Digital Analytics Fundamentals

Google is currently offering a free three-week courses for anyone interested in marketing or analytics seeking to understand the core principles of digital analytics via Google Analytics.  Class is in session until Oct. 30th 2013.  If you complete the course before then, including passing the final assessment, you’ll receive a certificate.

I heard about the course via Google+, which I sparingly use, but glad I did that day. I ran across this course which I thought it was a good opportunity to touch up on my Google Analytics skills.  Boy, has GA changed over the years.  Google has completed changed the UI, added several new features, while removing some as well, and made many minor changes such as renaming different links and menus.  I’m glad they offered this course which provided a concise overview of today’s digital measurement landscape.  It was a good refresher.

It took me about two weeks to complete the entire course which was a somewhat longer than I expected.  Then again, I’m a full-time college student so I couldn’t dedicate as much time as I wanted to.  The course covered topics including:

  • Guidance on how to build an effective measurement plan
  • Best practices for collecting actionable data
  • Descriptions of key digital measurement concepts, terminology and analysis techniques
  • Deep-dives into Google Analytics reports with specific examples for evaluating your digital marketing performance

The course was broken into 6 different units, which including a number of lessons and activities for each lesson.  Overall, the course was well organized and the material was straightforward which made it easier to comprehend.  I passed the final assessment in about 20-30 minutes which, honestly, could have been more challenging.  It would have been nice to see more demonstration questions rather than multiple choice.

In the end, I ended up with this cool orange certificate with my name on it.

I hope Google offers more courses like this in the future.  What courses would you like to see Google offer?

Don’t Go Back to School: A Handbook for Learning Anything

Don't Go Back to School: A Handbook for Learning Anything

Don’t Go Back to School: A Handbook for Learning Anything

I’m a sucker for anything-learning. So, as soon as this book popped into my radar, I jumped on it.  Kio Stark’s Don’t Go Back to School: A Handbook for Learning Anything stays true it’s title – it’s a Handbook. For Learning. Anything. It serves as a concise, practical guide for those seeking to learn independently.  However, the notion of learning ‘independently’ is quickly overturned, as learning doesn’t happen alone but rather through the immersion of community.

It used to be that schools were the monopoly for learning, and served as the only institute which brought together individuals to form a learning community.  With the advancement of technology making it dead simple to connect with anyone around the world that shared the same interest, learning communities can be formed in a instant.

I’m fan of this book because of its practicality as well as the inspirational tone set by Kio Stark as she interviews passionate, self-directed learners of diverse backgrounds and fields. The insights revealed through the interviews opened my eyes as to the countless number of ways as to ‘how to’ learn and fanned my flame as a lifelong learner.

Model Thinking – First (and second) experience with Coursera

The Edu+Tech world has been buzzing with MOOCs and Coursera is at the forefront of it all.  My first experience with Coursera starts several months back.  I began a course on Gamification offered by Prof. Kevin Werbach of Penn University.  This was at the same time the Fall semester started, and my in-class courses began at Metropolitan State University.

I was a full time student at Metrostate at the time (and as of writing this I still am) but I thought I could handle another course.  Especially something as fascinating as gamification. “My interest would pull me through!”  First week and we’re off to the races.  I quickly realized this wasn’t going to work…  I wouldn’t be able to take four courses, work two part-time jobs, and be able to keep up with this course at the same time.  My high hopes and interest in the course quickly dissipated.  Why?  Well, two reasons.

One, I was spread too thin.  To maintain a high standard towards all my commitments, I had to make some more room in my life.  Quitting either of my part-time jobs wasn’t an option.  I could have dropped out of a course at Metropolitan… but that would have somewhat significant consequences of not graduating on time.  I don’t watch TV anymore otherwise I’d gotten rid of that long before anything else.

Two, I didn’t carve out time to join and participate in one of my many online course communities.  More on this later.  In the end, I was left with one option.  Gamification had to go.  It was fun while it lasted.

Fast forward to now.  I’ve been taking Udacity’s Intro to Physics and Intro to Comp. Sci courses, usually reserved for midnight and weekends.  The great thing about these Udacity is there is no start-stop dates.  The courses are always in session, and there’s no worry about having work in on time.  There also isn’t any incentives besides learning.