Develop your analytics skills ! 2014 and beyond challenges…

Develop your analytics skills ! 2014 and beyond challenges…

Happy New Year everyone!

I wish you all the best for 2014, may all your dreams come true ! Days were slipping before the end of this month and the end of the new year wishing window although where I live today I do have an extension as Chinese New Year is coming pretty soon ; so this note will be short but still, I can’t start this year without this.

Who says New Year says New challenges and New opportunities, at least that’s what I want to hear. Last year, I had my Analytics roadmap for 2013 with 6 items :segmentation with personae, cross-platform analytics, analysis exchange, attribution modelling, site search and Tim’s Ash book to finish) , well as you can expect I didn’t cross all 6 items but some of them. I had the chance to participate to one project with Analysis Exchange for WWF Vietnam ; I read Tim’s Ash book about Landing page optimization, even though I still owe you a second post about the 2nd part and work on some pretty exciting analytics projects about campaign performance, site optimization, reporting enhancement among others subjects.

This year I’ll keep the same spirit : develop my analytical skills is my one and only focus and have fun doing it.
So 2014, here we are ! Where to start: 3 things that I am already excited about :

1. Kick starting today a new Analysis Exchange project

I am very happy to mentor this new project, hopefully I’ll share more with you in a few weeks.
Few words about Analysis Exchange :

2. Acquiring a new skill : “The Power to Predict”

I know this another 2014 buzzword word as many others, but I had the chance to participate to a “Data Analysis” course last year online via Coursera and touch-based a little bit about statistics, predictive modelling, R programming: how to organize a data analysis, the structure of files in a data analysis, how to get data, and the basics of how to clean data… This arouse my curiosity hence my challenge will be to firstly understand the basics of Data Analysis with a tool as R then using R to predict.

3. Working in Asia.

The last release of APAC DIGITAL MARKETING PERFORMANCE DASHBOARD – which look into the advancement of digital marketing across the Asia Pacific region – stated that 41% of the world’s Internet population resides in Asia, 78% of Asia Internet population in under 45, 69% of APAC marketers are measuring and testing digital campaigns and more importantly:

“In India, 28 percent of marketers rate their ability to measure the value and return on
digital marketing as excellent or very good, and Australia and Singapore also rank highly at 21% each. However, in comparison, Korea (3 percent), China (7 percent), Hong Kong (9 percent) and the rest of APAC (12 percent) are not yet as confident in their ability to demonstrate return on investment”

That is in my opinion a mine of gold from a learning, knowledge-sharing and skill improvement point of view. How exciting !

Hopefully, I’ll have new challenges and opportunities coming on the way ! You never know.

What about you ? What are your analytics challenges coming ahead? How would you develop your skills?

If you liked this article, please spread the data-love…

Analysis Exchange, a great initiative for Analytics passionate and non-profit in need!

Analysis Exchange, a great initiative for Analytics passionate and non-profit in need!

If you are passionate by Web Analytics and willing to give some of your time for a good reason, please continue reading and hopefully I’ll convince you to sign up as well !
I took the great and challenging opportunity to sign-up as a Mentor for the Analysis Exchange and participated to one project so far for WWF Vietnam.
What is the Analysis Exchange?

I signed up in July 2012 and finally participated to my first project recently. The project was with WWF Vietnam website that we helped to ensure that their analytics platform – Google Analytics – was properly set up and we tried to guide them into taking the most of it.
As a mentor, I tried to give guidance to Trish – the student – who was very involved and willing to provide the best to WWF Vietnam. On the first meeting with WWF Vietnam, we* came up with a simple project plan to define WWF Vietnam objectives in this project, our objectives as analytics consultant and deliverables they could expect from this project.
*By we, I mean Trish and myself knowing that Trish did all the hard work, I was here for her when needed and to give her advice and guidance in the way to approach this project and some documentation as well.

For privacy purpose, I will not go into too much details about WWF Vietnam expectations, however the project objectives were the following:

    • Ensure appropriate configuration of current Google Analytics tracking tools
      Identify key traffic metrics to be gathered, analyzed now, and monitored in the future
      Provide insight into Analytics data for WWF-V team moving forward

  • 3 main deliverables came out of this: we started with a 1) technical audit to understand their Google Analytics configuration and take this chance to help them configure some customized variables to get a better grasp on their users’ engagement against their content.
    We then configured for them 2) a dashboard displaying the key metrics and following a straightforward “visitor journey” structure and answering to their main business question.
    For instance:

    Lastly, we configured for them 3) two custom reports, one focused on the traffic sources performance and the 2nd one focus on their article performance.

    About the experience in itself, here is what I would bare in mind for the next ones:
    Pitfall : Timing and Scope
    Before participating to this project, I read another article where the writer, speaking of his past experience in the Analysis Exchange, encountered the same issue for his project. Even though the project is supposed to last around 3 weeks and even though I was aware of this possible issue, we end up spending around 2 months on the project.
    Why? It would be a fair guess to say that the issue was coming from a too large/vague scope which I should have notice and reduce from the beginning. However, at the end our project didn’t fail, we just spent more time than expected at the beginning.

    Tips for success: Communication
    – Good relationship with the student and the organization
    – Allow regular time to discuss with the student
    – Review and agree on the scope with the organization to make sure that the work scope stay reasonable
    All those items turn around Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
    If there is one thing, I’ll do differently for sure next time, it will be to make sure that the organization stay in the loop all along the way and engage them even though they are not very active.

    Aside from being pretty happy to have one of my action item from my 2013 Analytics roadmap achieved, it was a really interesting and rewarding experience that I look forward to renew ! And again, if you have the time and desire, sign up 🙂

    Why should you sign-up?

    Student: It’s a great opportunity to have hands-on experience on analytics and support from experience analytics professionals and your resume will certainly not suffer from it !
    Mentor: No need to emphasize a lot, as soon as you are passionate I guess it just make sense to spread the love…
    Organization: A great, great, great opportunity for FREE to get insight on your website, understanding users behavior and get some sense of what could be optimized, what is already working very well, where the budget should be spent…

    Want to know more? Need inspiration, Documentation for a Non-Profit measurement framework?
    Analysis Exchange Website
    Analysis Exchange Blog
    Analysis Exchange Twitter
    – I just ran into this fantastic post from Justin Cutroni which bring grist to my mill: “Measuring the Non-Profit: From Planning to Implementation“, in the nick of time!