The Hiltmon

On walkabout in life and technology

Google Analytics for Status Board

I wanted to see the 7-day Hiltmon.com web stats from Google Analytics on Panic’s new Status Board app. Here is how I got it to work.

Update: For a far simpler install that runs on your web server using PHP, see Google Analytics for Status Board Server Edition.

Update: Also added a script for Top Pages in Status Board, for Hourly Stats and for OS and Browser Stats.

Warning: Very geeky. Use at your own peril. Only tested in my environment.

Step 1: Install the Gems

In order to make this work, you need Ruby, the json gem and the gattica gem. I am running this using the default Ruby on OS X (1.8.7).

Installing the json gem is easy:

$ sudo gem install json

However the gattica gem requires a build because the posted one is too old:

$ git clone git://github.com/chrisle/gattica.git
$ cd gattica/
$ bundle install
$ gem build gattica.gemspec
$ sudo gem install gattica-0.6.2.gem

Update: Added the bundle install step to install dependencies. No need to install the old gem first as per old instructions and comments below. You may need to sudo bundle install on a production box.

Step 2: Configure the Script

Download the script from this gist or copy and paste it from here:

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#!/usr/bin/env ruby

# status_board_ga.rb
# Hilton Lipschitz 
# Twitter/ADN: @hiltmon 
# Web: http://www.hiltmon.com
# Use and modify freely, attribution appreciated
#
# Script to generate @panic status board files for Google Analytics web stats.
#
# Run this regularly to update status board
#
# For how to set up, see http://www.hiltmon.com/blog/2013/04/10/google-analytics-for-status-board/

# Include the gems needed
require 'rubygems'
require 'gattica'
require 'date'
require 'json'

# Your Settings
google_email   = 'hiltmon@gmail.com'  # Your google login
google_pwd     = 'I_aint_sayin'   # Must be a single use password if 2 factor is set up
the_title      = "Hiltmon.Com Stats"  # The title of the Graph
file_name      = "hiltmondotcom"      # The file name to use (.CSV and .JSON)
dropbox_folder = "/Users/Hiltmon/Dropbox/Data" # The path to a folder on your local DropBox

# Configuration 
metrics = ['pageviews', 'visitors', 'newVisits']
colors = ['red', 'green', 'blue']
days_to_get = 7

# Login
ga = Gattica.new({
    :email => google_email,
    :password => google_pwd
})

# Get a list of accounts
accounts = ga.accounts

# Choose the first account
ga.profile_id = accounts.first.profile_id
# ga.profile_id = accounts[1].profile_id # OR second account

# Get the data
data = ga.get({
    :start_date   => (Date.today - days_to_get).to_s.split('T')[0],
    :end_date     => Date.today.to_s.split('T')[0],
    :dimensions   => ['date'],
    :metrics      => metrics,
})

# Make the CSV file
File.open("#{dropbox_folder}/#{file_name}.csv", "w") do |f|
  f.write "#{the_title},#{metrics.join(',')}\n"
  data.to_h['points'].each do |point|
    the_date = Date.parse(point.to_h["dimensions"].first[:date]).to_s.split('T')[0]
    the_data = point.to_h["metrics"].map { |e| e.values.first }
    f.write the_date + "," + the_data.join(',') + "\n"
  end
end

# Make the JSON file
graph = Hash.new
graph[:title] = the_title
graph[:type] = 'bar'
index = 0
graph[:datasequences] = Array.new

metrics.each do |element|
  sequence = Hash.new
  sequence[:title] = element
  sequence_data = Array.new
  data.to_h['points'].each do |point|
    the_title = Date.parse(point.to_h["dimensions"].first[:date]).to_s.split('T')[0]
    the_value = point.to_h["metrics"][index][element.to_sym]
    sequence_data << { :title => the_title, :value => the_value }
  end
  sequence[:datapoints] = sequence_data
  sequence[:color] = colors[index]
  index += 1
  graph[:datasequences] << sequence
end

File.open("#{dropbox_folder}/#{file_name}.json", "w") do |f|
  wrapper = Hash.new
  wrapper[:graph] = graph
  f.write wrapper.to_json
end

Edit the script to change:

  • The email and password you use to access Google Analytics.
  • The title, file_name and dropbox_path to save the data on your computer and dropbox.

Note: This script uses the first account. If you want to use a different account, comment out line 43 and uncomment line 44, replacing the 1 with the index of the account you want to use. Download, modify and run the script from https://gist.github.com/hiltmon/5373934 to see what indexes are available.

Run the modified script to see if both the CSV and JSON get created in the required dropbox folder.

Step 3: Schedule it to Run

We’re going to run this script every 5 minutes. Note: These are the OS X instructions, use a crontab entry on Linux systems.

Create the following file com.hiltmon.status_board_ga.plist (modified for your path of course):

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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
    <key>Label</key>
    <string>com.hiltmon.status_board_ga</string>
    <key>ProgramArguments</key>
    <array>
        <string>/Users/Hiltmon/Dropbox/Scripts/status_board_ga.rb</string>
    </array>
    <key>StartInterval</key>
    <integer>300</integer>
</dict>
</plist>

Then copy it (you may need to create the folder) and start it:

$ cp com.hiltmon.status_board_ga.plist ~/Library/LaunchAgents
$ launchctl load -w ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.hiltmon.status_board_ga.plist

Step 4: Add it to Status Board

Follow the instructions in Graph Tutorial (PDF):

  • Share the JSON file on your DropBox
  • Mail that link to yourself
  • Tap the link in the email on your iPad to open it in Safari
  • Copy the link from Safari (minus the bit after the ?)
  • Add a new graph to your Status Board and paste in the link (it offers to do this by default).

Enjoy.

Thanks to Panic for creating such a lovely tool.

Update: All the scripts can be downloaded from Github at https://github.com/hiltmon/status-board-ga.

Follow the author as @hiltmon on Twitter and @hiltmon on App.Net. Mute #xpost on one.

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