The Real Time Status of a project can be checked from the top right menu bar. Its colour changes dependent on current checks. This is a near real-time assessment of any governance issues that may be occuring on your website. For example, the inadvertent collection personal information, changes in cookie consent, filters or users being added.
The difference from a regular audit
Audits are the detailed method to assess your data quality, but they are a series of snapshots that look back over time e.g. last 30 days. For example, if you scheduled a monthly audit on the 1st October it would assess what happened in your data during the month of September. But if it is now mid-October, what is your current status? For example, has there been any PII issues since the last audit? Has the governance of your account changed? The Real Time Status answers these questions without having to wait until the start of a new month/audit.
How the Real Time Status works
Every 4 hours (24 hours for the Trial license), the following governance sections are checked using the exact same checks as per a regular audit:
- Account Structure & Access
- Data Validity
- Data Compliance
If there are any failures they appear here and are “frozen” in time, with no further checks for that item until you click Reset. On doing so, the item is removed and rechecked on the next cycle (4 hours later). The purpose of freezing a test is to prevent “flicker” i.e. a test that can fluctuate between fail and pass i.e. hiding the problem.
Why freeze a problem?
For example, say you are based in Europe and check your reports during the working day. But you have a PII issue via the USA section of your website. As the US is 5-10 hours behind in time, the issue may only occur when you have left the office for the day. Returning the next day and the issue is gone. It’s the same requirement during weekends and holiday periods. Hence, freezing the failure solves this issue and means you will never miss such important failures.
Why not check my status every minute?
The checks used rely on data being in your Google Analytics account. For GA360 users data freshness is guaranteed to be within 4 hours, though typically it is much faster. For GA Free there is no guarantee, but usually this is within 4 hours unless traffic volume is relatively high (e.g. greater than 50,000 sessions per day – see limit reference). Therefore it does not make sense to check for issues at a higher frequency than GA can process your data.