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Real-time Web analytics is a technology in which the owner/manager of a website has the ability to monitor a website's users and activities in an instantaneous (or almost instant) fashion. The term encompasses all facets of a website, from visitors, pageviews, clicks, sales and other metrics, and generally implies immediate updating of dashboards and reporting.
By providing data specifically targeted toward the enhancement of marketing and sales, real-time analytics allows website owners to evaluate user behavior and interactions, including the number of current visitors, demographics, Web content interaction and referring websites and keywords.
The first generation of Web analytics involved parsing through log files to glean data. This was limited in terms of the amount of data, but also in terms of the real-time nature, in that there was generally a lag due to processing time. Modern technology, such as Google Analytics, allows even the smallest website to have advanced (and real-time) analytics.