Liz Gross, Social Media & Market Research Strategist at Great Lakes Educational LS and the Social Media Measurement instructor at Higher Ed Experts, is one of the 12 higher ed professionals who presented at the 2015 Higher Ed Analytics Conference (now available on-demand).
In this 3-question interview, Liz tells us about a professional “big analytics win” in 2014, the state of analytics and what colleges and universities should focus on in terms of analytics in 2015.
1) What was your biggest analytics “win” in 2014?
Analytics helped me realize the importance of my community.
When I launched my eBook in December, I asked my network to help spread the word—and I provided them with a bit.ly link that included UTM parameters. After a week of promotion I looked at my Google analytics and was able to quantify the impact of my network’s word of mouth marketing. Not surprisingly, my supporters’ messages drove 300% more traffic than my own messages.
2) What is the state of digital analytics at your organization?
We’re at the beginning of a movement to collect all the relevant data that allows us to do more of what works and stop doing what doesn’t.
We have a complicated system of communication channels and message campaigns that needs to be fully understood before adding the appropriate measurement tools and analysis. Our top decision makers are extremely supportive of analytics, as long as the data result in actionable insights that allow us to impact key outcomes.
3) In your opinion, what should your higher ed peers focus on in 2015 when it comes to Analytics?
We need to build the necessary structures to enable efficient measurement of our data.
Whether that’s creating a comprehensive UTM parameter structure for all communication channels, identifying goals in Google Analytics to track success, or enabling event tracking, it’s imperative that we build our data structure to facilitate the necessary analysis. The saying “garbage in, garbage out” rings true—we must ensure that our inputs are designed with analysis in mind.