Google has announced major changes to Google Analytics, explained in full on its blog post What's happening on your site right now? John Jersin of the Google Analytics Team says Google Analytics has always done a great job at analysing past performance, but now it's bringing real-time data to the party, with the suitably named Google Analytics Real-Time.
The blog post provides a couple of examples of how this newfound interest on the present rather than the past might affect your websites. "One way that I like to use these reports is to measure the immediate impact of social media," says Jersin. "Whenever we put out a new blog post, we also send out a tweet. With Real-Time, I can see the immediate impact to my site traffic." Through watching incoming traffic from various channels as it arrives, you can gain a better understanding of the effectiveness of each one, how rapidly visits occur, and so on. The second example Jersin provides is campaign measurement: with Real-Time, you can discover in seconds whether you're getting the data you want, rather than finding out hours later or even the following day.
According to the post, clicking 'New Version' in the top-right of Google Analytics will switch you to the updated service. The post also notes that Real-Time does not support profile filters.
Google has also announced Google Analytics Premium, to meet the needs of Google's largest customers. Available for a fixed annual fee in the USA, UK and Canada, it provides extra processing power, advanced analytics, service and support and SLAs relating to data collection, processing and reporting.