Google has done it again. Another new Google Analytics feature was announced on Wednesday, the latest of a slew of features announced in 2011, with no indication that they’re slowing down anytime soon.
Wednesday’s announcement, the fifth in the last 30 days, was “Flow Visualizations”. Think of this as your old “Navigation Summary” on steroids. Google Analytics is elevating path analysis to a new level with these visualizations, because pathing has historically been a cool way to look at data but often very difficult to act upon. Depending on how many steps in a path you’re viewing and how you’re filtering your data, your data set is usually sliced very thinly across a very large number of unique paths through your site. Google’s method of displaying this data utilizes “nodes”, which automatically clusters paths according to an intelligence algorithm based on trends in visitor behavior. Other analytics tools are not this “smart” when it comes to pathing, so Google has once again forged new ground in the field of web analytics!
Just to summarize Google Analytics’ latest feature enhancements, here’s a timeline to show you how much they’re investing in this fantastic tool and innovating at light speed:
August 24th: Multi-Channel Funnels launched, allowing you to see which marketing channels impacted your conversions the most
September 29th: Google Analytics Premium announced, a paid product designed for large enterprises that have heavier support and infrastructure needs, as well as Attribution Modeling, a Premium-only feature
ALSO on September 29th: Real Time reports launched, allowing you to see how many people are on your site right now as well as how they got there and what they’re doing
October 3rd: New interface rolled out, with improved information architecture
October 4th: Webmaster Tools data available within Google Analytics to all users
October 19th: Flow Visualizations rolling out to all users
Some users have been concerned that the launch of Google Analytics Premium meant the Standard version would no longer be rich with free features. As you can see from the list above, the Google team is very dedicated to the Standard product and has no plans to stop innovating and improving their product for everyone.