NEXT Analytics makes it so easy to build custom web and social media reports that we give away hundreds of examples, completely free and open. You can use them as-is, or customize them to suit your needs and preferences. While you can simply open these reports and Refresh with NEXT to see your data, they will display information for the web site or fan page that you set as a default. In this article, we’ll look at how to customize these reports to work for a specific web property.

Open and Refresh

Most of our reports are designed with no login information, and no profile ID or web page or fan page identified. When you Refresh the report with NEXT, your default selections are used. Defaults are set when you first use NEXT Analytics to make a query, and they can be changed in the query dialogs.

If you want to report on a different web property, you can change your default settings in NEXT and Refresh the report. This approach doesn’t scale very well, though, and you always run the risk that you might change your default settings and forget which one was selected. A safer approach is to customize the report to the specific web property or fan page desired. Then when you Refresh, it will always report on that same web property.

Finding the Information You Need

To get the information you need, start with an empty workbook and make a new query, selecting the login and profile or fan page that you want to use in your report. Save this query to the empty workbook and note the _actions worksheet that is created. This worksheet contains the NEXT script commands that automate the query, and these script commands are simply text strings stored in the worksheet. At the top, there is one command that will define the property to be reported on. For Google Analytics queries, the line you need has a value for [GA_PROFILE_ID]. For Facebook, it is [FB_OBJECT_ID].

Now go to the free report you want to customize, open it with Excel or OpenOffice and fill in the missing piece of information. Note that some Facebook reports use [FB_FAN_PAGE_ID] instead of [FB_OBJECT_ID] – they are the same thing. That’s it!

Now when you Refresh that report, it will always report on that specific web profile or fan page, regardless of what you set as a default.

If you would rather look up the missing profile or fan page numbers, please see these articles for the Google Analytics Profile ID and Facebook Fan Page ID Number

NEXT Step: Customizing Free Reports to Use Specific Login Credentials