The new Google Analytics reviewed

I’ve been using Google Analytics for a while, and was absolutely thrilled to hear they were upgrading the services. After waiting with bated breath for a few days, my account was upgraded. After a quick look-over, here’s my take on it.
The new user interface is lovely! Don’t think Google is only good at back end stuff. They’re catching up with Yahoo! in this area (though a lot more can be done to dress up their Gadgets to compete with Yahoo!’s Konfabulator).
Export to PDF.gif My favourite new Google Analytics feature so far is the ability to export graphical reports to PDF. This is useful for presenting reports in a more attractive manner. Previously, I would either settle for an Excel spreadsheet or screen capture the relevant pie charts.
In the new version, all the graphs remain in Flash, but with more dynamic features like a new date range selector. I like the larger world map which gives an overview by region (Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania). Clicking on each region lets you zoom into states and cities.
World map section
Another feature that will prove to be very convenient, is email notifications. You can now schedule emails to be sent to you regularly, with an attachment containing the latest statistics report. This means you no longer have to remember to log into Google Analytics at a certain date each month and extract the report manually.
Email feature
However, the new version isn’t entirely bug-free. There was an error message when I tried viewing the map with a date ranging from Jan to April 2007, despite my account being active and gathering data for the last couple of years. I hope this is just a temporary kink since a lot of migration is currently taking place.
Another area that can be fine-tuned is the ‘Add to Dashboard’ feature. When you first log in, you’ll see the Dashboard which is very much like the personalised Google News page that has summaries of each topic. Likewise in Analytics, you can drag and drop different windows showing various types of data on your website to re-arrange them. Also, when you go to a specific section for more info, you can click on the ‘Add to Dashboard’ button to add that data. This in itself is fine. 070512_googleanalytics_adddashboard.gif
However, the ‘Add to Dashboard’ button appears even on sections which have already been added to the Dashboard. You only find out when you click on it, and a message informs you that it’s already there. Google should remove the button where it is redundant.
More info on the new Google Analytics from the official blog and their consultant evangelist.
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