Honored To Be a DAA Rising Star Nominee

dTonight the nominees for the 2013 Digital Analytics Association awards were announced.  I’m honored to say that I’ve been nominated for the ‘Rising Star’ award, the award for up-and-comers in the digital analytics industry!

It’s amazing to be considered for this award amongst so many other great analysts.  From fellow Philly star Rachael Gerson at SEER Interactive to former Keystoner Tim Patten now at Localytics, there’s an impressive amount of industry experience and know-how in the 2013 nominee list.

That said, you can only vote for one person per category, so if you’re not sure who you’re voting for let’s make it simple.  There’s only one nominee on the Rising Star list who:

  • Passed the DAA Certified Web Analyst certification, AND is an
  • Active participant on the DAA Certified Web Analyst Exam Committee, AND has a
  • 9.8 ranking at the Analysis Exchange across one student and two mentor projects, AND is
  • Certified in Adobe SiteCatalyst and Google Analytics, AND has a
  • Wide-range of analytics experience, from web analytics to customer segmentation, predictive modeling & machine learning, AND
  • Continuously shares tips and tricks in the above specialties via a personal blog and company blog, AND generally tries to
  • Help anyone and everyone in the digital analytics industry with their technical challenges

So if you’re a DAA member planning on voting, feel free to throw your vote my way. The first 100 votes for me gets a free 5-minute backrub from Jason Thompson, so don’t delay…

(not provided): Using R and the Google Analytics API

(not provided) terms from Google average 35%-60% of all organic search terms

(not provided) terms from Google average 35%-60% of all Google organic search terms

For power users of Google Analytics, there is a heavy dose of spreadsheet work that accompanies any decent analysis.  But even with Excel in tow, it’s often difficult to get the data just right without resorting to formula hacks and manual table formatting.  This is where the Google Analytics API and R can come very much in handy.

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Effect Of Modified Bounce Rate In Google Analytics

A few months back, Justin Cutroni posted on his blog some jQuery code that modifies how Google Analytics tracks content.  Specifically, the code snippet changes how bounce rate and time on site are calculated, creates a custom variable to classify whether visitors are “Readers” vs. “Scanners” and adds some Google Analytics events to track how far down the page visitors are reading.

Given that this blog is fairly technical and specific in nature, I was interested in seeing how the standard Google Analytics metrics would change if I implemented this code and how my changes compared to Justin’s.  I’ve always suspected my bounce rate in the 80-90% range didn’t really represent whether people were finding value in my content.  The results were quite surprising to say the least!

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How To Install Optimizely on WordPress

If you’ve spent any time working in digital marketing or analytics, you’re already familiar with the power of A/B testing.  A/B testing (and it’s more complicated brother multivariate testing) allows site owners to find out optimal combinations of site design and content for their visitors without having to directly ask/inconvenience the user.  All it takes to improve a website is forming a hypothesis of something that could work better, creating multiple versions of a page (or other content), setting up the experiment…and the money flows in faster than you can count it.  At least, that’s the hope!

At the enterprise level, there are plenty of testing tools such as Omniture Test & Target, SiteSpect, WebTrends Optimize, and Monetate, but these tools are cost-prohibitive to all but the largest websites.  Google provides Google Website Optimizer (for free!), but that has often been viewed as difficult to manage, especially for dynamically created websites.  That’s where Optimizely comes in.

Optimizely’s tagline is “A/B testing software you’ll actually use”, a reference to complication (and I think indirectly, the expense) of other testing tools in the marketplace.  Optimizely claims is that you can start testing after adding a single line of JavaScript code…and here’s how you do it.

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Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) – Passed!

I'm going to print this out and put it on my fridge!

Sample Certification Question:

A)  I only

B) I and II

C) I and III

D)  I, II, and III

You know you’re a web analytics geek when:

I)  You run Google Analytics on multiple blogs, just to practice

II)  You analyze the hell out of your Google Analytics data, even though your blog only gets 100 pageviews per day

III)  Your wife goes out for the evening and you think, “Hmm…I could probably pass the Google Analytics Individual Qualification exam before she gets home”

The answer, sadly, is D.  But I suspect you already knew that :)