Calculated metrics for your Adobe Analytics dashboards

Vicki Chan

by Vicki Chan

Analysis Workspace is an integral part of Adobe Analytics these days, and provides us with a platform that makes producing dashboards quick and efficient - and has a wide range of great data visualization features for the digital analyst. This gives the viewer a quick summary of how their web and digital channels have been performing.

Below we'll go through one very useful feature in Adobe Analytics that will help us further harness our data to produce the best-looking, informative dashboards by building our own custom metrics.


Metrics are the foundation of analysing data. They are the variables that we need to measure our key business requirements and answers important questions. For example: “how much revenue has been generated from this pay-per-click (PPC) campaign?” Or, “how many visitors converted through our Instagram ads?” Without metrics, there would be no point in collecting all that data, simply because you wouldn’t know what to do with it.

That’s why we’ve chosen these three useful calculated metrics to get you started on your dashboard building journey.

Calculated Metric #1: Setting targets

As with any comparison, we need to set benchmarks to see how we’re really performing. Calculated metrics in Adobe Analytics are a great way to create your own conversion metrics that are personalised to your business specifically. For example, say we set a 10% growth target on visits compared to the same period last year – how well are we comparing these years? We can easily create this target into a metric by these following steps:

  1. In the Workspace, head to the Components side bar on the left-hand side and click the Add button next to Metrics
  2. Name your title – here we’ve named it “Cumulative Visits +10%” and search for “Cumulative” under Advanced Functions
  3. Drag the Cumulative Function into the definition area, set the number of periods to 0, then find and drag the Visits metric into the metric area.
  4. Click Add in the top-right of the definition and choose “Static number”
  5. Change the symbol to “Multiplication” and set your target (here we’ve used 1.1 for a 10% increase)


And voilà! You’ve just made your own benchmark that you can use to drag and drop into any tables and visualisations you need. Here we’ve made a simple line graph to show if we’ve achieved our target:


This can be done for any conversion metric of your choice, but it really is as simple as that!

Calculated Metric #2: Daily averages

This metric is useful because it gives you good day-to-day average view of your preferred metric and cancels out any seasonality and outliers. There never was an easy way to calculate Daily Averages – you either had to do pull it through Report Builder and manually input Excel functions, or the number of days were always fixed. However, thanks to Kevin Welleitner’s great tip on how to take advantage of the Approximate Count Distinct Function [i], we can now easily create an equation through the Calculated Metric Builder to create a Daily Average for us.

In this case we will be calculating Daily Average Visits where the equation would be to divide the total number of visits within your chosen date range in Workspace.

The functions we’ve used are “Round” to round up to the nearest whole number, and “Approximate Count Distinct” which will count whatever dimension you input. In this case we will drag the dimension “Day” into it.



Calculated Metric #3: Mobile visits

Mobile visits now account for 49% of worldwide traffic, where the most popular activities include watching videos, email usage and browsing social media. [ii][iii]

To find out how many of our visits were from mobile devices, we previously needed to manually create two reports – one pulling in visits, one for device type. Now, however, we can now easily combine the two directly as a metric and use it in conjunction with other variables. This could answer questions such as “how many visits to the product page were from mobile users?” or “how many people watched this video on a mobile device?”

We start off by creating a segment that identifies your mobile visits (if you haven’t got one already):

Change “Hits” to “Visits” as we want to be looking at Visits only and input the following:


Now in our Calculated Metric Builder, we simply just drag our new Mobile Phone visit segment into our definition and drag the standard Visits metric into it our segment.


And it’s as simple as that – now we have our own Mobile Visits metric. This is very easy to build and use to show your clients the impact that mobile visits are having across your digital platforms.


As well as these useful metrics, we want to offer you one more useful tip. There is an even quicker way to create your custom metric in Adobe Analytics (given that there are two metrics already in your freeform table). Simply highlight the two metrics by clicking one, holding shift and then clicking on the other. Then right-click, select “Create Metric”, choose your maths operator and you have instantly made another great conversion metric.

Lastly, we should point out that your custom calculated metric can be used across Analysis Workspace, Report & Analytics, Report Builder and more. It does have some limitations which are listed in the official document here. [iv] Nevertheless, these metrics can be used widely across most projects and it just shows that you don’t have to be limited when extracting insightful data, and Adobe provides a great platform to help you get started.

To see how we can help you or your client with building metrics, dashboards or provide any other help in analytics, contact us below!