Real Time Dashboards on TVs With Data Studio

If you walk onto my team’s floor, you’ll quickly notice multiple TV’s displaying what’s happening on our website. Yes, I could easily look at my Google Analytics app, but it doesn’t have the same effect and ease.

As an added benefit, everybody on the eCommerce team can quickly see whether our promotion is working, what response our email got, how we’re trending vs last year, and a host of other things.

Today, I’d like to walk you through how to do that for your own organization.

But first, a few things that you’ll need.

Prep Your Dashboards

First and foremost, you’re going to have to decide on what you want to put on these monitors. That’s not exactly an easy feat. The general consensus will be to continually add metrics until it’s so bloated that it becomes unusable.

Don’t do this.

Instead, I advise stealing the dashboard from that article and using the first two pages. This is a good high level dashboard that will help you see the broad strokes of what’s happening on your site.

An important caveat for the dashboard is to edit the header visibility. To do this, edit the dashboard. In the top middle, click “Theme and layout”. Under “Layout” and “Header visibility”, check “Auto hide”.

This will be important later on to give your dashboard a clean look without the header showing.

Download This Chrome Extension & Log in to Chrome

There’s 3 things to note to be able to make the data automatically refresh on your dashboards.

  • Download the Chrome extension Data Studio Auto-Refresh
  • You have to be logged into a profile in Chrome for the extension to work.
  • The email that you’re logged in with has to have edit access to the Google Data Studio report.

Turn the extension on and make it refresh however often you want. Since Google Analytics isn’t refreshing but every hour, I’d advise setting the time to 10 minutes or greater.

Go to the “Share” drop down and click “Get report link”. Copy the link and ensure the “Link to your current report view” is checked. If not, every time the data refreshes, it will go to page 1 of your dashboard.

Putting It All Together

  • Prep dashboards with the header auto hiding
  • Download Data Studio Auto-Refresh
  • Log into Chrome with an email
  • Ensure said email has edit access to the dashboard
  • Get link with “Link your current report view” checked
  • Open dashboard “Sharing Link” in chrome browser
  • Ensure extension is on and time is set
  • Refresh page (F5)
  • Click “Full screen” to maximize TV area

That’s it! You should now have almost real time dashboards mounted on TVs to monitor your site traffic and revenue.

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