Category Archives: Learning Resources

Two New Analytics Academy Courses and Year-Round Certification

For three years, many have participated in our free online courses on Analytics Academy, which aim to help you become an analytics expert and learn best practices on how to make your data actionable. In 2013, we started with a single course focused on Digital Analytics Fundamentals, and have since grown our offerings to include Google Tag Manager, Ecommerce and more.

Today, we are introducing two new courses for Analytics Academy: Google Analytics for Beginners and Advanced Google Analytics.

In Google Analytics for Beginners, you will join instructors Justin Cutroni and Krista Seiden to learn the basics of Google Analytics, including how to create an account, implement the code, and set up filters. You’ll also learn how to navigate the interface, analyze reports, set up goals, track campaigns, and create dashboards.

Our Advanced Google Analytics course goes in depth on how data gets collected and processed. You’ll learn how to use configurations like Custom Dimensions, Custom Metrics, and Event Tracking. The course also demonstrates advanced techniques, including segmentation, channel reports, audience reports, custom reports, and marketing strategies like remarketing.

Both of these courses include interactive demos and activities to apply what you have learned, using our free Google Analytics Demo Account.

In addition to this pair of new courses, Analytics Academy has added some new features:

• 24/7/365 Certification: You can complete courses at your own pace and earn a certificate of completion at any time. No more certification windows!

• User Profile: You can track your progress and access your certificate from your user profile.

• Track your lesson progress: You can track your progress through a course, and resume a course where you left off. 

Sign up for Google Analytics for Beginners or Advanced Google Analytics and start learning today. 

Happy Analyzing.

Posted by Katie Richardson, Program Manager, Google Analytics

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Google Analytics Breakthrough: From Zero to Business Impact

Looking to sharpen your Google Analytics skills as you kick off 2017? A new full-color book is now available for analysts, marketers, front-end developers, managers, and anyone who seeks to strengthen their Google Analytics skills.

“In Google Analytics Breakthrough: From Zero to Business Impact, we strive to provide a step-by-step resource to help readers build a solid foundation for analytics competence. It starts at strategy and core concepts, extends to advanced reporting and integration techniques, and covers all the nuts, bolts, tricks, gaps, and pitfalls in between,” says coauthor Feras Alhlou, Co-founder and Principal Consultant of E-Nor. “The book is structured to offer a succinct overview of each topic and allow more detailed exploration as the reader chooses.”

 The book includes contributions straight from the Google team.  Avinash Kaushik’s foreword starts things off with a constructive mindset, and Paul Muret’s cover piece takes a unique perspective on the evolution of Google Analytics from the days of Urchin.  Krista Seiden lends her top reporting tips, and Dan Stone shares insights on remarketing. Industry experts such as Jim Sterne, Brian Clifton, and Simo Ahava also offer key takeaways.

At nearly 600 pages, the book is quite comprehensive, but the authors outline a few main themes below.

1- Define and Measure Success 
It still bears repeating: identify your KPIs as part of your measurement strategy. Map your marketing and development initiatives to the KPIs and center your analytics around your success metrics and specific improvement targets. You’ll be much more likely to drive, detect, and repeat your wins, both big and small, if you always know what you’re aiming for.

2- Keep Your Focus on User Journey 
This has multiple meanings. From a Google Analytics reporting standpoint, take advantage of the reports and features – such as Multi-Channel Funnel reports, custom segments, custom funnels in Analytics 360, and calculated metrics – that go beyond session scope and begin to approach a more complete picture of user journey.

Even more fundamentally, remember to always relate your data to user experience.  Contributor Meta Brown offers specific advice on crafting a hero story to make your analytics data more accessible and impactful for all stakeholders.

 3- Take Full Advantage of Google Tag Manager 
“When we were first outlining the book, we briefly considered dual-track native and Google Tag Manager examples ,” recollects coauthor Eric Fettman, Senior Consultant and Analytics Coach at E-Nor. “Shiraz steered us to a basically GTM-only approach, which  streamlined the implementation chapters and really highlighted GTM’s flexibility and power.”

In addition to in-depth discussions about GTM’s triggers, variables, and data layer, the book examines the relatively new and perhaps underutilized Environments feature.  While the publication schedule didn’t allow direct inclusion of GTM Workspaces, the supplemental online materials offer a detailed Workspaces walkthrough. 

As an illustration of Google Tag Manager’s flexibility, this Lookup Table variable will allow a single Google Analytics tag to populate into different properties based on hostname.

4- Help Google Analytics Tell Stories in Your Own Language 
From both an implementation and reporting standpoint, Google Analytics provides a range of capabilities for customizing your data set and optimizing the reporting experience so your data speaks clearly and relevantly.  Custom dimensions and data import for your content, products, and back-end user classifications will let you build more meaningful and actionable narratives. Custom channels – for paid social traffic, as an example – will certainly yield much greater insights than default channel reporting. Alternate report displays and custom reports allow you to combine and isolate the metrics that are most important for the analysis at hand.

And don’t fail to take full advantage of basic features such as secondary dimensions. The Landing Pages report is good by default; Landing Pages with Source/Medium applied as a secondary dimension might reveal a whole new secret.

5- Master the Basics for Advanced Benefits in GA 360, BigQuery & Integration 
The fundamental Google Analytics data collection and processing tactics remain as important in 2017 as ever.  You still need to implement event tracking, with a meaningful naming convention, to really understand user interaction. You must maintain consistency in campaign tagging for clarity in your Acquisition reports. In many cases, you still must apply view settings and/or filters to insure data quality in all of your Google Analytics reports.

The benefits of clean data, however, extend beyond the Google Analytics user interface.  If you’re exporting to BigQuery (integration with BigQuery is enabled for Analytics 360 organizations) to analyze conversions over multiple sessions by different traffic channels, the campaign tagging and channel grouping work that you have already performed for your GA reporting will again prove critical.  If you’re also pulling your CRM data into BigQuery to integrate with GA data and measure the effect of specific interactions – such as downloads, video views, or live chats – on customer lifetime value, you’ll be doubly glad that you took the time to properly implement your Google Analytics event tracking from the start.

Going forward, as we begin to navigate through dynamic visualizations in Google Data Studio and look towards advanced solutions such as Attribution 360 and Audience 360, the competitive advantage of good, consolidated Google Analytics data, as a dataset for complementary tools and environments, will only magnify.

“We dedicate the book to our contributors, to our clients, to the team at E-Nor, and especially to our coauthor and E-Nor cofounder Shiraz Asif, who passed away in March 2016 and will always be keenly missed.” For more about Google Analytics Breakthrough: From Zero to Business Impact, visit

Posted by Feras Alhlou,  Principal Consultant and Co-founder of E-Nor, Inc., Google Analytics Partner

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Announcing Data Studio, our free, new Data Visualization Product

Earlier this year, as part of the Google Analytics 360 Suite announcement, we unveiled a new data visualization and reporting platform for large enterprises — Data Studio 360.

Yesterday, at the Google Performance Summit, we announced a free version of Data Studio for individuals and smaller teams. Data Studio lets you connect to all your marketing data and turn that data into beautiful, informative reports that are easy to understand, share, and fully customizable. We wanted to take a moment to give you some of the details about Data Studio.

Making it easy to share data within your organization — or with the world

One of the fundamental ideas behind Data Studio is that data should be easily accessible to anyone in an organization. We believe that as more people have access to data, better decisions will be made.

With multiple data connectors, you can now easily create dashboards from many different types of data and share with everyone in your organization – and you can mix and match data sources within a single report. For example, you can combine Google Analytics data and Google AdWords data into a single report.

Today, we’re offering multiple data connectors, so you can connect to Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Google Sheets and many other Google services. But Data Studio offers integration with a wide variety of data sources. There’s also a connector for BigQuery and we will soon have connectors to SQL databases that will let you access first party data.

Data Studio is more that just sharing reports with other people — it’s true collaboration. We used the same infrastructure as Google Docs, so you can edit reports together, in real time. This is useful as you combine data from multiple teams and need others to add analysis and context to the report.

Visualization tools to style your reports and data 

In addition to new sharing and collaboration tools, Data Studio gives you many flexible ways to present your data. Sure, there’s the usual assortment of bar charts, pie charts, and time series. But we’ve also included some new visualizations — like bullet charts that help you communicate your progress towards a business goal.

Another advanced feature is the ability to create a heatmap using tabular data. This visualization makes it easy to instantly identify outliers within a table of data.

Data Studio also has an array of other features to help you customize how you present your data. There are a number stylistic tools that enable you to design your reports to represent your specific brand. There are also interactive data controls, like a date picker and dynamic filters, that enable report editors to make reports interactive for viewers.

For example, let’s say you want to let users segment a report by country. Just add a control element to the top of your report and the user can dynamically segment the data. In the image below the check boxes will change the data in the map and data table based on what a user selects.

These are just a few of the tools that you can use to help others in your organization understand data. 

Two versions for different types of organizations

 The primary difference between Data Studio 360 and the free version, Data Studio, is the the number of reports you can create, which is five per account. Both versions support connecting to unlimited data sources and offer unlimited report viewing, editing and collaboration. For more information, check out our Help Center.

Getting started

If you’re ready to get started, watch this brief overview that will help you build your first reports.

Then check out the interactive walkthrough – it’s built with Data Studio. Just choose “Welcome to Data Studio (Start Here)” from the list of reports in your account.

 Data Studio is currently available to users in the United States and we’ll be rolling it out to other geographic regions throughout the year. We hope it helps you share more data and make better business decisions.

Happy Dashboarding,

Posted by Nick Mihailovski, Product Manager, Data Studio and Data Studio team

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New Book: Learning Google AdWords and Google Analytics

This is a guest post by Benjamin Mangold. Benjamin is the Co-Founder of Loves Data, a Google Analytics Certified Partner. When he’s not seeking out insights, you will find Benjamin blogging, presenting or playing with the Measurement Protocol. 

A new book showing you how to make the best use of both Google Analytics and Google AdWords is now available. The book is called Learning Google AdWords and Google Analytics by Benjamin Mangold of Loves Data (a Google Analytics Certified Partner). Here’s what Benjamin says about the book:
“Google Analytics is an incredibly powerful business tool and the focus of this new book is to show you how to unlock the hidden value of your reports. There are lots of techniques and tips covered, making the book a very practical resource to get more out of your website data and your online advertising campaigns.” 
Google Analytics Advocate, Justin Cutroni says, “Benjamin brings all of the information you need to get started and to grow and take advantage of these powerful tools. What I really like is how he brings all of the information about both systems – AdWords and Analytics – together in one central place. He makes it easy to understand how to measure your AdWords campaigns in Google Analytics data. This makes the information very actionable, which is exactly what you want.”
The book includes a foreword by Avinash Kaushik who says, “It balances the critical strategic elements that need to be present in any digital discussion (jump to Chapter 5), and the tactical elements that you’ll find useful every day (for example, Chapter 13 or, my favorite, Chapter 21).”
Google Analytics topics covered in the book include:
  • Using the Multi-Channel Funnels reports
  • Interpreting reports to improve your website and marketing
  • Comprehensive overview of reports and interface features
  • Introduction to Google Tag Manager
The way you can use Google AdWords and Google Analytics together is also covered, showing you how you can take your search and display campaigns to the next level. 
Google AdWords topics include:
  • How to run successful Google AdWords campaigns
  • Advanced campaign configuration opportunities
  • Reporting on campaign performance and optimization
  • Setting up and running display campaigns
You can grab a copy now on Amazon in paperback or for your Kindle.

Posted by Benjamin Mangold, Google Analytics Certified Partner

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Google Analytics Conference Nordic in Stockholm, Sweden

Join the Google Analytics Certified Partners for Google Analytics Conference Nordic in Sweden. 
The event takes place August 26 in Stockholm, Sweden, and is followed by a workshop on August 27.
Started based on an initiative by Outfox, who gathered the other Google Analytics Certified Partners, the conference is now returning for the fifth consecutive year.
Our Stockholm conference includes:
 • Case studies from businesses and other organizations, such as The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Viaplay, and Storebrand. In other words, Google Analytics for sales, entertainment, non-profits, insurance, and more!
 • Expert presentations by Google Analytics Certified Partners.
 • Opportunities to interact with peers and experts
 • …much more!
The conference is being visited by two top speakers from Google, Sagnik Nandy and Daniel Waisberg.
Sagnik Nandy is technical leader and manager of several Analytics and Reporting efforts in Google. He has hands on experience in building, scaling, deploying and managing large scale systems used by millions of web sites around the world. 
Daniel Waisberg is Analytics Advocate at Google, where he is responsible for fostering Google Analytics by educating and inspiring Online Marketing professionals. Both at Google and his previous positions, Daniel has worked with some of the biggest Internet brands to measure and optimize online behavior. 
Besides meeting Google, you’ll meet several Nordic Google Analytics Certified Partners. You will also meet and learn from several end users who use Google Analytics on a daily basis.
To join us in Stockholm in August, visit the conference site and secure your ticket.

Posted by Lars Johansson, Google Analytics Certified Partner and Google Analytics Premium Authorized Reseller

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Moving from Data to Decisions in the next Analytics Academy course

Today we’re excited to announce our next Analytics Academy course, Ecommerce Analytics: From Data to Decisions. As the name suggests, we’ve designed this course specifically to help marketers and analysts who work in ecommerce understand how Analytics data can be used to make decisions and take actions that improve their ecommerce performance. 
In the course, you’ll join instructor Justin Cutroni to explore topics through the lens of a fictional online retailer, The Great Outdoors. This practical example will help bring common ecommerce questions to life with relevant planning, reporting and analysis examples. 
By participating in the course, you’ll learn how to:
  • select and customize meaningful reports that align with your ecommerce measurement plan
  • use segmentation to compare interesting subsets of your online audience
  • and conduct actionable in-depth analyses in Google Analytics.

In addition to teaching you how to make the most of reporting features like segmentation, the course has a special focus on the new Enhanced Ecommerce for Google Analytics. This set of new features, which was announced in May, helps ecommerce companies understand the customer journey and merchandising tactics at a much deeper level. The course will introduce you to powerful analysis tools, like the Product List Performance report, the Shopping Behavior report and the Checkout Behavior report.
Sign up for the Ecommerce Analytics course now and join us when it opens on July 8, 2014. 
Happy Learning!

Post By: Christina Macholan & The Google Analytics Education Team

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Mastering the science of random chance: Dataless Decision Making comes to Analytics Academy

The world of digital analytics changes fast. From Attribution Modeling to Universal Analytics. From App Analytics to Remarketing. From Tag Management to Audience Reporting. We’re constantly trying to help analysts and marketers measure their business and make better decisions. But sometimes we ignore alternative ways to make business decisions.
That’s why we’re excited to introduce our next Analytics Academy course: Data-less Decision Making.

In this four-unit course, we’ll present some of the most popular ways to avoid using data when making business decisions.  We’ll cover everything from mystical tools, like crystal balls and divining rods, to traditional data-avoidance techniques, like coin flipping. You’ll find that once you adopt these methods you’ll be able to make hundreds, and maybe thousands, of decisions a day!
Still wondering if this course is right for you? Check out our FAQ for more information.
We hope you enjoy the course!

Posted by the Google Analytics Education Team

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Invest In Yourself: Learning Digital Analytics In 2014

We’re excited to help digital marketers become more data savvy through the Analytics Academy. Initially launched in October of last year, our first course attracted more than 145,000 students – and more than 30,000 finished the course and earned a certificate of completion.
That’s why today we’re excited to announce the launch of our next course in the Analytics Academy titled “Google Analytics Platform Principles.”
In this course we’ll dive deeper into the details of how the platform collects, transforms and organizes the data you see in Analytics. Understanding how these processes work is the first step to refining your implementation and uncovering more valuable insights about your business.

In this self-paced online course, you’ll learn about:
  • the four components of the Analytics platform: collection, processing, configuration and reporting 
  • how Analytics collects the data you need across different devices
  • how your data is transformed before you see it in your reports
  • key concepts for customizing your Analytics data in useful ways
Registration is now open and the course begins March 11, 2014. You can sign up here.
The importance of education
It’s never been a more exciting time for businesses as technology is driving innovation at an astounding rate. With the introduction of mobile devices (and tablets) and the ability to understand user behavior – the fundamental way that we do business is changing. And the key driver is data.
All of these new technologies create information – data that we can use to better understand the needs of customers. If we understand the customer better, we can help them achieve their goals, while we achieve ours.
Nowhere is this more evident than in digital marketing and digital advertising. 78% of marketers feel the need to become more data driven and almost 40% of major brands see a talent gap in analytics. Marketers need to know how their campaigns drive direct conversions, and more importantly, how they improve the overall performance of other campaigns. This can be an imposing task for someone that doesn’t know the difference between a conversion and bounce rate. 
No matter what your role in business, from marketing to product to PR, you will need to work with data. Luckily there many opportunities for all of us to learn. Make 2014 the year that you invest in yourself and develop your analytical skills.
To paint the picture of the opportunity, we also created an infographic to get you excited about embarking on your own personal analytics education (see a preview below, but view the whole graphic here). We hope to see you at our MOOC in class!

Posted by Justin Cutroni, Analytics Evangelist, Google

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Sharpen Your Analysis Skills Over The Holidays At The Analytics Academy

Last month, we launched the Analytics Academy, a new hub for all users to participate in free, online, community-based video courses about digital analytics and Google Analytics. 
We’re pleased to share more than 145,000 students signed up for the Academy. Our team is delighted so many are interested in advancing their skills as marketers, analysts and business owners. But the good news is that while the current window to earn a certificate has ended, the educational materials remain up for everyone to access. 
Don’t fall behind your peers: the Holidays present the perfect opportunity to put some time aside and learn the latest in analytics. Start your journey in the Academy today by completing Digital Analytics Fundamentals. This way, you’ll be ready to go when we announce the next course in early 2014. 
Some key highlights from the course include:
  • An overview of today’s digital measurement landscape
  • Guidance on how to build an effective measurement plan
  • Best practices for collecting actionable data
  • Descriptions of key digital measurement concepts, terminology and analysis techniques
  • Deep-dives into Google Analytics reports with specific examples for evaluating your digital marketing performance
And a quick bonus for everyone: we recently conducted a Hangout on Air with Google Analytics Evangelist (and course Instructor) Justin Cutroni and Digital Marketing Evangelist Avinash Kaushik that’s a must-watch for all course participants and the Analytics community as a whole. We’ve embedded it below in case you were unable to attend live.

The next course is scheduled to start in early 2014 and will cover how to progress from measurement planning to implementation. We’ll be sharing more information with you soon. 
Posted by the Google Analytics Team

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Mind the Gap: Improving Referral Information with Universal Analytics

The following is a guest post contributed by Dan Wilkerson, marketing manager at LunaMetrics, a Google Analytics Certified Partner & Digital Marketing Consultancy.

A core issue with measuring social media is that due to the way that traffic mig… Continue reading

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