Last year we announced the beta launch of Real Time Analytics. We knew it would be an addictive feature but we were blown away seeing the growth and usage. In fact, we now have over 7 years worth of engagement with the feature every day!
One of the biggest requests we've received was to show real time traffic per profile, which would also allow non-admin users to view real time reports. So today, we are really excited to announce that Real Time supports your profiles! This means that the data you see in real time is profile specific and obeys the filtering you set up for that profile. And this means any user with access to a profile can view the associated real time reports. You can choose and move between profiles using the standard profile-picker feature available in the upper left hand corner.
When viewing your real time reports keep in mind these changes. If the numbers are lower than you are used to, check your filters to see what traffic is being excluded. And if you use real time for debugging, be sure to use an unfiltered report for that purpose.
Real Time has always been great for rapid testing and debugging of your tracking code and now with profile support you can do the same when creating profile filters. When you change the filters in your profile, you should see the effects in the real time reports within a couple of hours. We are working to make this even quicker going forward.
Profile support is not restricted to web-pages but also supports App profiles. This means, you can now see mobile SDK traffic in real time! This can be a powerful end to end debugging tool for your Google-Analytics SDK implementation. For example, one way we tested our Google Analytics mobile app is to install a new version on our phones and check that the mobile hits for that version are showing up in real time as we interact with the app. On the phone mobile hits are batched to conserve battery life so you may see delays. Typically batching will occur on the order of minutes.
While real time is great for debugging, where it shines is when something goes viral about your site. Sometimes, this spike is totally expected. For example, Reddit used this to monitor the Obama Q&A, and Khan academy used it to monitor the effect from CBS’s 60-minutes show. We’ve seen that many clients have similarly used real-time to check effects of offline TV and radio campaigns.
Another common source of viral traffic is social networks and we recently added an implicit traffic sources medium of “social”. This is the same grouping that is used in the Social Reports and allows you to segment your traffic by your top social networks. I can access this breakdown by clicking the “Social Referrals” link highlighted in the screenshot below.
This takes me to a report where my traffic is segmented by traffic source type = “Social” and I can see the networks that are driving traffic.
Additionally, while it is interesting to see which page/screen your visitors are currently on, it is sometimes useful to see which pages have gotten the most page views. You can now get this real time view data from the content report. Check it out now by clicking the Pageviews tab I’ve highlighted below. Clicking on Active Visitors allows you to toggle back and forth.
And as a final shout out we always love the unintended use cases for real time such as extending bedtimes for the little ones.
We’ve been hard at work improving these reports for you and have many more exciting features coming down the pipeline so stay tuned!
Posted by Linus Chou, Google Analytics team