I’ve heard from some readers that my blog posts about analytics are beyond the reach of many beginners. Worry not, everyone was a beginner once. I learned a lot of the basics of GA from the Analytics Academy videos (which are now officially recommended exam study guides). The course is led by Justin Cutroni (Digital Analytics Evangelist at Google) who wrote a book on the topic (new edition out this September). Once you go through the course material I’d recommend his book (and blog) in addition to Avinash Kaushik’s books and blog (Occam’s Razor).
If you need a hand, I’d recommend using Tag Assistant (Chrome extension)…and also you can ask me via the contact form.
Once you’ve gotten to more advanced areas, I would highly recommend reading Jim Gianoglio’s posts and taking his advanced/implementation course (even if it means traveling to NYC). I hope this is of some help.