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Sara Kisseberth, Web Content Manager – Bluffton University, is one of the 12 presenters of the 2017 Higher Ed Analytics Conference (the 5th edition!).

In this 3-question interview, Sara tells us about an interesting analytics challenge and a favorite Google Analytics before discussing what will make a big difference for higher ed analytics in 2017.

1) What’s the most challenging yet interesting part in your work with analytics?

I’m intrigued by the challenge of giving meaning to data provided by Google Analytics. When there is a ‘spike’ in visits to a particular page, what caused it? As important, did people find the information they expected? And most importantly, did they then take steps to create real-world connections? Webpage views are a way to gauge interest, but it is the real-world connections that are key.

2) What is your favorite GA feature, why and how do you use it at your school?

Google Analytics is such a powerful program, one could get lost looking at all the available data and reports. I like to keep it simple. A recently-discovered feature is the navigation summary under the site contact view. When there seems to be a break between web views and real-world results, this report provides clues to the problem. By analyzing the numbers of entrances and exits, and previous and next page paths, one can determine whether visitors ‘just aren’t that into us’ or if they seem to be looking for and not finding specific information. This information can then be used to update content to better meet visitors’ needs.

3) What do you think will make a big difference for higher ed analytics and measurement in 2017?

Analytics and measurement of ROI will become even more important as the higher ed landscape becomes more competitive and faculty/staff are continually asked to do more with less. The challenge will be to break down silos across campus in order to make actionable meaning out of the data.

A conference on digital analytics for higher education?

The HEA conference has become a must-attend event for digital marketing and communication professionals in higher education looking for new ideas and best practices.

Read below what a few of your higher ed colleagues who attended the past editions of the Higher Ed Analytics Conference say about the event.

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