Google has refreshed its Google Analytics tool to provide real-time insight into web site activity.

Google Analytics Real-Time is especially useful for measuring the impact of fast-moving social media, wrote Google Analytics product manager John Jersin in a blog post

For example, last week we posted about the latest episode of Web Analytics TV and also tweeted about the post,” he explained.

“By campaign tagging the links we shared, we could see how much traffic each channel is driving to the blog as it happened. We could also see when we stopped receiving visits from the tweet, which helps us know when to reengage.”

The real-time capabilities can also help organisations with campaign planning, giving instant feedback on whether the the right data is being captured before launching a campaign.

“You’ll find the Real-Time reports only in the new version of Google Analytics,” Jersin added.

“If you’re not already using the new version, you can start by clicking the New Version link in the top right of Google Analytics. Real-Time reports are in the Dashboards tab (though they will move to the Home tab in the updated interface next week).”

The tool will be rolled out to all users over the coming weeks, said Jersin.

Google will be hoping that the update helps it fend off the challenge from, among others, web upstart Twitter which recently launched its own analytics tool.