There are a lot of analytics packages on the market. The big daddy, Google Analytics is free. So why not use that for everything?
When we look at the same dashboard day after day we become desensitized to the changes that we should be paying attention to. It might be good to look into a couple of different microscopes.
*See this presentation on Slideshart.net: The Analytics Microscope
Jetpack is the free plugin from WordPress that does a lot of stuff, but their Stats packages is pretty deep, and fairly good at keeping up in real-time.
WassUp is a cool plugin with a WordPress Widget that can display number of live visitors, OS in use, and a ton of other stats, live on your blog.
Woopra is a free real-time stats package. It might be prettier, but the data is pretty dense. It claims real-time “on page” analysis, but I’ve not see it work very well.
Google Analytics, the motherload of data. But you have to parse through so much, if you don’t know what you are looking for your going to miss a lot. WARNING: NEVER, I repeat, NEVER, give the CEO access to GA. You will get late-night screenshots with titles like, “What’s wrong with this page?” and “Why aren’t we getting more leads on this page?”
I’ve written a micro-review of Gaug.es and I’m currently using ChartBeat.
So make sure you’re getting the quick picture that can influence your writing, your promotional efforts, and even your “associated content” links. Using several microscopes can keep your eyes fresh and keep the BIG ACTIONABLE ITEMS in clear view.