Tips from the Team: Your Data, Your Way

Our goal here at Chartbeat is to arm content creators with the right insights at the right time. But since we know not all newsrooms operate the same way we’ve created a suite of tools that can work for each team in each newsroom.

When it comes to delivering the data you need to inform your editorial strategies, tools like the real-time Dashboard or Heads Up Display take your data and present it in an intuitive design, while others, such as Report Builder and our API endpoints, give you the freedom to put your data to use any way you want.

Report Builder allows you to dig deep into Chartbeat metrics, some of which aren’t available in the dashboard, to uncover historical trends in your audience behavior. Its clean, approachable interface helps editors who don’t have a lot of time, but do have a lot of questions about historical performance that can be answered using data. By returning CSV reports, Report Builder gives you a more raw look at just the numbers and lets you track organizational and individual goals, behaviors, or trends across long periods of time.

One of the most recent Report Builder use cases I helped a client work though was calculating lost video revenue when tracking metrics on video domains. Report Builder’s powerful design allows you to download the data into an easy to manipulate spreadsheet — all you need is the number of video loads, video plays, and video CPM and voila: you’ve just merged editorial and business insights together.


Focusing in on using each Chartbeat tool to its fullest potential is how you’ll stay one step ahead of your competitors — and if you’re having trouble working through creating customized reports that fit your needs, just reach out to your Customer Success Manager.

But Report Builder, like almost all applications, has to get the data it reports on from somewhere. When you enter parameters in the interface and click the ‘generate report’ button, Report Builder takes the parameters you selected and packages them together into a single request for information. That request is sent to an API where it’s returned with the requested chunk of data. An API endpoint is just an outlet where specific requests for information are processed and returned.  

For example, the newest feature in Chartbeat’s real-time dashboard, Offsite Social, uses CrowdTangle’s API to get a list of instances where a given post was shared over social media. When you click into one of your top pages, our dashboard calls CrowdTangle’s API to deliver that information directly into the dashboard. In short, APIs help automate and deliver data to different applications.

While a constructed user interface helps people leverage API endpoints to accomplish specific tasks, many of our clients large and small go straight to the source and use the Chartbeat APIs to enhance their sites through trending content and recommendation modules. In fact, this was such a popular use case that during one of our hackweeks we created a pre-packaged plugin that pulls the top five articles from the user’s current section (ranked by engaged time) and surfaces them in a widget.

This widget, displayed live on your content site, recommends other stories users may be interested in to promote recirculation, or reading onto a second article page, which ultimately influences audience loyalty.


The possibilities with the Chartbeat API are almost endless, and while the above example cites real-time articles, the pre-packaged widget could easily be populated with content that did well in the past. We also find that some of our largest and most tech savvy customers are using our APIs to power homegrown internal dashboards that surface the metrics they care most about, exactly the way they want to see them.

This way they can surface Chartbeat insights alongside other data sources, like financial information, to produce a complete picture of their organization from commercial to editorial. The one caveat is that setting up the APIs requires some developer chops. If you need deep insights, but you don’t usually find yourself wearing noise-cancelling headphones and staring at endless lines of code, Report Builder is the tool for you.

Chartbeat’s real-time and historical toolsets is all about empowering you with data: whether that’s through a UI we created or something you’ve created exclusively for you.

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