Join the DAA SF Symposium on Nov 13: Getting Data Right with Quant AND Qual!

Originally posted on the official Google Analytics Blog, reposting here: This year the annual Digital Analytics Association (DAA) San Francisco Symposium is taking place on Thursday November 13th and will be hosted at University of San Francisco. The theme is “optimizing performance using quantitative and qualitative practices”. The DAA SF chapter has lined up industry leaders who will be sharing their thoughts and experiences. We are expecting a great afternoon of discussion followed by a networking reception. Following are the event details: Our lineup of wonderful speakers is focused on presenting real-world solutions to the optimization challenges we all face everyday. They will be discussing the principles of qualitative data collection, optimization and the relation to quantitative data they’ve put into practice. This year we are piloting a new, more interactive
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The Alphabet Soup of Common Business Terms – Demystified!

Confused by the alphabet soup of business metrics you hear around the office? Here are some of the many business metrics you may hear, defined: KPI: this stands for Key Performance Indicator. A KPI is the outcome of a business objective, i.e. what you measure an objective against. ROI: Return on Investment, or ROI, is a measure of the business value you get out of a particular investment. For example, if you were to invest $500 on a website redesign, and your new website brought in 3x the revenue, after you subtract the costs you could say that the ROI of the website redesign was 200%, or an additional $1000. ROAS: Return on Ad Spend. Similar to ROI, this measures the business value you get out of an advertising investment.
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Three Actionable Analytics Tips to Implement Today

I have the opportunity to speak to a lot of different audiences about analytics & optimization. Many times, I’m asked to leave the audience with a few actionable tips that they can implement in the next week. While there are many things I’d suggest (and it does change based on audience), I often recommend the same three things as I believe they are fundamental to moving past basic analytics and taking a more hands-on, informed approach. Tip #1: Use campaign tracking Campaign tracking is fundamental to getting more granular with your referring/incoming traffic sources. If you do it right, you can get smart about the types of ads/links/emails/social content that work best at driving qualified traffic to your website. And the best part about it – you don’t have to
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Real-Time Analytics: Top Use Cases for Quality Assurance

When real-time analytics first came out in Google Analytics, there were a lot of questions on the usefulness of this report. Yes, it looks cool to put it up on a big screen in the office for people to watch how much traffic is currently on your site… but that may not be super actionable (depending, of course, on your business). Thankfully I’ve found a couple of very useful ways to use real-time analytics for QA to help make me a better marketer: 1. Ensure campaign tracking is setup correctly: Real-time analytics allows me to see that the UTMs I’ve attached to my blog post URLs are working correctly and attributing traffic to the right sources. It’s a nice assurance to quickly check this after posting a new blog post
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I’m Joining the Google Analytics Team to Advocate for Digital Analytics Best Practices

After working as a practitioner of analytics and optimization for the past six years (at Adobe, the Apollo Group, and most recently Google), I’m excited to announce that I’m ‘officially’ making the move to the vendor side of the house! I’m joining the Google Analytics team as a ‘Best Practice Advocate’ for analytics and optimization. Five years ago, I would have said this role was my dream job. Two years ago, when I joined Google, I still would have said that this role was my dream job. And today, now 5 days in, I’m happy to say I’ve actually landed my dream job! 🙂 I say ‘officially’ with quotes for two main reasons: 1. I’ve already been at Google for two years, many might think that I’ve been on the
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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 4: Evangelize the Process

In part 4 of this 5-part blog series about ‘Building a Culture of Optimization’ I’m going to talk about evangelizing your process within your organization. You can see part 1, part 2, & part 3 here. Part 4: Evangelize the process Process is important. Process leads to consistency, repeatability, and authority in a testing program. Sharing that process and getting others in your organization bought in and supportive is even more important. One source of truth One of the best ways to make your optimization program better known within your organization is to evangelize it via a widely accessible & visible roadmap. Here’s an example roadmap that I use within my organization: I host this roadmap in a Google doc that is accessible to everyone in my organization, from analysts
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