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Real-Time Google Analytics: The Evolution of Instant Continues

Published on Sep 30, 2011


Read 'Real-Time Google Analytics: The Evolution of Instant Continues' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
http://www.bizfilings.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/RealTimeGoogleAnalytics.jpgLike it or not, we live in an instant world. The internet, Facebook, TiVo and on-demand video are only a handful of ways in which we get what we want when we want it. If you ask me, it all started with instant coffee. One thing’s for sure: the evolution of instant, for the most part, has made our lives more convenient. But the question is, do we really need instant analytics? As mentioned in a recent article on Mashable.com, business tools like Woopra and Chartbeat already provide instant (“real-time”) analytics for a fee — but now Google Analytics is offering it for free.

Benefits of Real-Time Google Analytics

  • Provides, “a set of new reports that show what’s happening on your site as it happens.”
  • Measures social media stats — helping you gauge traffic changes, as they occur, after you publish a new blog post or tweet.
  • Assists with campaign measurement. According to Google, this tool lets you “make sure campaign tracking is correctly implemented before launching a campaign.”

Do You Need It?

There’s definitely a place for real-time analytics, especially when we’re launching a new initiative or looking to get a better perspective on our social media efforts. But do you really need the results right now? There's a line that can easily be crossed here. Using Real-Time Google Analytics as a tool can help us better understand our customer, use our time more effectively and grow our business. But so can traditional analytics that take a day to generate. How much is too much? With pressure on all of us to deliver instant results, it’s easy to forget that some things take time. Sometimes it’s better to take a step back and determine what information is most important to analyze. Live traffic stats are great, but we still need to assess the quality of our content, the quantity of our online partnerships — and other factors like product offerings and our company’s ability to provide outstanding customer service. In other words, we don’t want to be tethered to analytics as if they were a life-support unit. There are many facets of our company that require our attention if we want to build a successful, healthy business. That being said, here are some links to get you started with Real-Time Google Analytics, if you're interested: - Early access to Google's new service - What’s happening on your site right now? By John Jersin @ Google Analytics Team - Google Analytics Adds Real-Time Traffic Data, by Todd Wasserman@ Mashable Business Blogs blog