Learning Analytics

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Do you want to dive deeper into analytics and gain a more fundamental understanding of how everything fits together? In order to communicate with senior stakeholders, backend developers or run your own analytics this knowledge is essential.

These days the internet is filled with educational resources that are low cost or even free! Here are some resources that may help you get started on your analytics journey.

Programming & Computer Science 

 

Central to analytics is how data is tracked and recorded. This is done via JavaScript tracking code snippets. Rather than just imagining that there is some kind of magic or voodoo that happens behind the scenes when code is entered it may help to understand the basic operation of a computer and how it reads and executes these instructions. The Harvard introductory course to computer science or CS50 is great at explaining these concepts in a clear structured and progressive way from understanding programming to understanding various computer languages and building programs. Luckily this course is also free!

You can sign up for the course via EDX here.

 

​Javascript

Next you will want to understand a bit more about JavaScript as this is the primary language that you will be using to track interaction across your website. In order to understand Javascript you will also need to understand html and css as these 3 languages interact with one another on webpages, also when implementing tracking tags you will need to use various elements from all 3 languages to implement tracking on your site.

Coursera is another great resource that offers an amazing array of low cost and free courses online. To get you started with Javascript you can check out: Programming Foundations with JavaScript, HTML and CSS by Duke university. You will find this course a bit more slow paced and offers a bit more handholding than in the CS50 course but is great at giving you a better understanding in the foundations of these 3 languages.

For a an online and interactive course experience you can look at codecademy that offers you a live input/output run through of javscript and it is also free.

 

Tag Manager

Ultimately you will be using a tag management platform to implement tracking and if you are not you should!) so it pays to understand how to use these.

After learning the fundamentals of programming platforms like Google Tag Manager will look much less threatening. Nerveless there are some functionalities which are definitely worth exploring further.

Measure school offers a great introduction into google tag manager (GTM) and tracking.

Google offers their own tag management course as well which you can find here.

 

Analytics

Ultimately you will want to know how all this data feeds into your analytics platform, i.e. when you put in an events tag across your page it is essential that you understand how this data will appear in your reports so you can make sense of it all.

Google has a analytics fundamentals course as well as a recently added advanced analytics course to help you navigate and understand their platform and reports.

Practice, Practice, Practice

There is no better substitute to learning than actual hands on experience, so get practicing yourself! To do this you may want to put together a mock website from weebly.com and create a tag manager and analytics account and get started implementing your own tracking.  This way you can discover for yourself the capabilities and limitations of these tools.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, there is a plethora of resources to help you become an analytics star but this is a great start.

Below are a few additional resources which are extremely helpful in understanding concepts from a business/marketing perspective as well as instructional articles on google tag manager.

Youtube -Technology Stacks – Computer Science for Business Leaders 2016

Simo Ahova – for all things analytics