Analytics Without Tears: The Ultimate Guide to Digital Analytics Resources

Categories Analytics

Lets be honest, finding good resources on specific topics can be difficult. But it doesn’t have to be, which is why I’ve decided to put this guide together! This resource guide is for two types of people: people who are new to digital analytics and those who want to stay up to date/continue learning about the industry. The guide is split up by category, with the more technical/practical resources listed later in the guide. Hope you find this helpful.

Staying up to date

In order to stay up to date on an industry, one must be aware of two components: current concepts and future ones. Current concepts are the practices and systems that are presently in place: Adobe Analytics, DTM (Dynamic Tag Management), Google Analytics, GTM (Google Tag Manager), etc.

On the other hand, we have the future concepts, which are the ideas and practices that the industry is heading towards: R, machine learning, automating our jobs, etc. In order for a resource to fall into this category, it must inform me about what is happening in digital analytics, as well as what could happen.

There is only one item in this category, particularly because of what I mean when I say “staying up to date”.

Digital Analytics Power Hour – Podcast

Tim Wilson and Michael Helbling are pretty much the industry “cool guys”. They are funny, incredibly smart, and have a logo which looks like it has absolutely nothing to do with digital analytics (but they get away with it). If you want to be a fly on the wall in the conversation of where our industry is heading, you need to start listening to them ASAP!

All Around Great Resources

The resources in this list are, primarily blogs, from some of the leaders in the industry. They touch on many different topics and categories, so they tend to be good starting places for young analysts.

Analytics Demystified – Blog

Analytics Demystified is definitely one of the giants in the industry, so you can’t go wrong with reading any of their blog posts. With contributors like Adam Greco and Tim Wilson, it’s pretty hard to not to benefit from reading their content Additionally, their blog is a good blend between current concepts and future ones in the industry, so it fits the needs of pretty much anyone in digital analytics.

Search Discovery – Blog

Search Discovery is another giant in the industry and seem to have an extensive library of blog posts. They have a lot of authority in the digital analytics industry, so pretty much everything they say is gospel. I also have to say, their website is incredibly fun to play with.

Occam’s Razor – Blog

Avinash Kaushik is an insanely smart person, as well as a great human being! Between his thought leadership in digital analytics and his work with different non-profits, he has benefited at least 50% of the world’s population. In addition to his blog, check out his other resources:

LunaMetrics – Blog

I have gone to LunaMetrics many times for answers to specific questions. They do a great job explaining how calculations are made, how specific softwares work, and much more!

Learning Technical Things

If you are interested in learning very specific skills, checkout this list of resources. If you’re interesting in learning Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics, they have their own sections further down the page.

Web Analytics for Developers

Great resource for those on the development side of digital analytics. They have many different resources on the topics of Javascript and DTM, which makes this a very relevant resource!

Code Academy

For those wanting to learn a specific programming language, Code Academy is the place to go! They dive into many different areas of development, but as it applies to analytics as well, since they have courses on such as Javascript and SQL.

Coursera: Excel to MySQL

I personally have done this certification and thoroughly enjoyed each class. The certification is comprised of 5 classes, 4 of them touching on specific skills. Then, in the capstone, you put these skills together to start making real business recommendations. The softwares/systems you learn in this certification are: Excel, Tableau, MySQL and Teradata.

Learning R – There are many resources for this topic, so I thought I would give a list of all the top resources for learning R, specifically as it relates to web analytics.

  • R-Bloggers – Free
  • Data Camp – Some courses are free, some are paid. You can at least get the first chapter of a paid course for free to see if it’s worthwhile.
  • Tim Wilson on R – This is part 1 of a 3 part series on R and Adobe Analytics
  • Adobe Analytics Package for R – Developed by Randy Zwitch, allows you to connect to the Adobe Analytics API through R.

Google Tag Manager Specific – the following resources focus on training for GTM specifically.

Learn Dynamic Tag Management – For learning DTM (Adobe). This list is light (I know); Adobe doesn’t democratize the learning of their software like Google.

Google Analytics Related – Refer to the following resources if you want to focus specifically on learning Google Analytics

Analytics Ninja – Blog

Analytics Ninja is very well known in the industry and has a great blog! He breaks down complex problems and explains them very clearly. For any analyst hoping to dive more into the technical side of Google Analytics collection and processing, Analytics Ninja is a must.

Analytics Talk – Blog

The Analytics Talk blog is the work of Justin Cutroni, who you probably recognize if you see his face. Justin is the face of all official Google Analytics training. If you’ve watched any of their foundational videos, you’ve probably seen Justin!

Google Analytics Training and Support

Speaking of Google Analytics training, checkout their training and support page for a marriage of resources. From here, you can checkout Analytics Academy, Google Developers, and other great resources for learning Google Analytics.

Lynda.com – Google Analytics Essentials

For those of you who have access to Lynda.com (or want to sign up), this is a great course for learning the basics of Google Analytics.

Advanced GA Training – Unfortunately, most of the following resources cost money. But they come from reputable organizations and can certainly make you a better digital analyst.

Adobe Analytics Related

Refer to these resources for further Adobe Analytics Training

Adobe Overview Videos

This is a library of videos from Adobe, giving some of the basics of Adobe Analytics and others. Watch these if you are new to Adobe.

Adobe E-Books

These might not be for everyone, but these are some of the only resources on the web that are relatively cheap while actually going deep into Adobe Analytics. You might have to muscle through it, but it’s worth the effort!

Conferences  

Checkout this list of conferences for digital analytics. Many conferences have multiple locations, so click on the link to see if there is one near you.

Superweek: Hungary, Jan 30 – Feb 3 2017

Super Week is in Hungary and hosts some of the best industry leaders every year. While you might not be able to fly to Hungary, they record most of their content and throw it up on their website!

eMetrics Summit: Multiple locations, date dependent upon location

eMetrics has conferences all over the world, including Chicago, New York, Milan, and Berlin. Great place to learn from thought leaders and improve your abilities in the web analytics space.

Measure Camp: Multiple Locations (mostly in Europe), date depends on location

One of the only conferences I know that offers tickets for free! They also have a big emphasis on workshops, which is great for the hands-on learners of the world. Highly recommended to attend.

Adobe Summit

The Adobe Summit is kind of like the Apple Keynote. Every year Adobe announces a bunch of cool new things, and everyone gets excited about it. Definitely should attend.

Digital Analytics Association Events

The Digital Analytics Association has a bunch of events throughout the year. Check the calendar to see if any work for you.

Digital Analytics Hub: Monterey, CA and Chesham, UK. Date: TBD

One of the only conferences in Southern California, for those of you in the area. Has some great sponsors like Observe Point and the Digital Analytics Association.

I'm a Digital Analyst with an exuberant amount of passion for the digital analytics industry. I work with our analytics team to move clients out of reporting and into actionable insights. I believe in the power of measuring results and hope to one day integrate data-driven philosophies with the potential of social entrepreneurship.

2 thoughts on “Analytics Without Tears: The Ultimate Guide to Digital Analytics Resources

  1. Great list! I think the line about MeasureCamp being mostly in Europe should be updated. With one being held in Cincinnati and one in San Francisco, now this free unconference is available in the US as well :)!

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