lily dropA while back I walked into a meeting and said:

"You know what… web analytics tools like Site Catalyst, Yahoo! Web Analytics, WebTrends, and yes even Google Analytics, are mostly glorified data pukers. Each tries to outdo the other in trying to collect ever more data and regurgitating it. For all the math they do, it is astonishing how little intelligence they have, how little actual smarts are applied."

Silence for a a few mins.

Awkward glances.

Then this: "What do you mean, and what can we do?"

Me: "I wish the tools would use an algorithmic approach to highlight the things an Analyst needs to know, give 'em some starting points. Why make people dig for hours?"

You have to hand it to the team at Google, you "provoke" them and they respond. Google Engineers truly rock!!

Today Last week the Google Analytics team announced a raft of sweet features that take the current functionality in GA, wrap a liquid hydrogen fuel tank on it and shot it into a higher value orbit. Take some time to learn more about how you put more power behind your analysis punch: Google Analytics Now More Powerful, Flexible And Intelligent.

In this post I'll want to share rest of the story, what came of the above provocation.

The first thing you'll notice in Google Analytics is a new cool ability to better identify the "known unknowns", i.e. we know what we want to know, but we don't know if and when it is happening.

The feature is, rather cutely, known as Custom Alerts.

Here's an example. Everyone tells me that Twitter is nothing but hype. But

i started to write this post in preparation of the GA new features launch, unfortunately the next day i broke my right hand. that meant going to emetrics to do the announcement in a temporary cast, and of course no blog post. i had surgery this past thu. metal plate and some screws in, things will be normal in a few weeks.

i unfortunately still can't type the thoughtful teachable post i had in mind, rather here are two videos that tell you about two features i am really proud of. hope you'll love 'em as well.

custom alerts: identifying the known unknowns

video: 8 mins:

sweet? : )

intelligence: identifying the unknown unknowns!

video: 16 mins:

love it?

i hope you had fun learning a bit more about these two cool features. promise me you are going to set up two segmented custom alerts today!

let me answer one question that might be top of mind: the features are rolling out to all accounts starting last thu, it'll get to yours any day.

it would be great to hear from you, please share your feedback, suggestions and critique via comments. thanks.

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