The Importance Of Monitoring Real-Time Analytics - InformationWeek

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IoT
IoT
Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
2/15/2009
05:06 AM
Allen Stern
Allen Stern
Commentary
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The Importance Of Monitoring Real-Time Analytics

When I first started working with Web analytics packages back in the mid-90's, we were lucky if the data was only a day old. As the years moved on, analytics packages have moved closer to real-time but most still lag behind the current moment. Why is real-time tracking so important?

When I first started working with Web analytics packages back in the mid-90's, we were lucky if the data was only a day old. As the years moved on, analytics packages have moved closer to real-time but most still lag behind the current moment. Why is real-time tracking so important?I've been using the Clicky analytics tool for over a year now and specifically the "spy" tool they offer. The spy provides a webpage where you can monitor the traffic to your site in real-time. It displays the referring site or search term, where the visitor is physically located along with their machine information. There are other tools that provide similar real-time functionality. I suggest trying a few of them to find your favorite because you will be spending a lot of time with the tool each day.

The reason why real-time monitoring is so important today is because you can easily adjust your messaging if needed based on traffic. There have been many times when I have seen spikes in traffic due to my content hitting a social news site or my startup receiving press coverage. When I see this burst of traffic coming in, I adjust the messaging on the site as needed. Sometimes it's a welcome message above a blog post, other times it could be adding a coupon code to the site for visitors from a site that reviewed my product.

I have found that adjusting the copy or offer based on traffic trends has increased the success metrics on all of my sites.

If you spend money on Internet advertising campaigns, you should be tracking ad performance in real-time. Many online advertising programs offer a/b testing but can take hours to a day to give you performance results. If you track your site properly using a real-time analytics application, you can make changes to your online advertising campaigns moment-by-moment to get to the best result as quickly as possible.

The bottom line is that day-old analytics won't cut it anymore and you should be monitoring your site activity in as close to real-time as possible.

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