Google just updated its real-time reporting capabilities in Google Analytics.
Obviously, real-time reporting only serves as a snapshot of your site’s traffic but Google managed to make it fun and useful – again.

Real-time events

If, like me, you are a digital analytics professional, you are probably not a big fan of real-time reportingif only because it not actionable: our responsiveness to optimization opportunities is not quite at the “live” level.

These real-time reports, in Google Analytics or Webtrends Streams, have hypnotized our marketing colleagues. It’s fascinating, we get it, let’s move on 😉 However, these real-time reports suffer from limitations because they can not necessarily display “live” metrics on data waiting to to be reprocessed and/or synchronized with other data feeds.

But back to Google Analytics real-time reports. Up until now, we could not view events such as “add to cart”, file downloads, custom clicks, etc. Which made analytics debugging more difficult and this could have been a topic for another post but not anymore 😉

As of today, your Google Analytics Real Time section now shows a new section: “Events – beta”

google analytics real time events

Not bad, huh? Except that Google did not stop there with this update 🙂

Real-time Dashboards

Yes, you read that right: you can now add real-time widgets to your dashboards. Go ahead, try it 🙂
As you add a new widget to your dashboard you now get a choice of standard or real-time widgets, which should eventually transform into a nice real-time ON/OFF switch button. 

google analytics real time widget

And now,  lo and behold, your dashboard will now update itself with real-time data:

google analytics real time dashboard

I will now give you a short moment of revered silenced to admire your new dashboard. Now try to pull yourself away from that magical dashboard so I can take this post home 🙂

As I said, due to data synchronization issue, you can not apply segments or specific dates to these real-time reports and some dimensions do not work (yet), but it’s pretty neat!

In conclusion

This is yet another step forward for Google in making information more accessible and easier to understand. However, remember that real-time marketing marketing is still largely confined to the field of R&D so do not expect real-time, automated Adwords budget adjustments. Even automated bid management solutions are not that responsive.

But hang in there, actionability is not that far off 😉

Questions? Constructive feedback?
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