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Brian Clifton
Advanced web metrics is about doing the basics very well and applying it in a clever way...
Advanced web metrics is about doing the basics very well and applying it in a clever way...

Brian's posts

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Very useful tips from +Simo Ahava - particularly if custom tags are locked down your GTM setup (blacklist), or if custom js/html tags are simply not your thing...

As an aside, I am finding that large orgs are increasingly looking at blacklisting tags as a way of locking down GTM. Its a pity though that a blacklist of tags cannot be applied on a per container basis i.e. GTM1 = all tags whitelisted; GTM2 = custom js and html blacklisted.

If that could be achieved, the BI team can have full tag access for their GTM1 account, while allowing others to safely experiment with GTM2 i.e. #good #governance
#GTMTips: 10 Useful CSS Selectors

Here's 10 CSS selectors that I find myself using in almost every Google Tag Manager project I undertake.

CSS selectors are useful little things, which let you determine the distribution of style directives on your site, but they also let you select elements with DOM methods, letting you combine them with, for example, Google Tag Manager's trigger conditions. This way you can ensure that your Click and Form Triggers are recorded always on the correct elements.

#gde #blogpost #googletagmanager

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A great back story to a true data hero (and friend) +Avinash Kaushik.

One (of many) interesting discussions is his background helping/working in his fathers anodising factory as a 12 year old boy in India - essentially how much this has influenced Avinash's thinking today i.e. always tying data back to the business need. So many data scientists lack this fundamental skill/understanding...

The whole podcast is well worth a listen to. Congrats to Bilal of +Creator Lab
Podcast Time!

It was so fab to do a podcast with Bilal over at Creator Lab. We focussed less on my professional work, analytics and marketing and storytelling. Bilal was more interested in the "story behind the story".

It ended up being a ton of fun. You can listen to it here:

Bilal, the consummate professional that he is, wrote up the a brief summary and the timestamps. It should give you a sense for what we spoke about:

+ Background of how Bilal & Avinash know each other [1m38s]
+ Explaining what his job is to his mum [2m51s]
+ How he got his job at Google [3m44s]
+ Growing up poor in India & living in a factory [5m16s]
+ Where his work ethic came from [10m31s]
+ Moving to Saudi Arabia & the USA [12m44s]
+ How he uses the fear of going broke and losing his job to motivate himself [20m45s]
+ Why it can make sense to take a title & pay cut [28m40]
+ What attracted him to web analytics [29m46s]
+ Taking the plunge to start a company and knowing when it’s the right time to go for it [30m28]
+ Starting a blog and role of personal branding [32m40s]
+ “If I can listen to 50 podcasts, why should I listen to you” [45m35s]
+ Career limiting moves [51m33s]
+ Why he gets more engagement from 9.5k email subscribers than 200k twitter followers [1hr47s]
+ What’s motivating him [1hr3m53s]
+ Can you be happy if you always want to stand out? [1hr5m43s]
+ Spending 4 hours a week to learn something new [1hr7m12s]
+ Advice to 18 year old Avinash [1hr8m15s]
+ What success means to him [1hr9m28s]
+ Examples of failure [1hr10m38s]

Podcast here: Enjoy!

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[Today] There is a bunch of smart people that have contributed to the latest GA book - "Google Analytics Breakthrough". I had the privilege to add a section on Top 10 Google Analytics Gotchas - the things that can catch out even professional implementors. Today is the first webinar in an informal series form the contributors - and I am the first to go!

Come and join us. Register at:
Hosted by +E-Nor, Inc.

#book #webinar

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#GoogleAnalytics #UIchanges #resistance
Q: Am I becoming a stick in the mud with this latest +Google Analytics announcement...? I have always been a big fan of change for the sake of improvement. After all, that is what consultancy is all about and and why I chose a career in digital, rather than in science (a faster rate of change!). However the latest UI changes in GTM - and now coming to GA - are bothering me... Basically, I don't like them!

Google are now moving away form a tried and tested menu navigation system i.e. one where after a little familiarisation it becomes clear to a user how information is structured in a kind of "mind mapping" way. Of course, how little or how much familiarisation is required for this approach is down to the skills of the designer and data architect of it.

The new Google approach is to essentially replace menus - instead displaying content structure like a stack of cards - content sliding over previous content in a layered way. It resembles a pack of cards to me, though apparently (+Simo Ahava) it is supposed to emulate how a person works with paper on their desk. That is, a user brings a paper they wish to see/work on to the top of the pile and then shuffles them around their desk.

However, I cannot help feeling that trying to emulation on screen what happens on paper or on a desk is not a good idea... I would be interested in your thoughts on the new UI and whether you feel my reticence is just a natural human resistance to change...

Google's UI announcement:

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As always from +Simo Ahava​, great detail written in a beautiful concise way. Recomended reading.
10 JavaScript Concepts for Web Analytics Implementation

Anyone working with the web should have a working knowledge of JavaScript. There's no excuses! If you happen to work with web analytics, I dare say there's no other more important technical skill.

In this article, I list 10 JavaScript concepts which I consider absolutely vital for anyone working with analytics implementations to grasp.

#gde   #blogpost   #googleanalytics   #googletagmanager  

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NEW: Google Analytics now removing personal info from collected data. So far only for query term "email".

I regularly audit and test accounts for PII and found this today:
Google Analytics is replacing email addresses it finds in your reports with the text "obfuscated". At present it seems only to work when sent as a value in the query term ?email=. As you can see form the screenshot, my test for ?emailaddr= still shows in the report.

Lets hope this proactive filtering can get smarter over time. That said, I hope web dev/admins don't get complacent and reply on this as band-aid fix.

No one should be sending personal info (PII) around the web in plain text as part of a URL, but amazingly it does happen. Even by big brands that should know a lot better... Apart form being a reputation killer, its illegal to do so in the EU.


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Nice read on why robots won't be replacing humans (well analysts) soon...
Great read!

So while we are extremely excited by the potential of such language processing solutions combined with analytical solutions, in the short term we will continue to promote the value that an experienced analyst with the ability to interpret data, and also apply common sense and contextual knowledge has.

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As always from +Simo Ahava this is great insight into a very detailed area of transaction tracking...

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Very useful resource/guide for getting stated with Google Analytics from +Supermetrics Ltd 
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