Google Analytics update
Wednesday saw the launch of Google’s latest version of Analytics boasting a host of new core functionality. The upgrade is currently only available as a beta and users can chose which version they access with the ability to switch between the two until Google has ironed out any kinks.
One of the biggest improvements is the ability to create multiple dashboards that can be customised depending on what area the user wants to focus on. For example you might want to create a dashboard to monitor traffic coming in and out of your site, then you might also want to create an additional dashboard to look at a specific area following a push in your SEO to monitor the effect. Whatever you want to track, you can create a customisable dashboard for it.
To compliment this new functionality, dashboards are now primarily widget-based and fully customisable allowing the user to select the tools they want to use by dragging and dropping them. There are four types of widgets; Metric, Table, Timeline and Pie Chart designed to give the user more control on how they view their metric data and an enhanced ability to compare and contrast results.
Google has also improved it event tracking function with the ability to set Event Goals which allow analysts to track specific actions such as downloads of a particular document, or time spent watching a video embed in the site. These tools can really help analysts to get meaningful data about their visitors’ activity while they are interacting with the site.
Google have really worked hard to improve not only the detail of results but also the user experience and ability to view meaningful data quickly and easily. The most obvious example of this is the new Plot Row function that makes more use of the main graph on top of most analytics reports. It currently provides a useful overview of traffic and analysts can quickly see trends emerging or changes in traffic. The update now allows the user to plot an additional two rows on the graph without having to drill down into a more detailed report. This quickly allows the analyst to see which factors most significantly contribute to traffic peaks and flows.
All in all it seems Google are on the right track with their update and it has certainly gone down well with users. While not all of the current features have been integrated into the upgrade Google insists it was so keen to share the new functions with users it didn’t want to delay release any longer. They have also created a series of user guides outlining the new functionality and giving plenty of opportunities for feedback as well as useful screenshots and tips. Google hasn’t announced a full release date when the old version will no longer be available but it looks as if they are happy to take their time and make sure they get the product absolutely right before rolling it out.
Editor: Most important bit for me is that Google Analytics is no longer a purely ‘last click wins’ system, which means it can compete even more with paid analytics systems. We’ll talk more about analytics in an upcoming podcast
iPhone 5 release
Rumours have been rife this week around the release of Apple’s new iPhone 5 expected to be available in September this year. The new model is expected to feature the iPad’s A5 processor and an 8 megapixel rear camera. There is also widespread belief that Apple also plans to launch its sixth generation iPhone in early 2012 amid fierce competition from Google’s Android mobile platform.
There has been speculation that Apple will unveil the iPhone 5 at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June but other reports suggest Apple will focus on software releases instead. Whenever it comes out, if the rumours are true to their word then the iPhone 6 is likely to be the one to wait for with improved hardware specifications and a new design. But for anyone who can’t wait that long Apple has confirmed the new White iPhone 4 will be available in the next few weeks.
While there is some comment that Apple appears to be releasing products as a somewhat frantic rate, the figures release this week prove they are pressing all the right buttons.
Apple’s second quarter revenue stands at $24.67 billion and record net profit of $5.99 billion compared to $3.07 billion in the same quarter last year. iPhone sales saw the biggest increase with 18.65 million units sold this quarter, an increase of 113% from this time last year.
The only fly in Apple’s ointment is the 17% unit decline in sales of the iPod but with the increased iPhone sales it’s only a matter of time before the iPod becomes redundant.
Editor: I’ve just spoken to somebody in the know and they are telling me this wont be an iPhone 5, but just an updated iPhone 4 with a faster processor and some tweaks. Nice video on this iPhone 5 – this changes everything….again.
Facebook advertising and finding love
Matt Simpson of Tempe Arizona knows what it takes to run a targeted advertising campaign on Facebook and has decided to use the same principles to find himself a lifetime companion. While it may at first sound desperate and a little creepy, this is actually a well thought out and perhaps genius move. Given that many marketers use our personal habits and interests to direct their campaigns at us what better way to find someone who shares similar interests and holds the same ideals than to use the same principles.
Rather than pay to sign up to online dating sites where contact is made often on physical and somewhat superficial grounds, and users can put forward the image they want to portray, Matt decided to look a little bit deeper in his quest for love. By using the behavioural research collected by Facebook, his campaign will only reach the women whose online habits reflect the kind of compatibility he’s looking for and at a fraction of the cost of traditional dating activities.
If it’s acceptable to use this information to encourage us to buy yet another pair of shoes we don’t really want or need then surely it’s ok to use it to bring two people together, but then I’ve always been a sucker for a happy ending. Cool or creepy, it’s got people talking.
Editor: Creepy. Buying shoes in comparison to dating. Felice I’m concerned….