Getting Realtime Analytics With Woopra

Woopra-Realtime-AnalyticsAt the March WordCamp Dallas 2008 conference I was introduced to a new analytics package from Layered Technologies called Woopra. The tool offers realtime stats tracking and historical reporting of visitor traffic on your blog or website.

Currently Woopra is in beta and usage is by invitation only. But, fortunately as an attendee of WordCamp, I received an invitation and have the privilege of getting to use Woopra before the general public.

So I thought I’d give you an inside look so you can be ready when they finally open things up.

Woopra departs from the standard linear analytics reporting that you currently get most of the shelf analytic tools by putting all the information you care about in one executive dashboard.

Realtime stats are displayed as they happen and additional analytic reports can be created from historical data. It’s possible to jump from keyword searches to top referring sites and actually get a sense of how they relate.

Installing Woopra was simple. If you’ve ever pasted a line of code into your website or uploaded a plugin to your WordPress blog, then you can install Woopra in a matter of minutes.

Here are the steps I took to get it installed as well as some screen shots of Woopra in action. I’ll try to include a video later to give you a walk through of how the software works.

Woopra Account Signup Form

After creating an account on the Woopra website, I added my blog. The Woopra site then provided me with a site ID and a WordPress plugin. I downloaded Woopra’s WordPress plugin, installed it on my blog, activated it, and then entered my site ID in the plugin settings.

Woopra Adding A Website

Once that was done, Woopra began collecting stats about my visitor traffic, much like Google Analytics or StatCounter would do.

The next step was to install the desktop client so that I could see realtime stats.

The Woopra site has reporting in the browser, but it’s not realtime unless you want to click the refresh button on your browser every five seconds.

Having access to statistics from the Woopra website is a nice option if you’re away from your desktop client, but it’s not as much fun as the desktop version.

There is a Windows version of the desktop client and Mac version. Both require Java to be installed on the system before you can install Woopra.

Since I use a MacBook so I downloaded the OSX client installer from Woopra and the Java 1.6 Runtime from Apple.

After installing Java 1.6 I found that I couldn’t install Woopra because, I still needed to change the Java preferences on the Mac. Once I did that I installed Woopra without issues.

Once the desktop client was running, I logged in just as I would have on the Woopra website and the client instantly began giving me statistics on my visitor traffic.

I was able to see when someone entered my site, what pages they visited, how long they were there, where they came from, what keywords they used to find my blog, and a whole range of other information all without changing a single screen.

Woopra Desktop Client

It was absolutely amazing! I had never seen anything close to this before. As people came and went on my blog, I could see all my important stats in one place like some sort of rocket powered Wall Street stock ticker.

If you’ve used Google Analytics, you know how much of an improvement it is over some of the other solutions for web analytics.

But, you also know that your stats are delayed by a day because Google doesn’t report your number realtime. You also know that you still have to dig for important information.

Even though Google lets you build your own dashboard, it’s really still very linear information because you have to drill down two or three pages to get to the information you want and you don’t really have a side by side comparison of information to get any real sense of what the information means.

Woopra changes all that by giving you realtime stats, historical reporting, and side by side data comparisons. I promise I’ll show you all of this in upcoming articles and videos. Screen shots are nice, but seeing Woopra in action really demonstrates the power of the tool.

Up until this point, the information has been very hard to extract from log files, and off the shelf analytics software. I can’t wait till Woopra goes live. It’s the only analytics service I’ve seen that I would want to pay for.

What about you? What analytics software are you using? Could you gain a competitive edge from realtime statistics?

Amazed,

Charles McKeever
OpenSourceMarketer.com

About Charles McKeever

Charles McKeever is the founder of Open Source Marketer, an online marketing and mobile, web development company that helps business owners design, build, and market their businesses' online. Connect with him on one of your favorite social media hangouts.

  • Charlie

    I’d say gostats is the way to go for realtime stats. Might be the best option until you can get woopra… but then it’s looks like you will be more productive with gostats than with woopra. ;)

  • http://OpenSourceMarketer.com OpenSourceMarketer

    Charlie, it is interesting to see how each person reacts to the topic of website analytics. It’s almost like talking religion or politics. We all seem to agree on the terms, but we have a hard time agreeing on the best way to measure and interpret what they mean. Maybe it’s because there isn’t a one size fits way of doing business. Every business is different and that means the numbers can mean different things based on the end goal. I’ve talked with IT managers, CTOs, IT Directors, and bloggers and the common thread is they all approach the tool from their own perspective.

    Thanks for pointing out another option for measuring your visitor traffic. Hopefully it drives home the point that good solid information is what’s important and not the whiz bang that presents it.

  • http://www.shrinktheweb.com Brandon

    Hi Charles,

    I checked out your blog after you joined STW. Looks like a nice site so far. This article -in particular- caught my attention.

    This looks like a very impressive service. I am behind the times in Analytics and just this year upgraded to Google Stats –which before I was using AWStats only.

    My only concern with such a “whiz bang” service is how much? It definitely looks like a winner -depending upon how many people can afford it.

    Now, I’m off briefly to check out gostats ;)

    Cheers,

    Brandon

  • http://OpenSourceMarketer.com OpenSourceMarketer

    Hey Brandon,

    Thank you for coming by. It’s good to know there is a real person behind the curtain at STW :) You have a great service there at ShrinkTheWeb.com. I may have some questions for you later, if you don’t mind.

    As for Woopra, I agree that it will be interesting to see how the pricing model shakes out. Personally, I take the perspective that things are only truly expensive if they don’t offer a return value. Even a “free solution” has real costs if it doesn’t do what’s necessary and wastes valuable time.

    If Woopra, or any other tool, can deliver insights into my blog traffic without taking up all of my time, then I would gladly pay.

    Awstats is still a great tool. I like that it ran off of server logs. That is the best source of raw information in my opinion. But, like you I made the switch just after Google Analytics came out. I still look at my awstats from time to time just to compare notes, but overall the information is just to flat to make any sense out of it.

    Let me know what you thought about gostats and be sure to check out StatCounter.com. Next to Woopra, StatCounter is my second favorite tool for up to the minute traffic reporting.

    Speak soon,

    Charles

    • http://www.vision2life.com armando corrales

      Hi, this is armando and i run a website design company .vision2life.com. I just received approval for woopra beta testing and so far is looks great. Since it took woopra a long time to approve me (about a month and a half), i searched the web for what i believe is also an incredible "live stat counter": visistat.com. I did SEO a while back for a company and they wanted to know how the seo was doing so i recommended this product and even though it costs $29.00/m my clients still got it as it answered many of the questions he wanted answers to.

      Woopra offers many of the features that visistat offers but i have to dig a little deeper and compare. my only question will be how the pricing structure will be. visistat offers a reseller plan where, if you're a website design company, or something similar, you can actually get a site license with them for $10/month and you can mark it up to what ever you want. That was my plan, but with woopra now in the picture, i'll probably have to reevaluate my options.

      anyway, great job on this blog and look forward to hearing more about woopra.

      thanks.

  • http://usmagazine.com Daniel

    Is there any negative impact of having Woopra and Google Analytics tags at the same time?

  • http://OpenSourceMarketer.com OpenSourceMarketer

    Daniel,

    As always, that is a legitimate question to ask. So far I have seen no negative results. In fact, I am running Google, StatCounter, and Woopra on two different blogs and I haven’t seen any issues. I guess you could argue that it might affect load times, but I would be more concerned about that from a giant like Google than from Woopra.

    Are you thinking about using Woopra?

  • http://www.shrinktheweb.com Brandon

    @Charles

    Hello. I didn’t get a notification of your reply to my comment here. :(

    I did check out gostats but I didn’t think it was really something I felt would be useful enough as-is. I have a few clients (I’m also a technology consultant on the side) who use StatCounter and it’s not bad either. But, I think Google has them beat –especially with having to pay for history, although I haven’t checked what is the retention policy on Google.

    I totally agree with you about ROI being the deciding factor and not the initial price. In fact, I’m typically very leery of free services (like ShrinkTheWeb) when they first come out, because I’ve seen so many scams that -as you say- waste time. That is why I have worked really hard and have been able to convert many skeptics. ;)

    As for questions on STW, I’m all ears. Just let me know.

    Best regards,

    Brandon

  • Rick Lantos

    We tried many tracking products, even Woopra but ultimately found VisiStat to be our favorite. It's totally real-time and you can TALK to a support person. That was key to us…to get someone to answer our questions and they did a great job. Woopra wasn't bad but it's software so I had to install it on every computer, at the office, at home, etc. Nice software but a pain.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/charlesmckeever charlesmckeever

    Hey Rick, Thanks for the tip. I will go check it out right now. I have really enjoyed Woopra, but it hasn't been without it's own share of trials. For me, Woopra represents a different way of looking at stats that Google Analytics hasn't been able to accomplish yet. But, you have definitely peaked my interest.

    How did you come across VisiStat?

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