We web developers have many choices when it comes to analytics – from a variety of free and paid sources. I think its safe to say many of us use Google Analytics – which I use at my institution in addition to running AWStats on my server’s apache logs. Why I do that is another post for a another day.
Woopra is a relatively new addition to the analytics arena. They are in beta right now, and I’ve been using them on a site I run for about a week now. So far, so good, and I’ve dound they have a few interesting things that set them apart from the other services.
First, you view your sites reports through a standalone program, not on the web. You can see some data on the web, but the fancy stuff is viewable through their program. The interface, as you can see in this screenshot, it is colorful and maybe at first glance, a little overwhelming.
Everything’s organized down the side, and as you select sections, other tabbed navigation appears to allow you to dig deeper into your stats.
Second, Woopra gives you “live stats,” or information about the people visiting your site at any given moment. You’ll see their IP, their browser, operating system, screen resolution, where they came from and what pages they looked at on your site. Here’s an example:
If you enlarge that image, you’ll see a few interesting things. You can tag a visitor, giving them a name or other identifier. When they show up again, or as you search through your other stats. I tagged myself to look like this:
What’s also interesting is the ability to start a conversation with that user. Yes, you can start a chat with them while they are browsing your site. Before we get into whether or not this is evil, let me show you what that looks like.
If the user responds, a new window is spawned where the conversation can continue.
Now, this is a feature I think that could be abused the most. Sure, we’d all like the ability to communicate with prospective students as they browse our site, especially since we can see the path they are taking through our sites. On the other hand, I think a lot of people may be put off by an interruption from someone bothering them for information, or encouraging them to visit campus. Personally, I’d be a little weirded out knowing someone was sitting there actively tracking what I was looking at.
So far, I’m pleased with Woopra. Is it ready to be my one and only web analtyics tool? Not at all. One thing I miss is the ability to segment out people and to create campaigns that I can, like I can in Google’s product. I hope Woopra will add that in over time.
If you’re looking for yet another way to look at data about your site’s visitors, you should check out Woopra.