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Google Analytics in real time!

Google Analytics in real time!

Google Analytics has recently launched a real-time function which allows you to see what’s happening on your site right now!  The data is only available for profiles to which you have administrator access, or for profiles which don’t have any filters applied to them, and it’s only available in the new version of GA.


The screenshot shows some of the new data which is available and the reports update automatically with no refresh required.

The top chart is particularly eye-catching and shows page views within the last second and minute.  As well as no doubt providing addictive viewing for some businesses, the data also has some great applications.  Here are two great examples:

  • If I run a call centre I already know how many calls are queuing / have been answered etc.  I will now know how busy my site is at any moment and which content may be seeing spikes in activity, so I can better micro-manage my call centre staff which will ultimately provide a better customer experience.
  • If I’m a publisher I now have easy to access real-time data on how many people “could” be reading my articles so I can better manage my highly perishable content.

If you’d like to try this out, but don’t have access to it, you can sign up for early access or wait for Google to roll it out over the next two weeks.


  1. Whilst real-time sounds great I still question the value other than in a few specific cases, most notably:

    1) Content industries like newspapers for editorial purposes, they may want to adjust portal pages in near time based on trending content (as you say)

    2) Investigating spikes from social sources, as these channels tend to have far quicker change lead-times

    The key question I’d ask is although it may be great having real-time, if one can’t actually make real-time changes is this in the main a marketing ploy by Google as a reaction to new entrants into this market like: Woopra and Mixpanel?

  2. Hi Julian,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I’d certainly agree that if one can’t make real-time changes then this reporting will not offer any discernible benefit to a company, and risks creating more distractions.

    If your assertion that this is a reaction to other players in the market is true, one could argue that this shows Google is prepared to act quickly to other developments in the market. I think it’ll be interesting to see if the recent changes in functionality will continue at the fast pace we’ve seen over recent years in their free package now that the premium one has been launched.

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