We’ve been busy with adding functionality and improving SPM, our Performance Monitoring service, but we’ve also been quietly working on our free Search Analytics service (internally known as SA). As a matter of fact, not coincidentally, SPM and SA share a lot of backend components, as well as UI-level pieces. This, of course, allows a good amount of software reuse and lets us improve both services without double the effort.
Here are some of the new things in Search Analytics:
Real-time. Previously, SA used MapReduce jobs to process the collected data and make them available as reports. That is no longer the case. We’ve put SA on the same real-time OLAP engine that powers SPM. This means you’ll see your graphs refresh and change before your eyes.
Dashboards. Just like we’ve added Dashboards to SPM, we’ve added them to SA, too. You can now create custom Dashboards, pick which graphs you want on them, and where you want to put them on a Dashboard. This is great if you want to display your search stats and trends on a large office monitor, as some SA users are already doing. Moreover, you can put widgets from multiple SA and SPM Apps all on the same Dashboard, so you can see your performance metrics, SPM custom metrics (e.g. your KPIs), and your SA metrics on a single Dashboard, side by side.
Report/URL Sharing. Just like in SPM, we’ve made it possible to copy the URL from the browser, give it to anyone who has access to your SA reports. When this URL is opened any filters or time selection will be automatically applied. This makes it very easy for multiple people to easily share their “SA view” by sharing the URL instead of having to tell others which report they should look at, what time and what filters they should select, etc.
Graph Embedding and Sharing. Similar to URL Sharing (but different!), you can now share and embed individual SA graphs. Each graph has a short URL that you can Tweet or share elsewhere. You can also get a URL/HTML snippet and embed SA graphs in your blog, wiki, web site, etc.
User Sessions. We’ve added a User Sessions report. This report shows you the number of search sessions over time, the number of queries per session, as well as the number of distinct users using your search. If anyone asked you to provide these numbers for your site, would you know them? Most people would say no. These metrics are good to know and with SA everyone will now be able to say yes to that question.
Distinct Queries. We’ve added the number of Distinct Queries to the Rate & Volume report. Another nice metric.
Hourly Granularity. All graphs in SA now go down to hourly granularity. This let’s you see how trends change over the course of each day. This can lead to insights around differences in how your users use your search in the morning vs. during work hours vs. evening.