How to show Google Analytics reports on your public website

Google Analytics was made to monitor your website traffic but many other uses were emerged as developers loved this free data collection and reporting platform. You can use Google Analytics to monitor desktop software usage, the usage of mobile apps, and many other wierd things, like for example your front door at the office.

Sometimes you do not want to keep the collected data to yourself and want to show them also to the visitors of your website. There are several ways to do this.

Tools and methods to show data on the public site (viewed by anonymous users)

Tool Description Advantages Disadvanages
Google Embed API via a Service account You need to create a new "Service account" and create your visualizations with the Embed API. Set the "Service account" as the public user who looks at your visualizations.  
  • Procedure to get the access token requires programming (a small python script)
  • Coding needed to setup your data visualizations with the Embed API
Google Analytics superProxy

Allows you to publicly share your Google Analytics reporting data. You can use it to power your own custom dashboards and widgets, transform responses to various formats.

You can use the Query Explorer to generate reports and then copy the Query URI to use with the Google Analytics superProxy

  • The free default quota limits will likely be sufficient for most use cases.
  • The resulting graph lives on a URL. You will probably need to iframe it to include the graphs in your website.
  • Requires installation: The superProxy is a web application that runs in the Google App Engine environment. You need to download and deploy this application.
  • Requires coding for each graph.
Databox  
  • 70+ data connectors
  • Free plan with 3 data sources, 3 users, 3 data boards, daily data refresh
  • Paid plans start at $49/mo
EmbeddedAnalytics Free plan limited to 1 chart    
Google Analyticator for Wordpress   Easy installation as a Wordpress plugin Shows only a standard dashboard.
Tableau To be reviewed. Not clear if the Google Analytics data are re-fetched periodically or it is an one-time import.  
  • Uses an 'object' html tag that together with the Tableau javascript, they get embedded in the page in an optimal way.
Google Data Studio  
  • Interactive dashboards, with styling options (colors, headers, explanatory texts, etc)
  • It is free.
  • The GA account is reused. No extra account needed.
  • Gives more options for data combinations than the Google Analytics
  • Has calculated fields
  • Produces a standalone URL where your data visualization lives
  • Uses an iframe to embed the graphs. (Tableau does it via an html Object)

After a quick review of this list, we chose Google data studio for the benefits listed above.

How to build a public analytics dashboard via the Google Data Studio

1. You can log in to Google Data studio using the same account as in Google Analytics.

2. Authorize Data studio to access the GA account so that your analytics data pass through.

3. You will be presented with some dashboard templates that answer basic analytics questions.

Google data studio template dashboards

4. You can also create a completely new dashboard.

Google data studio, new public report

5. Creating a dashboard is a drag-and-drop task, where you select from the available widgets (bar charts, pie charts, timelines, pivot tables, etc).

6. After you place a widget on the dashboard you can modify its properties, e.g. date range, what data to display, colours to use, and even link drill-down reports.

Google data studio example of graph properties

8. You can create calculated fields, for example, combine the dimensions Operating system and Operating system version to present graphs by the complete OS and version.

Google data studio calculated field for reports

In about 30' we had our first public dashboard with Google Analytics reports ready. View it online.

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