I've just started my journey and am wondering what tools do you use for the real-time tracking of visitor activity on the site?
I know there are tools like Mint and Google Analytics which give you a top-level overview of what's going on. My concern is that with GA I get the updates once every few hours and don't actually see some important details -- typical user paths. These days I have very few visitors (although the number grows) and I want to know why exactly don't they enter the web app, where do they get stuck and what's the typical sequence of their actions.
So I think, I would love to have a tool that showed me each session individually as a sequence of pages they visited with time information and possibly with some other handy stats. These sessions could be summarized into a nice tree that could show the paths and points of confusion. Does anyone know anything like it?
Followup question: do you see a value in this and would you be willing to pay for a tool like that? (Yes, I'm very straight with this. If there's no such tool, I will make it at least for myself.)
Not really an answer to your question, I'm afraid, but I'm not sure I understand the value in seeing real-time visitor statistics.
You can't do anything to really affect the traffic in real-time, so why monitor it in real-time? If you're not careful you'll spend all your time watching endlessly updating graphs rather than concentrating on something constructive.
Updates every couple of hours would seem to be more than enough for me!
If I may be so bold, I think you might be looking for the wrong solution for your problem. Analytics can only give you so much information, even in real time; it sounds like what you really want is to be able to look over the shoulder of your visitor to see what their experience with your website is like, and find out right from their mouths. If that's the case, then the best thing you can do is to actually FIND people to use your website and let you look over their shoulders! A 'usability study' might be a great investment for you. You might not be able to afford much, and it really depends on who your target audience is, as to how easy it is to find mock users.
What kind of project are you working on? I see the site 9cells in your profile; this would be an excellent app that would be easy to have friends, family, or just anyone test out with you so you can get the REAL real-time analytics you want.
Hope this helps!
Livezilla also provides real time visitor tracking with its user chat (live support) app. Its FREE, it works well. The only drawback is that some of the software (where the reps login to respond to chats, and monitor users) only works on windows. This is not a big deal since you can run the app using vmware fusion.
Woopra also gives you live visitor analytics.
You can use Piwik. Piwik provides you with a lot of the same information as google analytics, but gives you the information real time. Another advantage is that Piwik runs on your own server, therefore a lot of the adblock plugins that block google analytics do not block your information collection.