Power, Flexibility, Intelligence: the New Google Analytics

Google Analytics has some very cool new enhancements announced on the Google Analytics Blog today.  It may take some time to get the full appreciation of these improvements, but it is clear that these moves have increased the power and flexibility of Google Analytics, taking it another step toward being a fully-featured enterprise analytics package.

The primary changes announced are:

  1. Engagement Goals – now you can set goals based on time or pageviews, in addition to conversion events. Major bonus for site’s wanting to track engagement.
  2. Expanded Mobile Support – now identifies and tracks traffic from a wider range of mobile devices, and can tracking use of apps.
  3. Advanced Filtering – can now apply filters to multiple metrics within the same report.
  4. Multiple Custom Variables –  whereas previously only one custom variable could be set on your site, using the _setVar() function, it is now possible to use more custom variables for visitor segmentation.
  5. Alerts – automatic and custom alerts designed to help users focus on changes that are the most meaningful in terms of their site goals. Below is Google’s short video explaining this feature:

So this is some pretty big stuff. Not all the features will be available to every account right away, but it will be great to make use of them as they do become available and offer new ways to extract valuable insights from the data.