Let’s 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.”
Tim Wilson and Michael Helbling are pretty much the industry “cool guys.” They are funny, incredibly smart, and have a logo that 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 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 seems 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 the 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 software works, and much more!
Learning Technical Things
If you are interested in learning very specific skills, check out this list of resources. If you’re interested in learning Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics, they have their own sections further down the page.
Web Analytics for Developers
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 software/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.
- Analytics Academy for GTM – Google’s basic training for learning Google Tag Manager
- Beginner’s Guide to GTM – A blog post from Optimize Smart that answers a bunch of foundational questions around GTM.
- Measure School for GTM – Another great resource for learning GTM.
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.
- Adobe’s Introductory Resource Guide – Has links to a few white papers and blog posts on DTM.
- DTM Documentation – For those of you who enjoy technical reading, here’s the Adobe documentation on DTM.
- Adobe Classroom – They are not cheap, but some official training courses on Adobe DTM.
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, check out 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.
- IDM Google Analytics Course – €599
- Lynda.com Google Analytics Advanced – Basic, $19 a month
- Analytics Course: Advanced – $197
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.
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!
Check out 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 offer 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.
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. It has some great sponsors like Observe Point and the Digital Analytics Association.