We’ve been enjoying the new interface on Google Analytics for a week now and can say it’s very stable– not buggy at all, and it’s probably too early to really judge all of the features as we suspect they will change in coming weeks. Here are some initial thoughts and observations base on what exists in the interface today.
Probably the biggest obvious change is the high-level navigation between accounts and profiles. Gone are the days of the dual drop-down boxes separate for accounts and profiles. They are lumped together in one nicely formated tool with a handy search field at the top. The search is very flexible, so if you’ve named your accounts a mixture of every thing from “www.example.com” to “My Analytics Sites”, you can type in any portion of the account name and find it easily.
The homepage has an exploded version of the account drop-down tool with plus and minus boxes for expanding and contracting the list. Unfortunately, the list does not remember open/close states, so closing all of your less often used accounts won’t keep them from taking over the list. The account list does have four handy icons next to each profile with a direct link to Visitors, Content, Traffic Sources and Conversions.
One of the more exciting items: The previously often overlooked Custom Reports area now has its own tab on the main toolbar! Building custom reports is arguably more simple and lacks the drag/drop bells and whistles of the previous version. One item Google did add is a choice between “Flat Table” and “Explorer” reports. While the Google help page is a little lacking right now, it seems as though the Flat Table is better for exporting to Excel, while Explorer is more interactive with an adjustable graph and clickable links.
Advanced Segments are also not integrated into the Custom Reports interface, so they’ll be more difficult to forget when exporting certain types of traffic.
Some missing items: At this time, it is not possible to export a Custom Report as a PDF, but we expect that will change any day. Also, there doesn’t appear to be a mechanism for deleting tabs within the report, which can be frustrating as when you edit the report, you are started in the most recently created tab and not the first tab.
In general, we like what we’ve had time to discover with the new interface. The important data is all there, just moved around. For example, the Visitors data is now organized into Demographics, Behavior and Technology. It’s slightly confusing, but Google has provided this handy tool to help us with the translation: http://www.google.com/analytics/report-finder.html