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Web analytics training

I recently organised a set of web analytics training for my company. We had quite an open budget and a pressing and well defined need, so I was looking forward to rolling out useful and interesting training. Exciting times!

The challenge
The training was going to be delivered to five marketing teams, two content teams and one back end data support team. This post is focused on the marketing audiences, although the process was largely similar for the others. Initially I sat down with the chosen training company to talk through the brief. And here it is:

Who were we training

  • All the attendees were marketers
  • Very few attendees were  used to web analytics reports, they didn’t know the terminology or assumptions and only had seen the GA interface at all

Business objectives

  1. Making money online: classic ecommerce objectives around ROI, volume and revenue
  2. Making money offline: for example specific web forms where completion indicates a certain likelihood of offline income generation and uplift of total revenue
  3. Engagement and satisfaction insight

Some solutions
There were two distinct approaches that we could have taken to meet the training needs of the attendees.

First approach: theory then practice
The selected training providers suggested they start with the big picture theoretical approach and then drill down into specifics. Their delivery format was: their generic overview of web analytics metrics followed by their standard session on the GA interface. Then they’d move on to specific custom reports they’d built.

Second approach: practice then theory – zoom out
Knowing the audience and their objectives, I suggested we started the training with a real business question (e.g. how much money are we making from a recent cross organisational campaign) and then work through that question in the interface, discussing the meaning and assumptions in the metrics as we go along. We’d then zoom out to look more generally at the metrics with our worked example fresh in people’s minds.

Your solution?
Which of these two approaches would/do you prefer?

Which do you think we went with?

How have you approached web analytics training?

Share your opinion in the comments below or on the Google Plus post.

Temina Moledina on Google Plus

3 Comments

  1. My preference is for the second as it it means that you dive straight into real life problems using your data.

    It’s the method that we use solely use for Google Analytics training as we’ve found that people are far more engaged with the training as it actually means something to them.

    I hope you went with the second

    Our issue with the first ‘standard’ approach is that it doesn’t really fit the needs of each of the different groups and people tend to switch off when it’s not relevant to them.

    One of the things that you want when you train a team on analytics is the ability to hear from the trainer how they have deployed analytics in other organisations and the lessons they learnt

    • Peter says:

      I actually disagree with Charles, I always take the first approach. I like to have the foundation down first – purpose, issues, caveats, definitions – before showing the web analytics tool. The objective is the same though, need to get the audience engaged from the start. As I start with the purpose of Digital Analytics, I really try and emphasise that it is about intelligence leading to actions. If I get that right, it has the same result.

      Most of my training is through classes – people have to want to go to these sessions. I think the specific example approach would be more necessary for in house training where people are required to attend. Am going to keep in mind for the future and bring it out where relevant.

  2. […] Web analytics training – MeasureCamp London http://www.measurecamp.org/I recently organised a set of web analytics training for my company. We had quite an open budget and a pressing and well defined need, so I was looking forward to rolling out useful and interesting training. Exciting times! […]

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