Get Google Analytics to E-Mail You Scheduled Reports

This may not be new to many folks, but I just discovered a neat feature in Google Analytics that lets you set up scheduled, regular reports in several common formats.

This came in handy with a Powerhouse Web Solutions client who wanted to know who was hitting their website, when, and where from, but is not technically savvy enough to navigate the myriad of options found on the full Google Analytics website.

E-Mail Reports Button in Google Analytics
Setting it up is simple.

To get started, simply log into your Google Analytics account and view the stats for the site you’d like to have reports for.

Then, click the E-Mail button as seen in the above screenshot and set your options. I like the idea of the Analytics Overview page being E-Mailed but if you want one of the drilled down reports E-Mailed, simply click the E-Mail button while browsing that particular page.

Image of Google Analytics schedule E-Mail form
Tons of options.

You can E-Mail yourself (and CC to other E-Mails) reports on a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis and they can be generated in the PDF, XML, TSV, and CSV formats.

Normally, I configure Google Analytics to have a separate client user for each website so that they can log in and see their full stats directly. But, this works really well in circumstances where the client may not have the time or technical know-how or where you’ve got to send a report to a higher-up.

What other neat tricks are hidden in Google Analytics? Share them in the comments!


Learning PHP Using Google Wave

Tonight at Guelph Coffee and Code I walked the group through the first steps of learning PHP. Because our projector was unavailable, I substituted its functionality with Google Wave. Even though I’ve had access to Google Wave since the summer, this was the first time I had truly used the service.

When I first heard about Google Wave, the idea seemed intriguing enough. I had a hard time figuring out exactly what it could be used for. I’m a huge fan of Gmail and other Google communication tools including Google Apps, so I had faith they’d pull something cool off. However, my first few attempts at trying it were met with less than stellar results.

Truth be told: I couldn’t quite see how it could help me communicate with my friends and colleagues any better than Gmail. So, a few days after receiving notification of my acceptance into the world of Wave, I abandoned it and went back to my life with E-Mail.

What We Did

Using Google Wave, the group followed along with my presentation of syntax and functions and contributed their own code snippets and links. I was able to quickly type example PHP code into the wave and have it appear on their screens as I was typing it instead of all at once when sending the message. The removal of the wait-message-wait-message barrier is critical to its success in groups. It’s just as easy as talking.

This sort of instant chat has been done before, however, most notably with ICQ chat back in the 1990s. But, back then we weren’t quite the society were are today. Have to give credit where credit is due, though.

I knew it was going to go well when after pasting my first code block into the wave, the others in the group started to modify the code without me prompting them. After returning from the fridge, there were already 3 or 4 new lines of code directly beneath mine were with perfect syntax. It was fun!

Is It E-Mail 2.0?

To be perfectly honest, I am not sure. I love Gmail and it will take a lot to move me away from it. Perhaps its a case of uncertainty with respect to how it will interact, if at all, with Gmail in the future.

Even after tonight’s experience, I still have a hard time defining Google Wave or identifying its place in my communication paths. But there are two things I know for sure: It’s great in groups and makes an excellent discussion platform when your projector is down.