One of the great thing about the Web is its complexity. There are so many different things going on that it simply isn't possible to keep track of it all. One thing this creates is an opportunity to find a vertical niche for yourself, no matter how crowded the space may seem.
Even with that introduction, it's hard to imagine that a new analytics player could find a good niche for itself. Yet this is exactly what Texas-based Woopra has done. I recently had the chance to speak to the company's CEO, John Pozadzides, about their product.
If you're looking for a souped-up real-time analytics package, look no further. You won't find the most powerful core Web analytics toolset in Woopra, but you'll find a lot of innovative and interesting real-time features.
Even upon first look, things are happening. The opening screen contains visit and page view (labeled "hits") data for the last nine days, the most popular pages, along with some detail about them, the most popular referrers and search terms, and a map that shows where your users are coming from.
It gets interesting right away, because the data on this screen updates in real time.
Now if you switch to the "Live" view (see the button on the left rail of the screenshot above), you really begin to see things happen.
For instance, the map view on the right will draw little circles around a location every time a new visitor comes to your site from that location. And, while it may be a bit hard to read in the image above, it shows stats on the latest visitor right on the map itself.
You get a summary of the latest visitors on the bottom left, and a rich collection of information about each visitor on the right. Note that the map view can be put into full screen mode and, according to Pozadzides, many of their beta customers are running the map view on large flat panel monitors in their offices.
Here's the punch line: in addition to tracking individual users in detail, you can label them (with their name if they give it to you), and you'll see their name instead of an assigned visitor number when they come back. You can examine their history.
Better still, you can begin an active chat session with them. Imagine an e-tail site where you see a user is spending some time reading about your highest price product. Perhaps you want to jump right in there and ask them if they have any questions that you can help answer.
You can also get notified in the event of many scenarios. For example, you can set up an alert to let you know:
- Any time a particular visitor comes back (perhaps a big ticket customer or a friend).
- When anyone visits your high-value product page.
- When visitors come from a specific geography.
These capabilities could all be intriguing to an e-tailer, or to a consultant running a popular blog. These are scenarios where tracking individual users, and potentially interacting with them in real time, can be extremely valuable.
There are features in Woopra that look really cool, like the real-time map view. These types of features might be like the real-time stock ticker that many executives have on their desks showing the current bid price of their company's stock -- high on entertainment value, and not particularly actionable. Many people will nonetheless like the product for this feature alone.
Where it gets compelling, though, is in the real-time interaction with individual site visitors that you can engage in on a selective basis. This actually goes a step beyond actionable analytics, and all the way to a revenue-generating sales tool. If you have the right type of site to benefit from this functionality, plan on checking out Woopra once it comes out of private beta in the near future.
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