Google Analytics, the immensely popular suite of tools that Google offers to help webmasters track their site traffic, is getting a big boost this week: the service has launched a real-time dashboard that updates with user events as they happen.
That’s a big deal, as it brings Google more in line with popular real-time analytics products like Chartbeat, which allows you to track things like how many people are currently on your site, and how much traffic each individual article has gotten in the last few minutes. Prior to today’s launch of real-time, Google Analytics reports typically had a delay window upwards of three hours (and often longer), which meant this kind of tracking wasn’t possible.
In its blog post announcing the news, Google highlights how you can now use Analytics to gauge the impact of various social channels, like Twitter and Facebook — and you’ll be able to quickly tell if your custom analytics query is working as intended, without having to wait 24 hours to see the results. In order to see the new Real-Time feature you’ll need to activate the ‘New Version’ link in Analytics, which is in the upper-right hand corner of the screen.
In addition to Real-Time, today the Analytics team has also announced a premium tier for enterprise companies who want more support (and datapoints tracked) than Google offers with its free service. Google says that for an unspecified price, companies will be able to get phone support, SLA guarantees, and increased data limits.