Guide to Historical


Chartbeat Historical gives you a deeper, longer-term perspective on the content metrics and audience data you monitor in real-time, so you can evaluate and analyze how your content performance paces toward editorial goals. It visualizes and surfaces this data more quickly than any other analytics platform.

Learn more below about ways to use the Historical Dashboard’s flexible custom analysis, easy-to-read insights, and key metrics set to make smarter strategic decisions and build a loyal, engaged audience.

  1. Main Metrics
  2. Date Selection
  3. Traffic Visualization
  4. Top Stories
  5. Story View
  6. Article Search


Main Metrics

The Historical Dashboard’s core metrics are featured right at the top: total engaged minutes, pageviews, and average engaged minutes. We wanted to combine our signature quality metrics with more traditional ones to give users the necessary context behind pageviews and clicks.

Engaged Minutes displays the total number of engaged minutes that all visitors spent actively interacting with the given site, section, or author's content for the previous day.

Pageviews, defined as the total number of pages viewed for the given site, section, or author.

Avg. Engaged Time displays the average time in seconds visitors are spending actively interacting with your content: including scrolls, clicks, mouse movements, touch events, and keystrokes. We track reader activity every second and report engagement stats back to our servers every 15 seconds, through the Chartbeat JS that is deployed when our code loads. Historical Avg Engaged Time is equal to Total Engaged Minutes divided by Pageviews.

For a deeper layer of context, each metric is automatically compared to how it was performing over a similar timeframe the week before. That way you’re always keeping up to date with how your content is performing day over day and week over week.



Date Selection

By default, the Historical Dashboard loads with the data since midnight yesterday, but using the date picker gives you complete flexibility over what range of historical data you want to look over. You can use the preset options to set the yesterday, last week, or last month, or set an entirely custom date range.

Just open the calendar box and select the date you want to start from, then just move your cursor to end date -- you’ll see the days in between turn light blue as you hover over them so you know they’re being included.



Traffic Visualization

The center of Dashboard automatically visualizes your site’s performance by either engaged minutes or pageviews, segmented by either traffic sources, device type, or loyalty. The bar graph automatically updates to your selected date range, and if you’re viewing a date range that includes multiple days, selecting an individual day’s bar jumps you to just that day in one click.


Select a Traffic Source, Device type, or Visitor Frequency option to filter the entire Dashboard and get summary metrics and top stories specific to that group. Note that while you may select both a section or author filter and a referrer filter at the same time, you cannot select more than one kind of referrer filter at the same time. For example, you could view ‘Loyal’ traffic for the ‘News’ section, but you could not see the mobile visitors who came via a social network.


Depending on what team you work on and what performance indicators matter to your goals, you can quickly change how you’re looking at the data to understand how well your content has been reaching your audience.

Maybe that means honing in on which days of the week typically see peak social engagement on mobile devices, or which hour of the day sees your most loyal audience read your content. A good place to start is to toggle back and forth between engaged time and pageviews to familiarize yourself with how those trends might differ -- you might be surprised to see a high quantity of pageviews that had low engagement, or find relatively few pageviews racking up a ton of engagement.


Top Stories

Below the visualization graph you’ll see the top 20 pieces of content, ranked by default by the total engaged minutes readers spent with that article over your defined date range. But your can easily re-rank the list by either pageviews or average engaged minutes so you can see what articles are grabbing attention, and which ones are keeping it.

Successes and missed opportunities are automatically flagged with badges that give you a smarter, deeper perspective on how a given article performed to better inform longer-term strategies and decisions.


The author of each article is shown right beneath the title, and you can use the author filter (at the top of the Dashboard next to the date picker) to pull an author-specific view of your site’s data and top content. See just the pageviews and engagement metrics achieved by stories written by a specific author.

Once you've found a view top stories sorted with the pivots and filters you want to share, select the export button to download a CSV of those 20 stories to share with your team or incorporate into your other projects.



Story View

Click on any story to go deeper and see an article-specific view of the Historical Dashboard. For any date range since the day that article was published, you can get the same level of metric and filter flexibility so you can really gauge the lifetime value of each and every one of your articles. 

If the story is getting traffic in the moment, you get a quick view of how many people are actively reading it in real-time. Select the button to open the same story in the Real-Time Dashboard to see how you can capitalize on the readership.



Article Search


Article search functionality is available within the Real-Time and Historical Dashboards. It allows users to quickly search and easily locate specific articles by title or keywords associated with article headlines within Chartbeat.

When you search using keywords associated with your article titles, you will get a maximum of 10 results, these being articles that that include your keywords in the title. If you’re searching for a story from a site’s Historical dashboard, we will surface articles that were published within the last 4 months and received traffic within the last 30 days, including articles that were published that day and are only viewable in the Real-Time dashboard currently.

Learn more about the article search feature in our How does article search work article.

Article Search is currently supported in our Real-Time and Historical dashboards for single and multi-site views, but not in the Chartbeat mobile app.




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