Just when we think we have things going good, something better comes along if something nasty didn’t.

Google Analytics has been the staple stats feeder for a gazillion marketers and business owners over the years.

A fantastic – and free – tool it certainly is but it doesn’t do everything. In fact, there could even be a possibility that your data might be inaccurate as Russ Henneberry explains in his post for CrazyEgg.

That and the fact that Google Analytics might not be best game in town when you go looking for a little beyond the standard offering that it provides.

Often, you’d need case specific analytics or custom analytics and that’s something you’d find Google Analytics inadequate for.

Real Time Analytics

Real Time Analytics

Actionable metrics are like oxygen for your decision-making. The decisions you make obviously have a direct impact on your business. At the time of reading this, what’s happening with your website? How does it fare?

Your use for real-time analytics differs for each type of business or use case. However, it’s a shame to not use live analytics for specific purposes such as real-time debugging, monitoring live campaigns, gaining real-time insights into user behavior on your web properties, understand how each marketing channel works, do A/B testing better, and much more.

Twiddly – a family-run vacation rental company — boosted revenue by 18.6%, increased their average order value by 11.9%, to see a resultant enhancement of 7.9% in their conversion rate.

Google Analytics already provides you with real-time analytics built right into your default dashboard. In addition, there are several tools such as:

Improvely
SumAll
Keyhole
LuckyOrange
Mouseflow
Clicky
Woopra
Chartbeat
GoSquared
Mixpanel
Reinvigorate
Piwik
Shinystat
Seevolution
Foxmetrics
New Relic Insights

Custom analytics dashboard

Custom Analytics Dashboard

Not all businesses are created equal. Although there are tons of tools for every possible business use, none of those will mean anything by themselves. The tools you use should suit your company. Your custom dashboard puts up only those numbers that matter to your business, in the way you want them, and in real-time (well, almost).

Whether you handle multiple projects, businesses, or perhaps manage analytics and reporting for your clients, an aggregated analytics-reporting tool such as Cyfe plugs into almost every known source of traffic.

For web-based tools that don’t integrated with Cyfe yet, you can work with APIs or with a tool like Zapier to bridge that gap.

Social Media Analytics

Real time analytics

With all that action happening on social media, you’d need a lot more than the analytics provided by each social network (now, they do).

On social, Conversion, Amplification, Applause, and economic value are the most important metrics you ought to be tracking, according to Avinash Kaushik.

Here are ways you’d be able to measure these:

Native Analytics from social media accounts: every social network today (at east the major ones such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest) have in-built social media analytics you could get basic insights from. These basic metrics fall straight in line with basic social media metrics your business ought to measure, according to the folks at SimplyMeasured.

TrueSocialMetrics: Built on Avinash’s best social media metrics to measure, TrueSocialMetrics  is a tool that gives you a dashboard that shows economic value for all your social media accounts, trends, and also gather content analysis, audience analysis, competitive analysis, engagement rate, and more.

In-Store analytics

In store Analytics

 

All of the above tools and metrics are great for your overall website/blog/ecommerce store performance, but what do you do when customers walk through the door?

You can’t possibly plant a cookie on every customer, can you?

That’s when In-store analytics can help. Using in-store hardware that connects with your business or your ecommerce store, you can glean data about conversions, mobile usage, credit card payments, instances of transactions, and even pull social data from customers’ social networks to get all sorts of data right there, at your POS terminal.

A few well-known POS systems with built-in analytics along with a couple of pure in-store analytics tools that can help are:

  • Shopify’s POS: Have an ecommerce store but ended up with a client on the road who wants to book orders? Do you have an ecommerce store and a physical store? You’d need a payment processing system or a POS that helps you integrate your business on all fronts. Shopify already allows you to build, run, and manage an ecommerce store. Use its POS systems to set up mobile payments, anywhere POS, and allow transactions to happen anywhere.
  • Square: You can track purchases, transactions, sales, and other payments through the Square register. Look out for sales trends, create sales reports, track orders for days, months, or years. Manage your refunds and other issues, prepare taxes, and draw out sales history when you need to.While these are the core features, Square Analytics allows you to get insights on your inventory, sales, orders, refunds, customers, and much more.
  • BrickStream: We have all the tools for analytics that we need for websites and ecommerce stores, but we rarely have much going for actual physical places. BrickStream gives you a fantastic repertoire of tools and resources to manage everything from In-store analytics to traffic management. Count people, measure conversions, manage, manage queues, setup mobile-payment systems or POS, and conduct behavioral analysis.
  • VendHQ: What if you don’t use any one specific product like Shopify or BigCommerce? What if you have a mix of eCommerce stores (various platforms) and physical stores? What if you were already using an old POS with existing barcodes, a set number of SKUs or products, and then want to use a mobile and/or web-based POS? VendHQ plays well with almost any type of business. Of course, it does come with its own suite of analytics relevant to your business: product centric sales reports, trends, sales history, sales targets, etc.

What do you to measure your data? How does your analytics dashboard look like?

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