works in Matomo, you are usually only a couple of clicks away from assistance. The four main ways to access support documentation are detailed below.
The i icon in the Top Menu
You can always access the Help page from anywhere within Matomo by clicking the _i icon _. On this page, you’ll find popular user guides and frequently asked questions.
While exploring the Matomo interface, you can usually hover above any interactive elements to reveal a short descriptive tooltip.
Inline Question Mark Icons
You will often see question mark icons around the interface, for example, while hovering your mouse over a section title. Clicking on these question mark icons will reveal more detailed descriptions about what a feature is, and how to use it.
Keyboard Shortcuts for Matomo
Matomo also offers a selection of keyboard shortcuts to make it easier to navigate on desktop computers. The following keyboard shortcuts are available in the browser:
- Press z to enter Zen Mode which hides the menus so you can focus on the data.
- Press s to open the Segment Selector
- Press w to open the Website Selector
- Press d to open the Date Selector
- Press f to find things with the Search Box
Accessing Matomo Menus on Mobile
When accessing Matomo on a mobile device or a smaller screen, both the top and main navigation are wrapped behind icons as shown below. You can access the top menu through the three dots icon on the right and the main navigation through the hamburger menu icon on the left.