At 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.
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.
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.
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?