Monday, December 19, 2011

HootSuite hatches reporting, deeper analytics

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Summary: HootSuite’s latest release includes their new Report Builder feature, allowing customizable and scheduled reporting for their customers.

I’m a little late to the breaking news party with this information (HootSuite announced this offering Friday, March 11) however I’m ok with it as I was packing for Austin, TX and can plead SXSW.

I’ve been using HootSuite at an enterprise level now since March of 2010 and one of the crucial features that I always thought was missing with their solution was solid, robust reporting. In the enterprise, thoughtful, customizable, extensive social media reporting is what will allow any social media professional to ensure that all the conversations and interactions being monitored out there can be put to actual business use, helping to drive real business decisions for a company in a proactive manner.

If you are already using HootSuite, after logging in you’ll notice right away that the whole upper left-hand corner has been simplified into clean iconic organization, removing some of HootSuite’s branding from the interface. As much as I love seeing HootSuite owl staring at me all day, I’m really glad they did this. The implementation is much more intuitive now and feels faster, cleaner and easier to use.

Where the rubber meets the road

Now let’s get to what makes this latest release really useful for businesses - reporting. Since HootSuite was already pulling in data from your tweets, Facebook Insights, and Google Analytics, building out their own reporting system to leverage all this data for customized reports was the next logical step. Their first foray into this is nothing short of awesome.

You can basically construct your own custom reports with their Report Builder, have them emailed to select team members either manually or on a schedule. This is especially useful for enterprise-level requirements where you have multiple teams that use social media for different reasons and need to see different types of data in their reporting presented in a very specific way. Social media data is only useful if it is presented in a meaningful way to a key decision maker, tailored to their specific needs. This is now possible with HootSuite.

In large companies and organizations we all know that there is no single report that makes sense for an entire company so the real benefit of HootSuite’s reporting feature is that each report can contain a set of specific data types that you choose out of a huge bucket of items. Just hover your mouse over the plus sign of any module and simply add it to your report.

This is a huge step for HootSuite as they to build out their feature sets for big business. With the release of Report Builder and an interface that was always easier on the eyes than other tools like Radian6, HootSuite shows us that they are listening to their customer feedback and making changes quickly and accordingly. I’m looking forward to more great features and improvements from them in the coming months. They are definitely on the right track.

Rich Harris has been a web marketer for over 10 years, with over 14 years experience in high-tech, both in the consumer and enterprise spaces.


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