Google is finally introducing something that probably should have been available a long time ago, real-time data for Analytics. At long last, webmasters can check out how many people are visiting their site or any page at any given time.
Real-time Analytics also enable webmasters to run more complex campaigns and to implement changes and fixes to counter issues as they arise.
"Currently, Google Analytics does a great job analyzing past performance," John Jersin, Google Analytics Team, wrote.
"Today we’re very excited to bring real time data to Google Analytics with the launch of Google Analytics Real-Time: a set of new reports that show what’s happening on your site as it happens," he announced.
Real-time data can be a great benefit, especially for sites that deal with constant changes, traditionally, blogs and news sites.
With the viral nature of the web today, any site has the potential to see a huge influx of visitors and needs to know about it as soon as it happens.
Finding out hours later that one of your pages suddenly saw a tenfold or more increase in visitors is probably too late to do anything to benefit from it.
One great use for real-time analytics, as Google exemplifies, is with social campaigns. If you share something on Twitter, Facebook or even Google+, you'll want to see how it affects traffic to that page, as soon as you hit tweet, post, publish or share.
Google has another example of where real-time data comes in handy, it provides an immediate way of checking out if a campaign works correctly. When you're done with the implementation, you can test it yourself by visiting the page and seeing your visit tracked in real-time.
Real-time analytics only works with the new version of Analytics. It's also only available to a few users right now and is being rolled out over the coming weeks. If you can't wait, you can opt-in right now by visiting this page.