New Google Analytics UI

So, it took a bit of me being dumb, but I figured out that if you had the old analytics page bookmarked you were never going to find the new analytics UI. Heh, I finally found the new one and I’m glad about it. Overall almost everything is an improvement. The date range (and comparison) picker is much easier to use than it was and the timeline tool is wonderful, I love using it to define broad ranges. And being able to set comparison periods so easily makes me actually use it every now and again, although the life of my blog is short enough that it’s mostly just for kicks.

I like a lot of the changes – being able to customize the dashboard is really nice – giving you the top line numbers you actually use, although, it doesn’t quite let you customize enough, for example I wanted to put on the dashboard the new vs. returning visitor page, with the bounce rate shown for each bucket not just the percentage – you can easily get that on the specific report, but can not set it to show up on the dashboard.

Something that I believe is brand new is segmenting out traffic sources by landing page – so now for any referring source you can see what page they are ending up on. I don’t think there was any good way to find this on the older version, and I actually don’t remember seeing it until just now on the new version, so they may be adding new functionality in as we speak.

It’s also much easier to look at. There are however a couple issues that bug me. First off, it’s generally at least a couple hours behind the old interface for some reason (which is already generally at least a couple hours behind real time). This is definitely going in the wrong direction for google. Also, it seems to have removed the hourly reporting from the old report – this was a useful report in showing usage patterns of the site. So you could find out when your peak and lull times were. I had been hoping that they would actually expand that reporting so that they’d show you aggregated hourly numbers over a time period. Sadly, again, they went the wrong way on this.

Overall, I’m pretty glad for the new UI, but honestly, I’d rather they’d spend the effort getting the reporting closer to real time and showing you some more different types of reports. But hey, it’s free and remarkably good in spite of all my complaining so and they are apparently continuing to work on it so, I’m still a happy camper.

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