Goodbye, Google

As I sit here to put pen to paper on this post, I’m overwhelmed by all sorts of emotions. Sadness, excitement, fear, gratitude, and so much more. The past 6.5 years have been some of the best, and some of the most trying of my work life, but one thing is for sure, it is damn hard to leave Google. Sure, there’s the free food, the onsite amenities such as gyms, micro-kitchens, massages, and all those creature comforts that I’ve become so used to. There’s the business class international flights and nice hotels that budgets allow me to have when I travel (which I’ve been fortunate enough to do a lot of on behalf of Google). But it’s the scale of the work and the people I’ve been fortunate to
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Three Google Analytics Features You Should Be Using Today

I run Google Analytics training workshops that take users from ‘never seen it before’ through to ‘grown up GA practitioner’. A key success metric for me is how many people answer ‘Yes’ when I ask if a certain piece of functionality is new to them. If folks are learning new things, this is good! I have certain ‘favourites’ when it comes to the new functionality question. These are not new but they are seldom used so they appear to be new. They’re certainly exciting because they add power to the product and streamline how users use it. They’re golden! Take a look at these three examples. Are these new to you? They’re easy to learn and will add new super-powers to your GA skills.   1: Keyboard Shortcuts You can
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2014 Travel By The Numbers

Happy New Year! Wow, I can’t believe 2014 is already behind us, it really did FLY by…  Ha.. see what I did there? 😉 2014 was a big year in travel for me, both professionally and personally. Given the data nerd that lives in my very core, I thought I’d throw together the numbers and stats for a quick analysis. Thankfully, this year TripIt made pulling all of my flight miles together really easy and they even presented it in some fun infographics (see below). So the 2014 snapshot: Total miles flown: 109,121 miles via 60 flights on 11 different airlines visiting 11 different countries (outside of the airport). Of that, I’d estimate that 75-80% was for business, 20-25% for pleasure – blurry due to a mix of both on some
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Definitions of Common Analytics Terms

If you’re just starting out in analytics, you may find that there are a lot of new, confusing terms to master. Here is a short (but certainly not exhaustive) guide to what many of these mean: Hit: a hit is any server call that corresponds to the javascript firing on a webpage or app and sent to an analytics tool. For example, you can have hits for page, event, ecommerce, and social interactions. Pageview:  the load/view of a page of your website or mobile app Session/Visit: a group of interactions (pageviews, events, etc) that take place on your website within a given time frame. Generally a session has a time-based expiration of 30 minutes of inactivity after the last action. A session also ends at midnight in some analytics tools
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A Casual Conversation with Google’s Analytics Advocates

This morning I had the opportunity to do a fun little Hangout On Air for the Google Partners Network with my fellow Analytics Advocate Adam Singer. We chatted casually about some of our favorite analytics resources and tips and also answered several questions from the partner community. Check out the video of this conversation for some of our favorite tips!
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Your Optimization Program’s First Hire

Just starting out in web optimization? I recently spoke on a panel at Optimizely’s Opticon and one of the questions that came up was ‘who would be your first hire’ for a new optimization program. There were a few different opinions on the panel, ranging from someone who gets stuff done, to an analytics rockstar, to that rare unicorn who can do it all. While all of these are good places to start, I tend to take the viewpoint of optimization through a solid analytics background as the best place to start. (Of course there are many optimization all-stars who didn’t come from an analytics background.) Why? Here are a few of the reasons why I’d look at hiring an analytics rockstar as your optimization lead: 1. They know data
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Human Analytics – The Quantification of Myself

I recently gave a talk about one of my passions, the quantification of self, to my team. Given the great feedback, I’m turning that preso into a blog post to share with everyone! I’d like to note that this preso and subsequent blog post was inspired by an awesome presentation that Michele Kiss gave at the Digital Analytics Association SF Chapter Symposium last fall in San Francisco. You can see her preso on her blog. The market today is full of tools, apps & wearables and the idea of self-quantification is steadily moving towards the mainstream. A lot of my friends have some type of an activity or fitness tracker (though my groups of friends are divided between the Fuelband, Fitbit, and my favorite, the Jawbone UP – each group
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Building a Culture of Optimization, Part 5: So You’ve Found a Big Win… Now What?

In part 5 of this 5-part blog series about ‘Building a Culture of Optimization’ I’m going to talk about the importance of sharing your wins and bringing your organization along with you. You can see part 1, part 2, part 3 & part 4 here. Part 5: So you’ve found a big win. Now what? Ensure you’ve double triple checked your results! Are they statistically confident? Did you control for external variables? Why is this important? A personal example… I ran a test where we found significant uplift over our control from a couple of test variations, but one version stood out as the clear winner. After closing the test, reviewing and analyzing the data, I communicated the results and recommendation to launch the winner to the rest of my organization. Most people
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Building a Culture of Optimization, Part 1 – Educating the Basics

I’ve presented at several conferences, webinars, and meetings recently on the topic of ‘Building a Culture of Optimization.’ It’s a great topic and something our industry as a whole is still in the process of nailing down – most organizations I see haven’t yet reached maturity here. Given the importance of building such a culture in order to drive testing and optimization across our businesses I’m writing a mini-series of posts on some of the most important things I see, do, and recommend. This will be a 5-part blog series on ‘Building a Culture of Optimization’ with parts 1-3 focusing on education, part 4 on process, and part 5 on spreading the word and shifting the culture. Part 1: The Basics – Educate educate educate! Educating your teammates is the
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