Google Analytics' New Look
Whilst Facebook was busy announcing the new Graph Search to the world's assembled media, Google slyly introduced a new look Google Analytics fascia. It's not just superficial though - there are some changes geared towards making the analytics experience smoother and easier.
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So let's take a look at what's new:
Aside from the aesthetic difference of white widgets on a grey background, the biggest change to the Dashboards is the ability to customise the layout of them as shown below.
This allows for concentrated focus on one particular set of metrics if for example, there is more data, or just for those the user considers most important. A small but very useful change.
Further to the new, more customisable dashboards is the addition of two new widgets: GEO Maps and Bars.
GEO Maps can be quite useful in that you are able to create a map with colours that indicate various metrics: a very simple and visual display of data.
Bars are effectively a new way to chart data using a bar graph format. This is what the new Widgets page looks like:
It would appear these changes are very much targeted at giving greater options for visual representation and providing more shareable data; something that is obviously very important for marketers and analysts.
Top and Sidebar
When you used to log into Google Analytics, you'd be greeted with your homepage and then the topbar would contain buttons for 'Home', 'Standard Reporting' and 'Custom Reporting'.
This is all now very different. Whilst there's still a home icon, it's no longer such a big focus in the centre of the bar and now the only two main buttons read 'Reporting' and 'Customization'.
Some of what used to be contained in the 'Home' tab is now contained under the 'Reporting' tab and appear in the sidebar under 'My Stuff'. These include 'Dashboards', 'Shortcuts' and 'Intelligence Events'.
'Real-time' metrics are now given pride of place at the top of the list under 'Standard Reports', something that makes sense when you consider the usefulness of this particular tool.
One final new (or old) change to the actual functionality of the toolbars is that the Adwords section is now back where it belongs (!) under Traffic Sources.
And one more aesthetic change: the top bar now floats down the page with you; a simple but nice touch.
The changes that have been brought in certainly make sense and just make things a bit easier and more useful for users. The ability to customise dashboard layouts and the change in toolbars are particular big news.
For how long things stay this way remains to be seen, but for now it's an exciting update to get your teeth into!
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