Retaking “Digital Analytics Fundamentals”

I’m currently at a coffee shop in suburban Philadelphia retaking “Digital Analytics Fundamentals” as part of my review to become re-certified in using Google Analytics before my current certificate expires in September. Even after 7+ years of using Google Analytics (starting with the tracking of what people liked on my blog for Mount Allison University to present day), it’s important to go back to basics to make sure you’re keeping what’s most important in focus. This course starts with Avinash Kaushik’s definition of digital analytics, which is

“1. the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from your website and the competition,

2. to drive a continual improvement of the online experience of your customers and prospects,

3. which translates into your desired outcomes (online and offline)”

I think it’s very telling that when the instructor discusses the declining relevance of the traditional purchase funnel, I’m reminded of those who have said the traditional admissions funnel is “broken” in light of the rising of “ghost inquires” and other factors. The point is that people now start the purchase/inquiry process at different stages of the process, and businesses/schools need to understand how this impacts them and how to they can adapt and thrive.

Another important point made in the first course video is this:

It’s important to measure both micro and macro-conversions so that you’re equipped with more behavioral data to understand which experiences help drive the right outcomes for your site.

As schools improve upon their current tracking numbers (simple # of pageviews, most popular pages, etc) they may look at what differentiates people who convert (inquire, book a tour, etc) from those who do not by looking at Custom Segments and making their own Dashboards that can be used to look at dashboards that have the information that can be used to make data-informed decisions.