qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

Don't Be Evil

Book Review: Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics, by Brian Clifton
Most of our sites at work use Google Analytics but to be honest, none of us knows much about it at all. It's about as much use to us as a chocolate teapot. We presume our clients do understand what it tells them. But from time to time we get asked to put other analytics code into certain pages, which means they're paying for something they could most likely get for free because they don't understand it either. So I thought some education might be useful.

I picked out the "advanced" book because I'm not really interested in this from an SEO-perspective, which is where a lot of the available material comes from (although that's possibly more in the domain of Google Webmaster tools anyway). The book has given me a bit of background on the product, and some understanding of what it can and can't do. Despite the terms and conditions, "personally identifiable information" is very plainly a grey area. Unfortunately there's a lot of material that explains rather little. I don't find the Google Analytics user interface intuitive, because I find it very difficult to know where to begin or to understand what I'm really looking at. I'm not a JavaScript expert but I do know enough to say that the HTML/code examples in the book are rather poor and dated, although to be fair they do play to the lowest common denominator. Given a specific task, this book may yet prove more useful.
Tags: books, computing
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