Appattack! The best web analytics apps

Appattack! The best web analytics apps Smarta tests out the best iPhone apps for monitoring your web stats on the move.

Ego App, £1.19 from the App Store

Ego app gives you all the statistics you could ever want about your site, all in one place. With widgets which pull stats from Twitter, Google Analytics, Google PageRank, Mint, SquareSpace and Feedburner, Ego touts itself as the app which gives you all your stats 'in a single glance'.

Since its release in February, Ego has been highly praised in reviews - the Apple blog called it a 'fantastic investment', while Appweek.ly was particularly excited by it: "Ego is crack cocaine for the average statistics junkie," it enthused.

Before Smarta could start its journey on the long road to statistics rehab, though, it had to set Ego up. Of the six widgets, we only had two accounts: Google Analytics and Twitter. The Twitter one was easy to set up - just enter your username and password. So far, so good.

Google Analytics was harder. Each time Smarta put in its username and password, we got an error message: 'check user/pass'. We checked, three times - eventually, we resorted to Ego App's Twitter feed, which said the company was 'Aware of Google Analytics issues when trying to add accounts. Preparing a fix'. Ok, fine. All new businesses experience glitches - but we have a deadline, so we moved on.

We didn't have a FeedBurner account so we signed up to that, but the app returned an error message for that, as did PageRank - Ego App's Twitter feed says Google has 'denied all access' for PageRank. So no cigar there, either.

Which brings us to Mint. Mint is Ego's own tracking software, which requires its users to download 'the free Ego Helper Pepper' and install it on their server. According to the readme file, it 'helps the Ego iPhone app work with Mint by creating a secure mini-API for hit and visit statistics'. Sadly, though, it's written in php - Smarta uses .net - so we couldn't install that either.

In the interests of fairness, it's worth mentioning on the App Store, Ego has scored 5/5 in most of its reviews, which leads us to believe Ego is probably a very useful little app - if you can get it to work.

Our verdict? 1/5

Analytics App, £3.49 from the App Store

Also released in February 2009, Analytics App was one of the hallowed few given Apple's official seal of approval when it was featured in the iPhone ad earlier this year.

Analytics App calls itself the 'premier' app for Google Analytics, giving you a complete view of all your analytics data, from traffic to event tracking to AdWords campaigns and revenue reports.

It's a fairly straightforward app - it's just everything Analytics offers - including charts - but in iPhone format. Want to know how many clicks you've had from a particular keyword or how your traffic from referring sites compares to search engine traffic? This app will tell you.

While Analytics App is fairly comprehensive in its adoption of Google Analytics' features, there are some it misses out: there is nothing to tell you about the geographical locations of your visitors, and that oh-so-useful overlay which shows you where your site's visitors are clicking is also not available.
We're still very impressed with Analytics App, though.  If you need to call up stats about your site quickly, Analytics App is perfect.

Our conclusion: 4/5

Analytics Agent Pro, £1.79 from the App Store

Compared to the other two, Analytics Agent, which also uses Google Analytics, seems clunkier. The login box, for example, uses - gasp! - Comic Sans: the typography equivalent of turning up to a classic car convention in a G-Wiz.

Dodgy design features aside, there are some aspects of Analytics Agent Pro which are beautifully intuitive. Instead of scrolling through lists of options, you navigate through different types of statistics - Vistors, Traffic Source, Content, Goals and Ecommerce using a bar at the bottom, which means there is space to include various types of chart - Agent Pro makes creative use of bars, pies and line graphs.

The data available is varied: from standard data such as visits per day and bounce rate to more specific information such as which browser your visitors are using to your AdWords campaign.

The app is slow, though, so approach it with caution - and it also has a tendency to include long lists of confusing numbers. It took us a minute to realise '20090825' is a date, while the Visitors page lists every page on our site, along with number of unique visits and bounce rate. Considering the number of pages on the average site, this isn't a particularly useful feature - we had to scroll for a long time to find the page we wanted, and even then it was listed by id rather than friendly URL (probably our fault, though).

As a final note, the free version, Analytics Agent Lite, contains substantially less comprehensive data - but perfect if all you need is to know the number of visits your site had yesterday. Realistically, if you needed more detail than that, you wouldn't use the Pro version. You'd use a different app.

We give it 3/5

Our ratings: 5/5 Ego stroking; 4/5 Egotistical; 3/5 Egolitarian; 2/5 Eg-on your chin; 1/5 Ego tripping

 

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