The Historical Habit: When and How to Use your Historical Data

In this ongoing series, I’ll walk you through tips and tricks for using Chartbeat editorial analytics tools and data to its full advantage — by helping you connect that data to real results and repeatable actions.

Here at Chartbeat, we make sure that the data you need is accessible inside of your workflows so you can make informed, strategic decisions.

When you’re on-the-go, you need real-time data being delivered right to your inbox or app, but when you’re sitting down to get some quick historical context behind that in-the-moment prompt, the Historical Dashboard delivers everything you need at a glance.

As a newsroom leader, think about which goals are most relevant to which teams, and help build a metric check-in into their workflows. To get everyone started, we put together a cheat sheet below to help master the Historical Dashboard and use it to its full advantage.


On a day-to-day Historical Dashboard check-in, your goal should be around timing and consumption. Do certain hours of the day see more readers than others? Are commuter times really the best times to post for your mobile audience? Adapt your strategy for when (and how) your audience is reading.


What audience behavior trends do you see on Monday vs. Friday? Think about which kinds of audience segments you’re most interested in tracking — like your social media audience or loyal readers — and gauge their engagement over the course of the week. Knowing that your readership has a low point on a certain day, set your goals appropriately so that you can pivot mid-week and build the right content in front of the right people.


Month to month Historical Dashboard check-ins should revolve around measuring your KPIs: did you hit your monthly goal for engagement and pageviews? And that doesn’t just mean for the entire site – with section and author filters, you can keep tabs on achieving high-level goals for multiple slices of data.

Beyond that, use the custom date range and you can run these same metrics-checks on any time period that you might need. That’s the best part about the Historical Dashboard – it’s built to help you understand historical performance in whatever context you need at the moment.


Have any questions or curious about a specific topic you’d like me to cover? Reach out to me at or @tumbling_after on Twitter.

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