So you want to be a senior analyst: a four-job roadmap

By Jim Cain December 17, 2014

Digital Analysts are in high demand, and there really aren’t that many of us–yet. I get asked often by prospective analysts about how someone can advance their career in this industry. I also get asked often by firms looking hire or develop a ‘senior analyst’ what the best steps are.

The breakdown below illustrates the four jobs that I believe an analyst needs to know how to do properly before they can be a ‘senior analyst’. The role of a senior analyst is to be a trusted strategic resource who both uncovers opportunities to leverage data, and informs decision-makers.  In order to do this role properly, you need to have a very solid and diverse skill-set–and I believe that a good senior analyst could do any of the jobs below, because they need all the skills required to do their job.

You might look at this breakdown and think “That’s ridiculous, learning how to do everything on this list would take years, and I don’t even know if I’m capable of all of it.”.

That’s the point, and that’s the reason there are so few senior analysts.
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Introducing Analysis Engine, Enterprise Middleware for Google Analytics

By Jim Cain September 2, 2014

It’s a pretty exciting day in Napkyn history, as we are formally launching a separate spin off company called Babbage Systems.  As of today, Babbage is now open for business around the sale of its flagship product, Analysis Engine. Rather than write up a super-formal press-release-style blog, I thought I would list a few of the standard questions we’ve been asked over the last few weeks by our customers, friends, colleagues and competitors.

We’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished with the Analysis Engine, and we can’t wait to start sharing it with you.

analysis-engine-introQ: So what’s an Analysis Engine?

Great question!  In a nutshell, Analysis Engine is a cloud-based middleware platform for enterprises using Google Analytics.

Q: Huh?

Sorry about that, darned elevator pitches.  Here’s the plain-English version:  Google Analytics is the best web analytics tool in the world for a number of reasons, especially in being easy to set up, easy to use and very accurate, and in having a world-class database. Big companies don’t tend to use Google Analytics, though, because it doesn’t integrate easily into their existing IT workflows, datamarts and Microsoft Excel. Analysis Engine sits between Google Analytics and a big company and allows them to take advantage of all of the best parts of GA, and also have all the additional features they need to win.

Q: So you turn Google Analytics into Enterprise software. Got it.  When will you be planning on building other tools into the Analysis Engine?

Never.  There are so many companies using Google Analytics, and so many things we can do to make GA more powerful that we are focusing on it exclusively.

Q: So why did you build this thing?  Aren’t you busy enough?

To be honest we built it because we were so busy.  While we work with all web analytics tools, Napkyn has several very large Analyst Program customers who have Google Analytics as their measurement tool of record.  For these customers, we kept bumping into the same problems.  The Excel dashboards were very hard to refresh easily, getting IT department buy-in for implementation work is difficult, and getting cost data set up and uploaded is a chore. We love Google Analytics, but all the manual work around making work for big business was killing us.

So we fixed it, and in doing so realized that we could help other companies win with GA as well.

Q: Do I have to be a GA Premium customer to use Analysis Engine?

Nope.  In fact by using the Analysis Engine you can remove sampling from much of your reporting.  That said, a Google Analytics Premium customer is a prime candidate for a firm that will get maximum value from the Analysis Engine, and we have auto-detection of Premium and a full integration into the Premium unsampled reporting API.

Q:  Why start a separate company?

Two reasons: Napkyn is a fast growing services business and trying to have a separate software offering wouldn’t be the best thing for our customers.  The other reason is that this product is very valuable for agencies that do consulting on analytics (we have a reseller program and an upcoming agency program).  In order to be as respectful as possible to our partners, we wanted to have a clear separation of Napkyn from the new product.

Q: Analysis Engine sounds great.  Where can I buy one?

Request a demo and a member of team Babbage will contact you immediately.

Tracking Pinterest ‘Pin It’, follow buttons and more with Google Analytics

By Colin Temple April 21, 2014

Pinterest provides handy ‘Pin It’ buttons to embed on your site, which let Pinterest users share images and corresponding web pages on their pinboards. Pinterest has been a hit, both with the tech-savvy and with many who aren’t otherwise big on social media. Popular pinners can find and promote products they like to many followers, so giving them an easy ‘Pin It’ button is a no-brainer. Of course, if you’re going to deploy these buttons on your site, having a way to track them is a no-brainer as well.

Pinterest and Google Analytics


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Google paid search (not provided) keywords and analytics

By Colin Temple April 10, 2014

In the name of user security and privacy, Google yesterday announced that it will no longer supply information about the keyword to websites receiving ad clicks when the user searches from Google using a secure (HTTPS) connection. From an analytics perspective, that means that the “(not provided)” issue with keywords will now apply to paid search data in addition to organic search, where it already exists.

What this means for you as an analyst or marketer varies depending on what tools you use to collect and view data.

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Managing HiPPO Prime: The CFO

By Jim Cain March 31, 2014

It’s been a long few weeks, and one of them was spent in lovely San Francisco at the eMetrics Summit. Of all the industry events, these are my favourite because of the high quality sessions and the number of very talented peers that I get to talk shop with.

A few high level themes really stood out this year, including attribution and the usual standards like social and mobile.

In particular, I paid close attention to the sessions that are closest to my heart—explaining analytics to executives.  I learned a lot, and even filled a notebook with takeaways and ideas. However, there was a question I had throughout the conference that was never spoken to.

Where’s the CFO?


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