Everyday Analytics in #highered: social media tools and tips by Adrian Ebsary (@AJEbsary) from the University of Ottawa

January 17th, 2013 Karine Joly 1 Comment

Adrian EbsaryAdrian Ebsary, Online Community Specialist at the University of Ottawa, is one of the 12 higher ed professionals presenting at the 1st higher ed analytics conference.

Adrian’s fascination with social media analytics and influence metrics led him to leave his MSc. in Biochemistry and take a job with the Communications Directorate at the University of Ottawa as Online Community Specialist.

In this 3-question interview, Adrian tells us about his biggest success story with analytics, favorite tool and a great tip you can use.

1) What is your biggest win using analytics?

I’ve done some work comparing higher ed Twitter accounts and their Kred Outreach scores, which revealed we were leading in a large sample of post-secondary institutions.

Accompanied by additional data, this helped to emphasize the value of social media as a customer service tool.

2) What is your favorite analytics tool? Why is it so useful in your higher ed job?

PeopleBrowsr’s Playground has a great long-term search tool for Twitter that allows you to visualize keyword use several years back. While not as useful for research, TwitSprout’s seven-day scan for access to basic Twitter profile metrics is invaluable for measuring community change and account activity.

3) What is the most important piece of advice you could give to a colleague starting with higher ed analytics?

Be prepared to manage expectations regarding the lifetime of certain social media metrics you’re looking to use as benchmarks.

Third-party companies in the influence and ROI space rise and fall quickly and its always useful to have a backup plan for as many metrics as possible. Focus on metrics you could accept collecting data for manually over short periods of time if you need to make a tool transition.