Reflecting on 4 Years at Google

Reflection is part of growth. Looking back and examining what has gone by, what has been accomplished, where I’ve fallen short, and where I still need to improve is an important exercise to move forward. This morning, I read back through my blog post reflecting on my first year at Google, and I was surprised to remember how much happened in that first year. It made me think about all that’s happened since, and most recently, this past year at the Goog.

I’m writing this post while on vacation in the Philippines, at the tail end of a quarter long assignment to work in Asia. If that one sentence doesn’t sum up the adventure that the past 4 years has brought me, I don’t know what can. To hear more about my travel adventures this year, check out the Travel section of this blog.

I wanted to share some of the highlights, and low-lights, that have made the past 4 years mean so much:

– Learning everyday: I work with so many smart and talented people, and I learn from them constantly. I learn even more from the users, clients, and agencies I interact with on a daily basis. The tough questions I get from users when I’m on the road push me and our product to be better, and it’s amazing that I have the opportunity to hear so many different perspectives of how to use a single product.
– Working with awesome people, both inside and outside of Google: I work with some pretty damn cool people. Enough said.
– Being part of the core product teams for Google Tag Manager and Google Optimize. Helping to shape these products and ensure they meet the needs of users across the spectrum has been such a great opportunity over the past few years.
– Being blessed with the ability to travel abroad for business, and stay for pleasure: I’ve traveled to ~30 countries since joining Google in 2012 (24 of them net new on my list), and the vast majority of those were either directly for work, or on long weekends or vacations tacked on. What an amazing job that affords me the opportunity to see the world like this!
– Growing my career and seeing the impact hard work can have on so many people: Teaching for the Analytics Academy, hosting regular live video trainings, and speaking/teaching/training in person at conferences and seminars around the world has been awesome. I love helping to spread the impact of digital analytics.
– Taking part in an effort to push the industry forward in terms of equality: Calling out bad behavior, and helping to found Women in Analytics groups at both Google and the Digital Analytics Association
– When I was mentioned on (formerly

– Pace: The pace of innovation is lightening fast, and yet it can seem to take forever to get even a small change pushed through sometimes. This isn’t Google specific, not even big company specific. It effects everyone, and I’m not excluded.
– Impact: I know the work I do has impact on our products and users, but I never feel like it’s enough and always think I can be doing more. Since moving to the vendor side of things (after spending the first 6+ years of my analytics career as a practitioner) I’ve found it harder to quantify this impact. When you don’t have direct bottom line revenue impact to point to it’s harder to justify the work you do. I’m continuing to think through better ways of quantifying these efforts.
-Disconnectedness: related to the previous point, at times over the past 2 years I’ve felt disconnected from my practitioner roots. I don’t want to lose the skills or mindset of creatively finding and identifying key insights to drive true business impact. To ensure I’m still using our products and keeping my skills sharp, I run the marketing analytics program for our Google Analytics marketing websites, but even still I worry my experience isn’t broad enough. This is something that definitely keeps me up at times as I think about my future at Google and in the industry as a whole, and something that drives me to constantly be learning, improving, and finding new ways to participate and drive impact.

What’s next? 
That’s an important question to constantly be asking. And I do ask myself it constantly. When I reflect on where I’m at, what I’ve accomplished so far, and what I still want to accomplish in the near and longer term, I come away thinking that I’m very happy with where I’m at right now. I’m excited to continue to push and grow with the digital analytics community and with Google. And I can’t wait to get back to work and apply everything I’ve learned this quarter while abroad to make our educational offerings for the industry even better.

For now though, it’s back to my last few days of vacation 😃


Diving in Palau. I LOVE soft coral and Clown fish 🙂

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1 Comment

  1. Jennifer Cooper

    Hi, Krista,

    I just finished listening to the podcast you did for Jeff Sauer at Jeffalytics. Your story was so inspiring! I, too, started out in college pre-med and ended up going a completely different direction, eventually ending up in analytics. Although I have ~ 10 years of traditional “off-line” experience, my tenure in the “on-line” world is just beginning. I recently completed Jeff’s training program to prepare for the Google Analytics certification test, and I’m pleased to report I passed and am officially certified, but I know I have so much still to learn!

    I really appreciated what you said about finding strong mentors and/or following those who are experts in their fields, learning as much as you can from them. It’s in that spirit that I sent you an invitation to connect on LinkedIn and have started following other respected analytics influencers and evangelists (e.g., Avinash Kaushik, Justin Cutroni).

    Thank you for sharing your story and allowing others to come along with you on your journey! I look forward to continuing to learn more about you and following your thought leadership!

    Best regards,
    Jennifer Cooper

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