The grey section just below the top menu contains your data selectors – these are the grey buttons shown above. This area is arguably one of the most important parts of the Matomo interface for exploring your data. The selectors allow you to narrow down exactly where the data is pulled from for any section of the Matomo dashboard.
Up first, you’ll find the search functionality through the search bar. This is especially powerful in Matomo. It can help you find specific reports within the analytics Dashboard, as well as user guides from the official Matomo website. If you know which report or metric you are looking for but not where to find it, this search box is the place to go.
Note: You can also bring the search box into focus by pressing the f key (f for find) which acts as a keyboard shortcut for this feature.
Matomo lets you manage analytics for multiple websites or digital properties within a single account. Therefore it is crucial to select the correct data set you want to analyse. You can do this with the first button within the data selector section.
The text label for the website selector button shows the name of the currently selected website. When you click the button, a menu will appear with a full list of the digital properties that you have access to. It is also possible to press the w keyboard shortcut (w for websites)to bring this up.
Click the name of the website that you want to work with, and the page will refresh to include the relevant analytics data. There is also another link to the All Websites dashboard.
Whatever your analytics question, you will want to make sure you are looking at data within a relevant time period. To help you with this, the Date Selector is the second button in this section and shown with a calendar icon . This text label on this button always shows the currently selected date range, as shown below.
Clicking the Date Selector button will display the calendar and period options shown above. Not only can you select when you want to review data from, but you can also select over what period, or time frame.
Note: You can also bring up the date selector by pressing the d keyboard shortcut (d for date) from anywhere within your analytics.
To begin your selection choose a reporting period from the bullet options on the right. In the example above, we have selected a month, then clicked on the calendar to choose the specific date range. You will notice month and year drop-down fields above the calendar which let you easily navigate through available time frames.
The currently selected month under Period is highlighted with a green circle, and the selected date range is shown highlighted in black. If you are happy with these selections then clicking the big green Apply button reloads the page with data from the relevant date range. However, there is one last feature which you might find useful…
The final checkbox section of the Date Selector allows you to compare data from different periods. To enable this feature, click on the Compare to: checkbox and then select a range within the Previous period dropdown. There are three different ranges available by default.
- Previous period – This will compare your selected data with the directly preceding period. If you have selected a day, it will compare with the previous day, or if you have chosen a month, then it will compare with the previous month, and so on. This can be especially useful for reviewing shorter-term growth trends and the immediate impact of website changes.
- Previous year – This will compare data from your selected date range with the data of the exact same period of the previous year. This kind of reporting is especially useful for seasonal businesses where month to month growth may not be relevant. An example might be an ice rink that is only open for a few months a year. Comparing the first operating month of each year, to the same month of the prior year will provide feedback on pre-season marketing. \
- Custom – This allows you to set any reporting period. This feature can be useful if you’d like to compare marketing campaigns that happen on an irregular schedule. For example, you might run an offline promotion at a few different times of the year, and want to review the online impact within those periods.
The final data selector allows you to review a segment of your data. By default, this is set to the All Visits segment and labelled as such. To benefit from more advanced functionality, you can learn about segments here. If there are any other segments available to you, they will be shown in a list as seen below when you click this selector. You can also bring up this menu by pressing the s key (s for segments) at any time.
The next button on this row is only shown within the Dashboard section and is slightly different from the other data selectors. It is used for managing the reports that are shown within your customisable dashboards. By default, there is only one dashboard available in this section, and it is literally called Dashboard. You can learn more about dashboards in the Matomo Dashboard Customisation guide.
Zen Mode Button
There is one last icon almost hidden away within this section featuring two upward-facing arrows points. Clicking on it activates Zen Mode which hides both the top menu and the main navigation. This gives you more space to review the data that is currently shown on the page. You can also access this feature by pressing the z key (z for zen) on your keyboard.