Depth of Knowledge May 2014 – Analytics is a 50 Year Career

Depth of Knowledge Newsletter
Volume 2.4
May of 2014

Hey Friend of Jeffalytics!

Tomorrow begins another Google Analytics partner summit, which is an annual conference put on by the Google Analytics team to talk about the future of where we are headed with the product.

This will be my 6th time attending the GA Summit, and it has been fun watching it evolve from a ~100 person gathering on the Google campus to a world class conference in the heart of San Francisco.

While I have no advance knowledge of what will be announced in tomorrow’s keynote (but I will live blog like in 2012 and 2013), my guess is that it will be about concentrating less on measuring what is happening on our websites and more about the future of measuring our digital marketing programs as a whole.

This could involve a series of third party integrations, the further opening of the Google Analytics system to developers or even some sort of artificial intelligence to analyze our data. Pretty much anything is on the table at this point.

Watching web analytics evolve over the years has been a lot of fun. It’s no longer just about the web, but about all digital channels. That’s why we have seen the Web Analytics Association (WAA) rename themselves to the Digital Analytics Association (DAA) and can expect further changes moving forward.

The prevailing concept that will never change, however, is the need for analytics and analysts to make sense of the vast amounts of data that we are now able to collect. It doesn’t matter whether this data comes from a website visitor, an RFID tag or a bio-sensor. All will need analytics to turn raw data into collective knowledge.

I believe that analytics is a 50 year career for anyone getting started today. Trends will change, platforms will come and go, but the ability to tell a story from data will never go away. Tomorrow’s announcements from Google will simply be a guide for our future, based on learnings from the past.

Analytics Tool Watch

Here are some analytics tools that I have come across since we last spoke. Some of these are startups, while others have been around for years. By linking in this newsletter I am not personally endorsing these tools.

  • PadiTrack (paditrack.com) – When Google Analytics funnels are not enough, you use your existing analytics data to create something more elegant… for free! (h/t to Avinash for his Twitter recommendation)
  • Baremetrics for Buffer (buffer.baremetrics.io) – While this may not be a pure analytics tool, the transparency of core business data provided by Buffer is very impressive. See exactly how much money buffer makes, their run rates for revenue and more in real time! Maybe Baremetrics is right for your business too?

More Cool Tools and Startups

All Analytics and no play makes Jeff a dull boy. Here are some interesting business startups and tools that I have recently come across that I thought you might enjoy.

  • Marketing Stack Explorer (portent.com/mkstack) – Dead-simple explanation for how you should approach digital marketing. This summarizes in a single picture what takes years to learn through experience. Paid, Earned and Owned media. Content, analytics and infrastructure.
  • Opt In Monster (optinmonster.com) – Friend and marketer Andy Forsberg introduced me to this plugin for getting more opt-ins for your email newsletter. As I look to grow my list, this type of explicit opt in becomes more important.

Thought Provoking Articles and Guides

  • The Invention of the Chilean Sea Bass by Alex Mayyasi – When I visited Chile in 2010, my father and I were on a mission to find “Chilean Sea Bass” – it turns out that we had trouble finding the fish because it wasn’t a real thing, only marketing.
  • The Most Trafficked Mammal You’ve Never Heardof by John D Sutter – What is a Pangolin and why are they in danger of going extinct? Read this one and feel smart/sad all at once.
  • Dimension Widening for SEO Data by Bhoomika Joshi – Great tutorial on how to use new functionality in Universal Google Analytics to make your reports more meaningful.
  • YouTube Analytics by YouTube – Learn all about who views your videos on YouTube with this primer directly from the mouth of Google.
  • The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Investing Your Money by James Altucher – While I must always advise you against taking investment advice that you read in this article/my newsletter, I really did find this perspective to be a refreshing read.
  • The $13 Billion Mystery Angels by Zachary Mider – Who is behind $13 billion in philanthropic donations and endowments in the US?
  • The Untold Story of Larry Page’s Incredible Comeback by Nicholas Carlson – It’s hard to position one of the richest people in the world as an underdog, but that’s exactly how I felt after reading this article. Lots of excellent insights into the past at Google with a beautiful view into the future as well. If you ever wanted to understand the logic behind self driving cars, robotics and more, this article helps make sense of it all.

Popular on Jeffalytics

It’s hard to believe May is almost over! This month was very light on publishing content on all of the sites I operate. A hectic travel schedule has been mostly to blame, but getting ready for the big move to San Francisco has also been a factor.

This month I gave advice about how perceptions are reality for our careers, along with advice on how to use this to your advantage. Over at Knowledge Land, I provided members access to download a presentation on how to create a data driven organization.