Google has a neat little tool that is now available to all. It's called Intelligence Events and it can provide you valuable information at a glance, rather than having to drill down into analytics to see if there is anything stands out. To see what Google thinks are important changes in website events:
You will now be on the Automatic (or Googlized) Alerts tab. This will show you highlights of what Google considers important events. They will include things such as:
Below is an example of the most recent report. What's interesting is that google has noticed that we had a significant decrease in visitors to our website the week of Oct 28, 2012. Well, that would make sense since that was the week Hurricane Sandy hit and our office was closed (as was most of the New York City metro area).
So am saying Google smarter than you? Of course not... well... maybe, but what Google thinks is important might not be the same as what you think is important. So let's click on the Custom Alerts tab. This is where things get interesting. Here you will find any custom alerts that have been defined. Click on the Create New Alert button to define some custom alerts. You can define things based on Google's standard set of dimensions and metrics such as:
Ok, so that's great but what if I want to know right away when these things happen. No problem. Just check the box "Send me an email when this alert triggers." and you'll get an email notification when the event has occurred. Thanks Google for making me smarter!