This is a guest post written and contributed by James Gill, CEO at GoSquared, a member of the Rackspace Cloud Tools program. GoSquared provides real-time analytics that allow you to understand what’s happening on your website right now, as it happens.
Operating anything whilst blind is a fairly silly idea. A captain wouldn't sail blind. A music producer wouldn't mix deaf. It's the same with having a web app: you shouldn't be running an app without insight into how well it's doing.
You've spent six months putting a minimum viable product together and it's launch day. A few tech blogs have agreed to give you coverage and through the viral sharing of social networks traffic to your site is starting to snowball. There's only one problem, you've got no idea exactly how many people are on your site, where they've come from or what they're looking at. Nothing. You're blind.
Real-time analytics allow you to watch your traffic unfold right as it happens. Immediately you can see the effect of that TechCrunch post; how many people are being directed to your site via Twitter versus Facebook; how long your visitors are staying online; and, perhaps most importantly, how many of them are signing up for your app and converting to paid customers.
A lot of this data is available 24 hours after the event has happened, using free tools and services, but often that's too late to react. There could be an extra step in your registration process that's putting off your users from signing up that needs to be addressed as soon as it's detected. You could have a massive rush to a blog post that you wrote three months ago on "the 50 worst app designs," which could get a little more traffic by being posted to the front page of your news site.
Your real-time app needs to have real-time usage data so that it can automatically adjust itself in real-time.
GoSquared real-time analytics allows you to monitor your sites and apps in real-time. It originally came from the need to track how well ad campaigns were performing on the web. We enable you to view all of your live stats and historical data online, as well as making it available through our developer API; meaning that you can even build your service to react in real-time automatically.
Operating anything whilst blind is a fairly silly idea. Don't build and run a website blind; use and experience real-time analytics.