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Need more from your dashboard? Run a custom report

Custom reports enable you to easily access and organize your raw data with the exact parameters you want and that may not be as easy to decipher from our standard dashboard.

Custom reports help you dive even deeper into your Metrics for News data than the dashboards. 

To get started, click on Custom Report in your main navigation under More Dashboards. Then set up the report with exactly what you want to analyze.

Why run custom reports? 

Custom reports enable you to easily access and organize your raw data with the exact parameters you want and that may not be as easy to decipher from our standard dashboard. For example, you might want to: 
  • Dive deeper into engagement data for a specific topic or reporting team—or both!
  • Look at characteristics/story types that cross multiple topics.
  • Compare engagement scores for a topic with select audiences to a previous date range to help track progress (month-over-month, etc).

The great thing about custom reports is that you can tell Metrics for News the exact parameters you want to analyze. You can define, or exclude, the content you want to examine, as well as define the date range and cross-reference it with select metrics chosen from all the ways you track readers engagement. It also allows you to see all of the tags you are tracking in one place. And, you can compare the results to comparative periods by date ranges, such as a previous month, month(s), or longer.

You can download report data into a CSV file to create a presentation or share with colleagues. You can also share a custom report directly with other MFN users in your organization.


Interpreting data in a custom report

There is a lot of flexibility in what you can analyze through MFN custom reports. For example, you can look at multiple Engagement Scores at once to understand the topics that drive engagement with subscribers, local users, statewide users and people on social media. Or you can compare the component metrics that make up the scores you’re used to seeing in your Newsroom Priorities on other dashboards. Interpreting the data might feel slightly different, though. Once you select which metrics and the timeframe you’d like to include in the report, you will see a report that shows you data tables, like this:

Just like in every other Metrics for News dashboard you may have seen, we anchor the Engagement Score (or other metrics you may include) to your organization’s baseline period. When it comes to interpreting the information in the data tables, there is some help text to guide you. You can always see the “average” for the score or metric you’re analyzing by looking at the gray bar that says “all content.” This will show you what’s normal for whatever set of stories you are analyzing. Characteristics or topics that fall above or below what’s “normal,” will signal to you what is working and what is not working quite as well. 

As a rule of thumb, we recommend that if you’re making any larger, strategic decisions based on the data, you look at least at a dataset of 100 stories, or a set of stories that make up at least 1% of the content. You can see that in the far right hand columns in the data tables – in the “count” and “% of total” columns.

To find out if Custom Reports would be helpful for your newsroom, email us at team@metricsfornews.com


Read more: Learn how one newsroom is using custom reports to understand how their journalism is engaging key audience segments in this case study.