Real-Time Analytics for Small-to-Medium-Sized Businesses

Just when I thought the analytics market was clearly defined, a new entrant into the arena is emerging, and I am excited about it. A few of my smaller clients are experimenting with a new company called Woopra, and the results are exciting enough I wanted to write about them here. I have no affiliation with Woopra. In fact, I do have affiliation with others in the space (I am on the Technical Advisory Board for Coremetrics), so this column certainly has no ulterior motives.

First, let’s be clear: large companies will still want to use Coremetrics (now IBM) or Omniture (now Adobe). Companies looking for something free will most likely still use Google.

But for small or medium-sized companies looking to go beyond static analytics and view real-time data, there is a new player in town called Woopra. It is focused on real-time analytics, and that is where its strength is. I don’t think its analysis and reporting are mature enough to really use this system instead of the aforementioned players. But, in my opinion, it does real-time analytics as good as (or much better than) them. So, adding this system for real-time work while still using your primary analytics tool for reporting is probably the way to go for now. The best scenario will be for one of the big analytic companies to buy Woopra and use it as their real-time component.


Real-Time vs. Historic Reporting

As marketers, we have the need to understand the past as well as make up-to-the-minute decisions based on real-time factors. I’ve always felt like the major players have focused on the data warehousing aspects of analytics and not the real-time aspects. Of course, the major players have real-time components, but their strengths (in my opinion) are in analyzing what has happened, not showing what is happening in real time.

Woopra’s live dashboard shows who is online, what pages they are looking at, where they came from, and how they are interacting with your website. Because it is real time, you can actually sit and watch a user go through your site or new feature and almost feel like you are in the room with them.

Of course, any grand statistical data about your site needs to come from a larger sample pool than the few users you are able to watch in real time. But, for those interested in real-time statistics, the interface is pretty slick.

I keep saying this tool is good for small or medium businesses because I can’t imagine their current interface scaling up to thousands of concurrent users. I don’t think it is really designed (yet) for a company of that size. However, they are building in new features, such as a funnel tool and rudimentary segmentation.

Take a Look

Woopra’s smallest package is free, so it doesn’t hurt to take a look. Add it to a small site to get a feel for it. I would never use it instead of your current analytic solution, but the system adds a nice real-time element to analytics that the other packages don’t. (Or at least, not at the attractive pricing of Woopra.) Hopefully one of the big guys will decide to buy this new start-up, or at least integrate it into their service offerings.

I’ll be curious to know what you think. Leave a message below!

Until next time…


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