Sarah Hodges

Archive for the ‘Analytics’ Category

Think You’re an Analytics Pro? Prove it!

In Analytics on June 6, 2012 at 6:50 pm


On Monday night, I took a deep breath and dove into teaching my first Intelligent.ly class, Marketing Analytics 101. Intelligent.ly connects experts in Boston with entrepreneurs and professionals who want to improve their craft or learn or a new skill.

Google AnalyticsAs co-founder of the campus, I’ve spent the last few weeks working with instructors to ensure that each class is highly interactive, targets the right learning level, and keep students engage…sure is a whole lot harder when you’re up there in the instructor role yourself!

Aside from providing a few tips around Marketing Analytics resources, most of my advice during the course of the night centered around one central theme—practice makes perfect. Want to learn analytics? Just roll up your sleeves and dive in. Hit a road block? Scour online resources or tap into the kind folks following the #measure hashtag on Twitter. The only thing stopping you is you!

Start plowing through Google Analytics tutorials, nose buried in Avinash Kaushik’s blog, polishing up your analytics skills. All that knowledge is pretty gratifying, right? You know what feels even better? Struttin’ your stuff.

The team over at Smarterer (I’m currently heading up Marketing) has a pretty sweet way to let you flare your feathers and show what you know. Smarterer provides over 500 tests to help you prove any professional skill…ya, know, like, Google Analytics. Whether you were at last night’s class, or you’re just an analytics junkie, don’t be shy now, get in there and score your skills!

View more PowerPoint from Intelligent_ly

A, B, Cs of 1, 2, 3s: Marketing Analytics Resources

In Analytics, Campaign Anaytics, Web Analytics on August 2, 2011 at 2:17 am


Forget dipping a toe in the water–when it comes to learning marketing analytics, you’ve gotta hit the diving board and break out your best cannon ball. Start measuring something!

1. Read, write, practice, analyze and optimize. Then, start over.

2. Start a blog and write on topic you’re passionate about.

3. Create a Google Analytics account and install GA on your blog.

4. Consider incorporating other free analytics tools: Crazy Egg (heat map); 4Q (task completion survey); Clicktale. GA is a fantastic starting point, but you may want to cast a wider net to build up a broader portfolio of knowledge and complement insight from GA.

5. Start following the #measure tag on Twitter; some serious analytics superstars show up in this stream, and you’ll learn tons just by from reading/interacting.

6. Read anything and everything Avinash Kaushik has ever written. Word.

7. Check out these blogs from awesome practitioners:

8. Sign up to be a student on the Analysis Exchange; work on a project for an organization in need alongside an expert mentor.

9. Finally, if you’re interested in a career that may also require to build out your knowledge of paid platforms, start by reading their blogs. Though context is always helpful, you can learn a lot from pros before ever shelling over $ to implement the tools.

10. Just do it.

This is my attempt to put lipstick on a response to this Quora analytics question.

Vanity Metrics: Are you optimizing for what really matters?

In Analytics, Campaign Anaytics on July 31, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Vanity Metrics
Erick Schonfeld wrote a great piece in Tech Crunch this weekend, warning of the danger in what Lean Startup guru, Eric Ries, refers to as ‘vanity metrics.’ Can I get a ‘hallelujah’? An ‘amen’?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met with a founder or marketing manager who references a startup’s tweets, followers, ‘pageviews,’ etc. as signs of success and an indication of its future growth trajectory. Unless you’re earning $ based on the number of pageviews your site receives, these metrics likely don’t mean beans. Startups need to focus on what really moves the needle–metrics that directly impact revenue over time.

Key takeaway? Make sure you’re optimizing for the right metrics. Period.

Read more on Tech Crunch.

Facebook Insights: Badass Ninja Knives for Page Data

In Analytics, Campaign Anaytics, Web Analytics on March 23, 2011 at 7:10 pm

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that your company has a Facebook page.

I mean, your mom has a Facebook page. Your dog has a Facebook page. Everybody has a Facebook page. You’re churning out content like a champ and working your Facebook page like a pageant queen to engage your users…but how do you know your hard work is paying off?

When was the last time you showed your Facebook analytics a li’l love?

You’ve seen the AsSeenOnTV infomercials for those knives that are so kickass they can cut right through aluminum? Facebook Insights is the equivalent of those badass knives for your Facebook Page data. Do you have two minutes and the ability to toss a meta tag up on your site? Boom! Instant insight.

It’s time to start measuring your Facebook page like a ninja!

Christopher O’Donnell, from Performable, heard your cry and whipped up a video to walk you through the basics of Facebook Analytics. Check it out!

Often people ask “How can I measure my Facebook Page?” or “How do I install analytics on my Facebook Page?” What many people don’t know is that Facebook has built its own analytics product that comes baked-in for free. And while there are compelling use cases around measuring user behavior across channels, from mobile app to website, to Facebook and beyond (something that Performable‘s Lifecycle Analytics excels at), Facebook’s Insights analytics product will help you take a deep look at adoption and engagement across all the facets of your Facebook Page.

In order to get valuable insights from this new product, it’s important to understand the key performance indicators and paths of optimizations for Facebook publishers. I’ve made a little video that tours through the Facebook Insights tool itself, and discusses how to interpret the data and drive performance improvement for your social community.

The video is about 8 minutes long … does it help if I call it a “micro-webinar?” Enjoy, and please leave your feedback in the comments!


Campaign Tagging: Part 2 – Strategy

In Analytics, Campaign Anaytics, Web Analytics on March 9, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Sarah-Hodges-Campaign-Tagging

You rolled up your sleeves and started tagging your campaigns…now what?

I’m sure you jumped right into the basics of campaign tagging video I posted last week, and now you’re tracking your marketing efforts like an animal. But all your good intentions can quickly snowball into a world of pain, if you don’t employ a consistent strategy across your organization.

Combat the chaos.

Campaigns, and sources and mediums, oh, my! You’re a sophisticated marketer with a robust portfolio of campaigns, but all those values can start to get confusing without an organized approach to tracking.

I heart Google docs!

Whether you’re an Excel geek or a Google Docs. evangelist, throw your utm parameters into columns and start tracking the values you’re using. Not only does this instantly create a simple guide that others in your organization can follow when tagging new campaigns, but it also gives you a clear reference point when your data starts to roll in.

Check out your report card and make a plan for next semester.

Revisit, refine and revise your approach to optimize for insight!


Lose your Omniture training wheels!

In Analytics, Web Analytics on February 22, 2011 at 12:24 pm

What are the best resources to learn Omniture SiteCatalyst?

Questions like this one pop up on Quora from Omniture newbies all the time. Kick off your training wheels and check out my response below for a few tips-

I painfully sat through every single Omniture training course offered. And you know what? I didn’t really learn that much…

Amy Chua was onto something by making her kids do 2,000 math problems each night.

She might be a little off her rocker and generally missing the big picture, but her kids sure as hell have mad arithmetic skillz. Practice makes perfect! Want to learn how to use SiteCatalyst, Discover or one of the other Omniture tools? The only way you’ll truly learn is by jumping in and exploring:

Cozy up to the engineers on your team. Get a basic understanding for the way information is captured and passed into Omniture.

Identify the questions you want to answer. Dig into the reports, see what you can uncover and get over the initial intimidation of learning a new UI.

Fill in gaps with a li’l help from the pros. You don’t have to look too far to find experts who are throwing down the Omniture knowledge day in and day out for free! Soak it up!

Dig into Adam Greco’s Blog for a wealth of information about SiteCatalyst, from the fundamentals to implementation tricks that will boost the insight you generate from the tool.

Take a look at Omniture’s Blog; it’s a fantastic resource for learning more about their entire suite of products. You’ll find posts from top notch account managers, analysts, product leads and engineers.

Follow other practitioners! I learned so much about Site Catalyst just by interacting with other analysts and developers who work with the tool everyday. A few top minds in this space include-

Check out Web Analytics TV. Jason Thompson recently planted the seed for what’s sure to become a huge contribution to the web analytics community by launching this killer site. Check out analytics video tutorials from Omniture vets in an easy-to-consume format. After you become an Omniture champ, make sure to go back and submit your own!

Follow the #measure tag on twitter, attend analytics conferences and reach out to other people who are working with the platform for creative solutions to the measurement challenges you’re trying to address.

I haven’t been thrilled with the Omniture training courses. I’ve taken every Omniture training course out there, including the SC courses, Discover and Test &Target. While you can definitely pick up a few helpful nuggets during the classes, I’ve found the pace slow and some of the topics too rudimentary to merit the time investment. Hang onto your $, and instead, invest some time in coming up to speed by doing, reading, watching and learning.


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