Google Analytics learning curve

June 15, 2007

We have had GA implemented for some time now, though yesterday was the first day I ever looked at the reports for our company (though I have been trying to use it for a personal site for a couple weeks). Maybe it’s the result of Omniture University training, maybe it’s my lack of experience period, maybe it’s the tool itself, but it doesn’t feel like I can actually find much in GA. There are lots of reports yes, but I’m having a terrible time trying to figure out how to really drill into the data and segment by anything meaningful to me.Of course my frustration assumes that what I think is meaningful really is (remember my lack of experience). So maybe my frustration is really just further evidence of what I have to learn.I’ve read in lots of places that GA can be used quite effectively. Maybe I’m naive to assume that I should be able to use it effectively within just a few hours of practice, but what are people finding with GA and how are they actually finding it? 

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2 Responses to “Google Analytics learning curve”

  1. Wendi Says:

    Hi Tim, Welcome to the blogosphere! Glad that I have another fellow mathematician in the pool. When you are in the tools digging around it’s hard to see what is valuable to you unless you have a reason for looking. It’s great to know how much traffic you are getting and from where but it only becomes truly meaningful when you have a question to answer. So next time you spend a lot of time in GA or Omniture, write down a few questions that you want to find (or ask a marketing manager something they might like to know) the answer too and then start digging.
    For example, you can find the split of New vs. Returning visitors; yea OK that’s nice but more meaningful – what if you wanted to know if a new tool that was just launched is affecting returning visitors – is it drawing users back to the site? Then that metric becomes more valuable and you start to monitor it’s fluctuations over time.
    Or if you are running online search campaigns – that is pretty much standard in utilizing the web analytics tools. But hey, just wanted to throw it out there.
    In general, most will agree, metrics are good when accompanied by change/variability. Are we doing better or worse today than we did yesterday?
    Cheers! Wendi

  2. spectaprod Says:

    Thanks for comment and ideas Wendi

    I think you are right. I’m not really looking for anything specific, just looking to see if something catches my eye. Since I’m really in learning phase still I don’t have many questions that data can answer, but rather I just have lots of questions about the data I see.


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