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<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/polarisicon.jpg” />Those of you that have followed along with MakeUseOf for a while know that we often cover various methods of making use of Google Analytics information. Google Analytics is easy to focus on because it’s one of the few free webmaster tools available on the Internet that is not only fully functional with a free account, but it also provides APIs so that other applications can “plug into” your data.
I previously covered one desktop app called Trakkboard that lets you view Analytics data from a variety of accounts, which is really nice. Mark also previously covered an Adobe AIR Analytics reporting tool as well. Tim also covered probably one of the coolest Analytics plugins for WordPress that I’ve ever seen.
Using Trakkboard for a while, I found that the lack of English on a few of the settings, and the malfunctioning charts for certain selections was a little annoying, so I went out in search of any other good desktop Google Analytics tools out there. I finally came across an awesome Adobe AIR app called Polaris.
Setting Up Polaris With Google Analytics
Just like any other Google Analytics app out there, you do have to provide your login and password to the app in order to connect to your Analytics account. Once you do log in, within just seconds you’ll have instant access to all of your Analytics data through this app, only in a much cleaner and aesthetically pleasing interface.
If you have multiple profiles under your account, it’s not a problem at all. Just click the dropdown box and choose the profile that you’d like to work with. In the middle of dealing with any screen, you can always immediately change profiles on-the-fly by clicking on the green profile folder in the menu bar.
Graphs and Charts
Within Polaris, you have access to those important charts that you’re constantly logging into Google Analytics to check. Now you can just let this app run on your desktop and you’ll never need to log in again. The dashboard itself displays six graphs in one convenient display – visits, pageviews, pages per visit, bounce rate, avg. time on site and the percentage of new visitors arriving at your site.
If you want to see a more detailed view of your Analytics data, click on the “Dashboard” button and a dropdown box lets you select all of the following windows that I’m going to walk you through below. The first is a more detailed view of your daily visitor trend.
The next view is called the “Map Overlay”. This is an awesome layered map view where Polaris extracts location details about your visitors and overlays that data onto a map of the world. The cool part of this view is that the concentration of hits are color coded from a faint green for a few hits to a deep red color for a strong concentration of visitors.
The next view is also a chart that most Google Analytics users are very familiar with – the breakdown of your traffic sources by visits, pageviews or how much time visitors spend on the site. This information can really help you target your content in a way that increases pageviews or encourages visitors to stay on your site just a little bit longer.
Other Information and Data
Beyond the visual graphs and visitor numbers, you can also use Polaris to access more specific information about your traffic such as your top referring sites, as shown here. This view really helps to show how well you’re optimizing your site, and what websites you really should frequent to draw in even more visitors to your sit
Additionally, you can access your top content. This is always important to check constantly, so that you know what your visitors are most interested in. This can change constantly, so if you make sure Polaris launches when you first start your computer every day, you can be certain that you’ll always be aware of the latest trends for your website.
Of course, the top keywords that draw in your visitors is critical information as well, and also available from Polaris.
Unlike other free Google Analytics apps, you aren’t limited to a certain time range with Polaris. Simply click on the date in the center menu item at the top, and move the bottom slider to the date that you want, and the side sliders to adjust the range.
As you can see, Polaris is a fully-functional window into your Google Analytics data, and definitely gives the competitors a run for their money. Since it runs on Adobe AIR, it will run on most operating systems that run AIR. So take Polaris for a spin and enjoy having access to your Analytics data without even opening a web browser.
Do you like Polaris? Are there other Google Analytics apps that you like better? Share your own opinions in the comments section below.