The term “Big Data” gets thrown around a lot. It’s overkill really. Nevertheless, data is for businesses what vegetables are for kids — crucial for growth in today’s society whether you like it or not. Launched this week is Google’s Analytics Academy — a massive online course (MOOC) that wants to simplify the ins and outs of digital analytics for laymen across the globe.
Google Analytics gives us the tools to scrape up precious user information while the Analytics Academy wants to show us the ropes on how to do that. The academy is a combination of videos, Google Plus Hangouts and online community resources all with actual certification steps along the way. The three-week course is set with an introductory unit focused on how to collect actionable data and to navigate reports.
A few centuries ago people came into your shop, you greeted everyone by name and actually knew who they were. Today, you’re selling your product to a faceless crowd of an ever more complex world of ever growing demographics. Having said that, so much more data can be gathered about larger groups of customers if you just know who, what, where and how.
In a recent interview on Business Harvard Review, the importance of understanding web analytics is discussed. Although every company these days might have an expert or two focused on using data analytics, the rest of the organization is often left in the dark. As Engineering Vice President for Google Paul Muret puts it, “the data can be used by basically the whole organization.”
Product Management Director for Google Analytics Babak Pahlavan also says, “We feel like it’s our responsibility to A, make simple but powerful products; and B, try to support and educate people to have data fluency. On top of it, people want to use these things.”
Whether Google Analytics is your gospel or not, it’s healthy to have alternatives in life. Tools such as Woopra and Clicky might not be presented with the same popular gusto and friendliness as Google Analytics but it’s good to see things with a different pair of lenses every now and then.
The course is, of course, free and will start 8 October.