Web analytics in your sidebar

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Whilst browsing the Windows Live Gallery today, I came across a  gadget from MetriServe Web Analytics which shows basic web stats in your sidebar on Windows Vista (they also have a Mac OSX widget). Gimmicky as this may seem to the hard-bitten web analytics warriors amongst you, I think this is cool because it helps to drive user engagement with web analytics – having something permanent the user’s desktop drives that web analytics ‘addiction’ which is the first step to integrating thinking about web analytics into site planning & design.

It’s also a smart move for MetriServe because it is a free ‘teaser’ for their paid web analytics service – and anyone in the web analytics market who’s not one of the big players these days needs to find some way of differentiating. My only criticism is that the gadget seems rather simple – for me, the attraction of this would be that it would draw the user in, offering some (very) simple exploration tools within the gadget itself, and then a click-through to a fully fledged analytics package. MetriServe don’t seem to have done this.

Sadly also for MetriServe, this is eminently reproducible – as Google has shown, since there exists a Google Desktop Gadget for Google Analytics:

This is quite a nice implementation, but again there’s no link through to the full GA interface; plus, the ‘View Days’ option is completely broken (it does nothing). That little goblin in the picture is my daughter, by the way.