Analytics are a fun, useful, and sometimes dangerous game to play. Analytics provide really useful information, but if too much time is spent focused on them they can draw your attention away from other, equally important tasks.
Reinvigorate, at first glance, is extremely dangerous in that it is addictive to watch. Reinvigorate services up by-the-minute stats, even to the point where it show you who is visiting your site currently, and on what page.
Is a tool like this just for fun, or indispensable? Let’s take a closer look and see.
Reinvigorate review gallery:
Playing with it on WPCandy
In last week’s podcast JD’s pick was Reinvigorate, an analytics app that I had never heard of before. He was experimenting with it on his site and spoke favorably of it. So I’ve given it the run-through here on WPCandy. It’s only been a few days, but I’ve seen enough to say it’s an analytics tool that you should at least try out for yourself.
I’ve seen enough to say it’s an analytics tool that you should at least try out for yourself.
Oh, and there don’t seem to be any conflicts between Google and Reinvigorate running at the same time. There is a larger question: why run them both? But we’ll get to that later.
The Reinvigorate experience
The most useful way I have of describing Reinvigorate, I think, is to describe how it differs from traditional analytics (read: Google’s). And there are really three ways it differs:
- Nearly instantaneous reporting
- Predictive statistics
- Clean, easily navigable design
First, the quick reporting. Quick isn’t an accurate description. There is no perceptual difference between activity on the site and the feedback that Reinvigorate delivers. Watching the numbers, names (yes, sometimes the name of the person browsing the site) and percentages update gives the sensation of holding two fingers to the neck, taking the pulse of the website in the moment.
If only to experience for an afternoon, this is pretty damn worth it.
As much fun to me as the live stats were the predictive stats on the overview pages. You can see it in the screenshot above, on the lower right. Based on the traffic rate, Reinvigorate says:
At this rate you should receive XXXX visitors by the end of the day.
For someone who at times will serve of different kinds of content based on the rate of traffic, this is pretty valuable to me. I, as many site owners I’m sure, have a target traffic number for each month. That breaks down to weekly, and daily numbers, and in that regard this predictive stuff feels like the work of gypsies.
Finally, the design. Compared to Google Analytics it’s, well, designed. As industry standard as Google Analytics is, the design is just crap. It’s a breath of fresh air to use something that feels like it was created to be used by humans.
The place of instantaneous statistics
The past month, with the relaunch of WPCandy, I’ve paid closer attention to traffic than I normally would. I usually recommend reviewing traffic numbers at the end of the month, for sanity’s sake. For now, I’ve been breaking my own rule.
Reinvigorate contributes to this unhealthy behavior by making analytics obsessiveness really fun.
That said, watching this afternoon’s statistics happen in the moment isn’t very useful in the long run. Obviously there are monthly and yearly tracking in Reinvigorate, which itself offers up a good amount of detail. But the main selling point, real-time analytics, might become less useful over time.
Worth checking out
For one user and one website, Reinvigorate is free. This is why you should take a few minutes and check it out right now. Grab the WordPress Plugin (from within your Reinvigorate account) and you’re halfway done. Assuming the real-time stats aren’t that interesting, the free account currently includes click tracking (see the gallery for WPCandy’s click tracking reports). As far as I know, this is now the easiest and best click tracking available for WordPress.
Right now I can’t justify getting rid of Google Analytics. But someday, probably.
Running both Google Analytics and Reinvigorate may be silly. Then again, having two tracking apps may help cancel out some of the expected margin of error. We just shouldn’t go crazy. For now, I’m running both. Right now I can’t justify getting rid of Google Analytics, whether that’s reasonable or emotional. But someday, probably.
I said that Reinvigorate’s real-time tracking is fun, but not useful in the long run. Maybe that’s the point. Perhaps the future of analytics is for real-time to be expected and commonplace. It should be there if we want it (breaking news, product launches, etc.) but fade into the background if we don’t want it. And if that’s the case, Reinvigorate represents the future of analytics better than Google does.