Amy Pizzolatto, Multimedia Content Specialist at The University of Chicago, is one of the 12 higher ed professionals presenting at the 1st higher ed analytics conference. She is interested in Site Search Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, Content Strategy, and using metrics to inform website design and development.
In this 3-question interview, Amy tells us about her biggest success story with analytics, favorite tool and a great tip you can use.
1) What is your biggest win using analytics?
Before we started our homepage redesign project at the University ofChicago, we analyzed our metrics, using Crazy Egg, Google Analytics, and Facebook Insights. This is the first project I’ve worked on where I really saw users’ behavior influence every part of the process, from planning to design, content, and development.
I think this is especially vital in a University, where you can find yourself designing by committee; our users have a voice in our process now through analytics.
2) What is your favorite analytics tool? Why is it so useful in your higher ed job?
I love all the features in Crazy Egg.
We use it a lot to test sites shortly after they launch or before we’re starting a new redesign. It’s quick and very visual, giving you an overview of how people are behaving. If the project doesn’t have the time or budget for a lot of analytics work, Crazy Egg can provide a lot of data quickly.
3) What is the most important piece of advice you could give to a colleague starting with higher ed analytics?
I think it’s very important to make sure your Google Analytics account is set up properly, if that’s the tool you’re using.
We didn’t know what we were doing in 2007 and 2008, and we made the mistake of creating separate accounts for all of our sites rather than setting up our domain and subdomain tracking properly. We are currently in the process of migrating all these separate accounts into one, but had we known how to set up our accounts correctly in the beginning, we wouldn’t be in the midst of this time-consuming and very flawed process.
If you don’t know how to set up your analytics account correctly, find somebody who can guide you through the process.