Last week in class, 113 students passed their Google Analytics (GAIQ) certification. Hooray! That’s great. Maybe. My concern is that they are professional test takers who may or may not have mastered the principles of digital marketing analytics. As a marketing professional, I believe there are three very important traits that together make up an exceptional analyst. They tend to know:
- What questions to ask to uncover the story behind the numbers
- How to find the right answers to the questions
- How to communicate so that someone can make a decision
The GAIQ exam verifies the analyst knows how to find the answers but it can no way ensure that the person knows what questions to ask or whether they can communicate their findings in the form of advice to stakeholders.
That’s where the practical application part comes in. I gave them a real world
assignment where they have to look only at the front end of a website and create a Measurement Strategy based on what they see and what they believe might be important. Through this exercise, they put everything they know about conversion marketing together and demonstrate they can figure out what to measure, show me they know how to measure it and they practice creating professional deliverables that any professional would love to receive.
Over the course of the semester or two that I work with these young people, they wind up creating an entire portfolio of deliverables that demonstra
te “how they think.”
If you are ever interviewing my students, please ask them to show you their work. It’s the single best way to see if they are a right fit to work with you and your organization. I promise, you will be impressed.