“There are Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.”~Mark Twain & Benjamin Disraeli
You’ve heard the phrase before, you’ve probably even been a victim of the results. But the facts stand when you run a website you need a reliable metrics to measure how well you’re doing and help you figure out what works and what doesn’t. Whether you are running a site for a hobby, or you are setting yourself up for a business account, everyone wants eyeballs on their site.
Its how you know
Upon opening the software you are greeted with a title screen listing the sites you are monitoring and news from the company a handy feature, but since I’m only using it on one site right now it tends to slow the process down a bit.
Dashboard:An overall view of whats happening on your site, gives you the latest referring sites, Search terms used to find your site, Hit counts and duration of stay on each page. You can click the link below to get a better idea of just how much information is on this page.
Live: Simple enough offeres two panes of information. One a world map giving you the location of each of your current visitors, and another with information about the visitor, how they got there, OS they are running, screen resolution ect. Its very handy information to have, and also very useful if your conducting usability studies on your site.
I had some friends of mine all go onto CaffiNation.com from their home computer, I then opened the chat window on the site through the Woopra client and was able to ask them questions about what they were seeing and how the page diplayed on their monitor. Very quick and very easy to do.
Search: Allows you to go back through the historical data on each visitor to your site. Allows you to sort through the people based on tags you can apply to them. You can sort through to find specific visitors, dates, countries of origin, any information that is tracked you can sift through.
Analytics: A set of preconfigured reports that allow you to sift through the massive amount of data gathered on your site and its visitors and present it to you in the form of a chart, graph or overlay. The Geo-ip dataset is quite nice to see where in the world your visitors are coming from.
This is the one question which is really on everyone’s mind. Its a great free option and has a ton of great features. But once the product goes out of beta we are promised that there will be both a free and a pay version of the software, or of the service. As soon as I get more information I’ll pass it along.
This software suite as a whole is a very full featured web analytics and stats package. Unfortunately as with all plugin / embedded code applications it doesn’t lend itself in a perfect world to tracking my most important metric, Podcast Downloads. That is much more of a server side, or access log problem. But as a full feature set to fine tune the content on my site I am stunned by the level of detail that the software and service is able to cull from the good listneers of the CaffiNation Podcast.
The Inevitable Comparison:
Google Analytics… Everyone uses this to track their visitors and if you don’t you probably should. They both are implemented in similar fashion, except with the wordpress plugin you get a more feature rich set of data. Google gives you a better big picture on your site and has more tools for businesses to track things. Including a bit more information about where on your page people are clicking.
Woopra specializes in gathering and sifting through data on individual visitors. I think they are both fantastic tools and using one does not preclude the use of another so dive head first into the stats.
Needs and Wants:
What does this service need? Woopra needs a way to exclude people based on IP. I know i visit my site quite a bit some days, and I’d love for the ability to exclude my ip from the count. Its something small but it would be very nice to have.
There is a massive amount of data gathered when people visit your site, when someone from the US shows up at your digital front door they are placed within the US in the approximate location within the borders that they are from. However there is no way to display State borders, cities or any other geographic data, the map feature needs to be worked on just a little to make it perfect.
While I don’t run a traditional business site i am interested in the ability of a piece of software to track values for page visits. I know that other stats packages deal with the the value of pages and the clickstream a bit better, but I don’t have much experiance in this area I only know that the ability is missing from the current incarnation fo the software.
I hope you’ve enjoyed your cursory trip through the Woopra Stats and Analytics Software package, I will update this article as new features and information become available.