Home Google Analytics Finally Goes Real Time (Plus New Premium Accounts)

Google Analytics Finally Goes Real Time (Plus New Premium Accounts)

Google Analytics, the super dominant free web analytics platform, has to date offered analytics that were roughly 24 hours behind. The wait to stop waiting has come to an end and today the company announced that Google Analytics is now rolling out real-time reporting to its users. Update: Just when you thought that was a big deal, Google Analytics also rolled out a premium offering today. Details below.

This is something that many people are going to be very happy about. Real-time analytics startups like Chartbeat and Woopra (whom we use here) may not be among that group of happy people, but publishers and marketers are likely going to love it. You can sign up to request priority access here.

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We asked Alistair Croll, co-author of the O’Reilly book Complete Web Monitoring and the co-chair of O’Reilly’s Strata conference on data, what he thinks Real Time Google Analytics means and this is what he told us:

Google Analytics has introduced an entire generation of entrepreneurs to Business Intelligence. But it’s big and heavy, and until now, reports didn’t show you what was happening right now, giving rise to a horde of real-time tools like Getclicky and Mixpanel. Realtime analytics might seem like a “vanity” metric–after all, we care about the number of sales that a campaign generated, which is an aggregate measurement.

But these days, marketing is flat, fast, and adaptive. A mention on Twitter can lead to a flurry of activity, and marketers want to engage with those visitors as the traffic spike is happening. Because Google Analytics is already doing the heavy lifting–visitor segmentation, ad campaign effectiveness, keyword search–it can tie the twitchy right-now realtime stuff to the long-term metrics that businesses care about.

Right Now reports will also make it easier for people to test and tweak their Google Analytics configurations in real time, which has long been a complaint with the system.

This is likely the first of a number of very big changes coming down the pipeline for Google’s wildly popular analytics service – but it was also a prerequisite for many of the other things we’ll see next.

For example, minutes after we posted this – Google also announced Premium accounts for Enterprise customers. Video below. Whoa. The short version: SLA, increased processing power, customer service, fixed (but undisclosed) fee for customers in United States, Canada, and the UK (ouch, sorry world).

My prediction: Google Analytics is going to become a much bigger part of the company and a much broader offering in the future than it is today. With the recent purchase of startup Postrank, Google will be able to offer real-time social media analytics soon. As the definition of the web expands into and beyond mobile, into and beyond other newly connected devices, the Google Analytics offering will expand allong with the world’s understanding of information. It will organize all that information and now it has laid the groundwork do it in real time and for a fee.

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