Google Analytics API Now In Public Beta, Desktop Reporting Takes Stats Offline

Moments ago, Google released the public beta version of the Google Analytics API after running a private beta program with hundreds of developers for about a year.

When Google announced a great deal of updates to Google Analytics last October, the company already said the API was ‘coming soon’, but obviously it took them another 6 months to effectively start rolling out.

With the Google Analytics data API, developers can develop client applications that access Google Analytics data and subsequently present it in new, innovative ways. By combining a wide variety of metrics and dimensions, an API-based client application can deliver custom reports, more refined data or new visualizations that in turn provide new ways to analyze the performance of websites and web applications.

From the blog post announcing the release:

The Analytics API is a Google Data API. This is the same API protocol for Google Calendar, Finance and Webmaster Tools. If you’ve used any of these APIs, the Google Analytics Data Export API will look very familiar to you.

For the JavaScript and Java programming languages, we’ve provided client libraries to abstract and simplify the process. We’re also working on supporting more programming languages. In the meantime, for any programming language you want to use you can make requests directly to the API over HTTP and access the data in XML.

One of the applications that was built using the API and which is being featured on the launch website is Polaris, one of the products built by Desktop Reporting, which aims to bring Google Analytics to the desktop. The full suite, a full-featured Adobe AIR-powered GA reporting tool called Dopac, is still a couple of weeks away from launching, but Polaris already brings some of the data to the desktop in the form of cross-platform widgets and is definitely worth checking out. There are 8 standard reports available, and the app is completely free if used for only one website (an annual $15 fee is required to extend it to more websites). It’s targeted to marketers, project and account managers who are looking for an intuitive way to check out basic stats for a website they’re tracking from their desktops.

Desktop Reporting was pioneered by just one guy, Nicolas Lierman from Belgium. (Disclosure: the startup was one of the presenting finalists at my conference Plugg, held last month in Brussels)

Lierman has been working on bringing Google Analytics offline for quite a while (in fact, we covered one of the first iterations of his desktop application back in September 2007), and besides the full reporting suite and the now launched Polaris, he also has two other GA-related products in the pipeline (check his website for more info).

Also worth chekcing out is Actual Metrics’ Android application for Google Analytics.

It will be interesting to see what other third-party developers come up with now that the API is finally out there. Google already put some examples online in this gallery, but if you have anything cool to announce in the future, you know where to find us.

The company also set up a Google Analytics API Notify email group so you can get the key announcements on feature updates, code changes and other service related news that relate to the API that way, and / or you can join the Google Analytics APIs Group.