2015 Travel by the Numbers

Happy New Years! Looking back on this past year, 2015 was another big year in travel. Once again, I’ve taken a look back at my 2015 travel numbers and with the help of TripIt have pulled together the stats to paint a story of my year. If you missed last years, you can see my 2014 Travel by the Numbers recap here. So the 2015 snapshot: Total miles flown: 104,740 miles via 62 flights flown through 34 airports on 11 different airlines visiting 7 different countries (outside of the airport). 4 of those 7 countries were net new for me, increasing my total number of countries visited to 47. Of that, I’d estimate that 70% was for business, 30% for pleasure – blurry due to a mix of both on some trips (but a slightly
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Data Driven Design

Designing a new website is a big task. You must take many things into consideration: ease of use & functionality, mobile responsiveness, content, flow, graphics, etc. On top of that, you need to ensure that all of the analytics tracking is properly setup and collecting the necessary data for you to report on success. With so many considerations, it’s important to look at what your users are already telling you about it’s ease of use and helpfulness before you begin to make decisions about how to redesign and change it. Key metrics to consider when thinking about a website redesign: – number of unique users & sessions in a given time period – top content by pageviews/events/goal conversions/etc – funnel success (newsletter signups, contact form submits, checkouts, etc) – device
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Podcast Guest: Jumpstart with Jeffalytics

A few weeks ago I had the chance to sit down (virtually) with an industry friend, Jeff Sauer, who is an expert in all things Google Analytics & AdWords and who has recently kicked off a podcast series he’s calling ‘Jumpstart with Jeffalytics’. I had the distinct honor of being guest #2 (after the Wizard of Moz, Rand Fishkin) for Jeff’s new podcast and now that it’s live I wanted to share Jeff’s recap of the episode as well as a link to where you can find the podcast. I had a great time chatting with Jeff and recording this session, and am humbled by his kind words of support throughout. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support and friendship of industry peers such as Jeff and
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Creating Adwords Remarketing Lists with GA Custom Dimensions

“Ultimately, data collection boils down to a simple thing: gathering meaningful data. What meaningful means is something that must be negotiated uniquely for each business case, each project, each product, each organization, and each platform.”   Whenever I think about this quote by my friend Simo Ahava (who has a blog chock full of wonderful content), my thoughts immediately drift to Custom Dimensions. What are Custom Dimensions? Custom Dimensions, as you may have guessed based upon the name, are simply custom ways to collect data for use in Google Analytics. By analyzing meaningful data stored in Custom Dimensions we are able to understand more about user behavior on our sites, which will guide business actions. The more we know about the user and their behavior, the more informed our decisions will be. One
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Three Google Analytics Features You Should Be Using Today

I run Google Analytics training workshops that take users from ‘never seen it before’ through to ‘grown up GA practitioner’. A key success metric for me is how many people answer ‘Yes’ when I ask if a certain piece of functionality is new to them. If folks are learning new things, this is good! I have certain ‘favourites’ when it comes to the new functionality question. These are not new but they are seldom used so they appear to be new. They’re certainly exciting because they add power to the product and streamline how users use it. They’re golden! Take a look at these three examples. Are these new to you? They’re easy to learn and will add new super-powers to your GA skills.   1: Keyboard Shortcuts You can
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Three Google Analytics Views You Should Use Today

I often get asked for recommendations and best practices for setting up a new Google Analytics property. How many views should we have? What are the best practices for types of views? You can have as many views as you want (ok not really, the cap is 25 views per property unless you have a special exception) and organize them however you want. That’s one of the cool things about GA – it’s super flexible to user needs & design.  BUT, I do recommend that you always have at least 3 views per property, such as the below: 1. RAW view: This is a view that does not have any filters or modifications added to it. You can use the standard ‘All Website Data’ view for this, but I’d suggest
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Three Google Analytics Filters You Should Be Using Today

In Google Analytics, filters provide a flexible way of modifying the data within each view of your analytics account. You can use them to exclude data, include data, or actually change how the data looks in your reports. Filters help you transform the data so it’s better aligned with your business needs. Google Analytics applies the filters from each view to the raw data collected from your website or app at the time of processing. The filtered data is what we then see in the reporting UI for each view. There are three filters that every analytics account should set up right away: spambot filtering, excluding internal IP addresses, and forcing all pages/referral sources to lower case. 1. Spambot Filtering This one is super easy because it’s a simple checkbox
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Custom Funnels – New in Google Analytics Premium

Of all of the reporting features that Google Analytics has launched in the past few years, I think this is, quite possibly, my favorite. Not just because it’s new and pretty, but because it fills a big big need for analysts: Define steps based on any dimension criteria. This means you can build funnels on the fly based on events, page views, etc. You are no longer limited to just using a destination/page URL as a funnel step as you are in regular GA goals. My favorite use case is sending any kind of hit type from an offline system, such as a CRM, to GA via the Measurement Protocol and then adding those as steps into a Custom Funnel (see the below example) They are RETROACTIVE!!!! You can build
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GTM Analytics Academy Course Open Till July 24th!

I’m INCREDIBLY excited that we launched our newest Analytics Academy course last week (June 23rd). This course is all about Google Tag Manager and is aimed at helping marketers, analysts, and developers quickly get up to speed on GTM, tagging best practices, and using tag management to improve your analytics (and other tags) implementation. And I’m INCREDIBLY excited that I have the opportunity to be the instructor for our newest course! This opportunity allows me to bring my passion for teaching GTM to both a technical and a less technical audience and to help GTM education reach the masses. I couldn’t be more excited! If you’re not familiar with the Analytics Academy, here’s the quick history and relevant links: there are currently 5 courses: Digital Analytics Fundamentals, Platform Principles, Ecommerce
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