Over the course of a month or two, many Google Analytics users began distrusting the reports provided in Google Analytics. We now have more reports, this time via Search Engine Roundtable Forums of Google Analytics not reporting accurate numbers.
I noticed yesterday's reports for this site was down about 20%. I immediately thought, give it a day and see if the numbers are higher tomorrow. They were. The numbers reported for Tuesday on Wednesday, was at normal levels when I looked today, Thursday. So I thought, maybe Google Analytics changed the time they are processing these reports (i.e. pulling in less data because they are running the reports earlier).
For example, let's say, Google Analytics typically runs the reports at 3am every morning. If Google Analytics pushed the report runs to 10pm every night, then you will be missing out on 2 hours of traffic, from the previous day. That means, you would have to wait a two-day period to see your full traffic data for the previous day. Hope I explained that well.
In any event, I am also hearing these reports outside of the forums - so this seems fairly widespread. Is this an bug or a feature - now that is the question.
Forum discussion at Search Engine Roundtable Forums.