What 90s Rap Can Teach Us About Analytics

It’s Friday, and as various ‘90s rap songs continuously circle my brain, I’ve found that there are some universal truths about digital analytics disguised in the lyrics. Let’s take a journey back in time to these unknowingly forward-thinking rapper/analysts.

Vanilla Ice

How often have you found yourself knee-deep in the data and stuck in a myopic rut. Time to stop, collaborate and listen.

What are you tracking and why? What other team members or departments should be involved? What data do they need? At Analytics Pros, our discovery sessions include stakeholders and anyone that requires data for their job. Why do we do this? It gives everyone a chance to step out of the data and to stop, collaborate and listen.

Song: Ice Ice Baby

Young MC

An analyst is often too deep or enthralled with their reports. You uncover hidden gems, fulfill C-level report requests, debug problems and search for solutions. But there’s a problem: no one knows what you are doing.

You are probably just the weird person always in their office hunched over your laptop. You need to evangelize the data – within your team, IT, Marketing, C-level executives and anyone else that will listen. Actually, go ahead and evangelize to people are aren’t listening too. You have amazing knowledge; go tell people! It increases the business’s value, and it increases your value as an employee. So stop standin’ on the wall like you’s a poindexter, get out there.

Song: Bust a Move by Young MC

MC Hammer

Data output is subject to data input. Outside of the actual tags, there is one other location that influences your data: Settings.  View settings can and will irreversibly damage the integrity of your reports in that view. Data can be permanently lost or manipulated through filters, Adwords can be incorrectly connected, site search can be neglected, query parameters can fragment your data, goals can be incorrectly set up and more.

Google Analytics provides 4 levels of access in which permissions are added:

  •  Read & Analyze: Can view data for the selected Views, and that’s about it.  Unable to view profile settings.
  • Collaborate: Same as User setting, but with the ability to install reports, share annotations and share dashboards.  Can view settings but cannot change them.
  • Edit: Same as the previous two settings, but with the ability to add users to reports.
  • Manage Users: Full privileges.  You can see all data for all Views, add/remove users, update goals and funnels, create filters and more. This should only be trusted employees and should be highly restricted.

Make a habit of saying you can’t touch this. Given how easily an inexperienced user can change data, it’s ok to be protective.

Song: U Can’t Touch This

Montel Jordan

Google Analytics provides very little direct support. The majority of knowledge – especially in fledgling years – came from user trial and error from users like our own Caleb Whitmore and Google Analytics Evangelist Justin Cutroni. They tested, discovered and shared. Analysts that learn can share and help grow the community.

Analytics Pros regularly hosts webinars and organizes BEST Practices for Google Analytics conferences across the country. Why? To share knowledge, evangelize data, and show how the experts use their data. Our community cannot grow or become usable unless you listen to the experts say “this is how we do it.”

Song: This is how we do it

Puff Daddy

Puff Daddy knows what he wants. He’s in the music business to make money, specifically $100 bills. His goals are clear and he knows how to achieve them. Do you?

Why does your website exist? Is it to generate leads? Ecommerce sales? Education materials? Knowing what your site is for is the first step to knowing what to tracking. Without it, you are lost.

Google Analytics allows for 20 goals per view. These goal settings are used to calculate conversion rate, page value, attribution of costs, ROI and more. Pick goals that work for you. This can be a checkout page, a complete support video view or whitepaper download. Be sure to choose goals that are long-term. Once one is set GA, you cannot change the core function of it.

What are you all about? To be a baller? Shot caller? Brawler – dippin in the Benz wit the spoiler?

Song: All About the Benjamins

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