Analytics Tune Up! Insights and methods to achieve a manageable approach to Google Analytics

Brian Alpert, Smithsonian Institution, USA, Elena Villaespesa, Pratt Institute, USA

Since its introduction in November 2005, Google Analytics has evolved from being a basic tracking tool to one of the most popular AND powerful analytics tools of any kind. For all that sophistication, “GA” is still very much a tool that is first and foremost easy to implement and use. Great, right? Actually, no! Museum websites are complex aggregations of content, collection databases and eCommerce, and today’s multisite ecosystem poses technical challenges for analytics programs and their managers. As easy as it is to implement today’s Google Analytics, it must still be approached with a mixture of planning, caution and training.

Join Elena Villaespesa from the Met and Smithsonian’s Brian Alpert for this workshop designed to give you a grounding in Google Analytics, a look at some of GA’s recent features and capabilities, and expand the discussion to include dashboards, Google Tag Manager, automation tools, and the notion of bringing a “culture of analytics” to your organization. The process for mapping website measurements to your organization’s goals will be taught, and some significant, recent changes to Google Analytics will be discussed. The new Google Analytics (with the ability to import data from networked devices like kiosks) will be the only version supported in the future, requiring ALL Google Analytics users to convert, a process which will be outlined in the workshop. Brian will discuss automation tools and present a custom dashboard from one such tool.

The discussion will be extended to your organization, as Elena teaches how she is bringing a “culture of analytics” to the Met. She will also provide an overview of GA’s powerful, native dashboarding capabilities, and lead a hands-on exercise to help attendees build their own Google Analytics Dashboards. A list of tools will be distributed, including some open source and free ones as budget should not be a barrier to communicate the results of your work.

Kaushik, "The "Action Dashboard" (An Alternative To Crappy Dashboards)" (2008)

Alpert, Cut Through the Fog: Using GA Data Grabber to Act on Google Analytics Data (2012)

Villaespesa, Alpert, Original "Metrics, Metrics Everywhere" (2013)

Alpert, "Google Analytics: MVPs and Game-Changing New Features" (2014)

Alpert, "the current state of... Search Engine Optimization (SEO) (2015)